Would curing cancer be bad for the NFL?

Starting this Sunday, the NFL will be broadening its cancer awareness campaign, no longer using October to focus solely on Breast Cancer and the color pink.

Instead, the league will use the month to raise awareness and money to fight multiple types of cancer. Throughout October, NFL Crucial Catch games will feature players, coaches, fans, and referees in apparel supporting multiple types of cancer, as well as additional on-field and in-stadium branding to help raise awareness for the campaign.

Is there anything more noble than raising awareness? Raising awareness is the best medicine, besides, of course, medicine. Congrats to the NFL on making the ground breaking discovery that breast cancer isn’t the only cancer around. Now they’ll be able to commercialize all types of cancer. It’s just amazing to me that despite all the research and work done by doctors, the best way to fight cancer is to slightly change the color of your jerseys for a couple games a year. Keep on fighting the good fight, Roger.

Now, I don’t want to discount the strides the NFL has made against breast cancer. Breast cancer used to be seen as the #1 threat to women. Not anymore. Thanks to the NFL, the #1 threat to women is now, well, the NFL. They are literally beating breast cancer to the punch, with their own punches.

The NFL is shifting it’s focus to all types of cancer, which is a nice step, but I don’t think they realize that not all cancers are as marketable as breast cancer. With breast cancer, you can make cute pink jerseys, wear fun bracelets, and write catching slogans like “save the tatas”. That’s not that case for all cancers. It might be a bit more challenging to make fun signs about testicular or pancreatic cancer. So that’s where I come in. The NFL says they’re planning on letting teams create their own “team specific” campaigns, so I brainstormed a couple ideas for them:

  • The Cleveland Browns will support colon cancer by continuing to wear brown jerseys while playing like shit.
  • Tom Brady will go on a national speaking tour for testicular cancer, speaking about the dangers of deflated balls.
  • The Washington Redskins will change their names to the Washington Foreskins, to raise awareness for skin and bladder cancer.

The ideas are still in beta testing, but I think I’m off to a good start.

This article also got me thinking about another issue. Would curing cancer be bad for the NFL? Think about it. No one wants to raise awareness for a disease that already has a cure. No one is running 5k’s for leprosy. There’s no Livestrong bracelets for the common cold. If cancer was cured, what would they do for all of October? Research CTE? Punish their players for domestic violence? Of course not. So hopefully the NFL can keep raising awareness for this awful disease, but not enough so that it gets cured and people begin to focus on players dying from concussions and beating the shit out of their wives. After all, cancer is the real C word.

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