PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — The NFL has announced plans to handle the Eagles’ signing of an Army Ranger in its usual, tasteful manner, as the league indicated it would not exploit his service in any way whatsoever, sources confirmed.
Telling reporters he was happy to learn the Eagles had signed former Army Capt. Alejandro Villanueva as a defensive end, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would probably only show him with a couple of Army friends during the first game of the season.
"We’ll be careful not to overdo it," Goodell said. "Putting soldiers on TV will be a first for the NFL."
Goodell mentioned there was a reason why you never see soldiers during football games.
"There are sports where they do everything they can to show soldiers watching the games," Goodell told reporters. "They’ll have them on the field at every opportunity, show some random footage of a base in Afghanistan, and have soldiers in every ad. It’s supposed to be patriotic but it comes across as tacky and sad. The NFL just isn’t like that.”
The Eagles were excited to have Villanueva on their team and expected to receive almost as much good press as they did when they hired the guy who killed a bunch of dogs. And for television networks showing NFL games, the league has already sent out a letter with instructions on how to tastefully cover Villanueva’s military service.
“He’s a football player so play a few clips of him playing at West Point with maybe one picture of him in his uniform. But don’t have a video clip of him in uniform with soft piano music where he’s surrounded by flags, eagles, and other things," the letter read.
"It's important not to turn him into an idol. No matter what, do not use him as a stand-in for all members of the military and don’t call him a selfless hero every five seconds. Do not use him as a cheap way to garner publicity and goodwill. The NFL does not use individual service members as a way to whore out the men and women who defend our country.”
“But make sure you thank him for his service," the letter read in closing.