Tags: MidPoint | Fran Tarkenton | Super Bowl | Patriots | Seahawks | Roger Goodell

Fran Tarkenton: Pats Over Seahawks, NFL Prospers, Goodell Endures

By    |   Friday, 30 January 2015 04:15 PM

After a season of bad publicity the likes of which pro football has never seen, the NFL will be all smiles at Super Bowl XLIX — and might have some of the relentless scrutiny to thank for Sunday's expected ratings bonanza, Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton told Newsmax TV on Friday.

That, and the New England Patriots will beat the defending champion Seattle Seahawks, the three-time Super Bowl competitor told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner — and the Patriots won't have, or need, covertly deflated footballs to do it.

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"This year we've had more issues than any year that I can remember, and the attendance is up," said Tarkenton.

He reeled off some of the other metrics that suggest football remains hugely popular despite serial furors over head injuries, domestic abuse and — on a less consequential note — whether the Patriots cheated in their march through the playoffs by depressurizing footballs to improve their players' grip.

"They're going to spend $4.5 million per 30-second commercial — [compared] to $4.2 million a year ago, a $300,000 difference," Tarkenton said of Super Bowl advertisers. "More people are watching [all season] and more people are going to watch [on Sunday].

"It's more popular than ever," Tarkenton said of the game he left in 1978. "And with all the distractions we have, it just puts it more in the limelight."

Tarkenton also said the air has gone out of "Deflategate."

"It's behind us," he said. "I don't think we'll hear much about it again. It didn't really have any effect on the championship game between New England and Indianapolis. Now we're talking football, we're talking the two teams, the two coaches and so forth, and that's where it should be."

He said that neither Patriots coach Bill Belichick or quarterback Tom Brady are cheaters — just the opposite: The two men who endured the most grilling about doctored pigskins are also two of the greatest ever to coach and play, said Tarkenton.

He also defended NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the league steward who had to answer for football's much-debated handling of athletes' concussions and allegations of willful blindness toward reports of players battering women.

"Roger Goodell is a good man and a great leader," said Tarkenton. "He has to answer to 32 egomaniac billionaire owners. … Then he has to go and work with 3,000 or so NFL players."

"Anytime anything happens, it falls on him," said Tarkenton.

"Is he going to get beat on by people that think he's too harsh or too lenient or he rushed to judgment?" said Tarkenton. "He's going to get all of that because he is the focal point — kind of like the president of the United States is. No other sports czar has anywhere near the responsibility that he does."

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After a season of bad publicity the likes of which pro football has never seen, the NFL will be all smiles at Super Bowl XLIX, and the Patriots will defeat the Seahawks, former QB Fran Tarkenton told Newsmax TV.
Fran Tarkenton, Super Bowl, Patriots, Seahawks, Roger Goodell
Friday, 30 January 2015 04:15 PM
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