Brian Flores’ battle against the NFL’s diversity problem

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I’ve been covering the NFL for 38 years, and the biggest legal thorn in the NFL’s side since 1984 was Al Davis’ consistent war with the league over where the Raiders would play. Jerry Jones challenging how teams could use their marks and team sponsorships was more of an inside-baseball thing. The case of ex-Miami coach Brian Flores is far different, and more threatening to the powerful and influential in the league. If what Flores claims is true—that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him money to tank to get a better 2020 draft choice, and that the Giants conducted a sham interview with him after already deciding to hire Brian Daboll as coach—then Ross will certainly be forced to sell his team, and the flagship Giants franchise will be badly tarnished. Ross denies he did it, and the Giants deny they had a prior deal with Daboll before the Flores interview. So here we are.

There’s the threat of collateral damage along the way, particularly to Bill Belichick and the often-shadowy way teams pick coaches. Flores detailed his suspicions—that people like Belichick are kingmakers who have too much power over coach-hiring. Now, if true, proving that will be highly difficult. But Flores told Jay Williams on his NPR podcast: “I do think that there are back-channel conversations and back-channel meetings that are had that often times influence decisions. I think [the Giants hiring process] is a clear example of that. Here’s Bill Belichick, his résumé speaks for itself. He has influence. It was clear that that decision was made with his influence. That’s part of the problem. That needs to change.”

Two legal experts went through the case point-by-point with me. One, University of New Hampshire law director Michael McCann, told me the NFL will begin the fight with Flores by trying to have the case tossed; if it isn’t, then probably moving the case to confidential arbitration. (See: St. Louis versus the NFL, where the NFL settled by paying the city $790 million to avoid having top execs and owners deposed and risking a court case.) “The NFL will try to settle long before a trial ever happens,” said McCann, also a legal expert for Sportico. “To get to a trial would take a lot of things to happen. But in the case of his charge against the Giants, the Giants can say Daboll hadn’t been hired yet, and if he hadn’t signed an employment contract with the team before Flores was interviewed, then the facts would be really muddled. That’s problematic for him.”

The charges against Ross are more explosive. Flores alleged that in 2019, his first year as Dolphins head coach, Ross offered him bonuses of $100,000 per game if the team lost—to get a higher first-round draft pick in 2020, when Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa would be available. If true, Ross could not have known what record Miami would have needed to cop the top overall pick, but he did know—again, if true—that losing was Miami’s best option. As it turns out, because Cincinnati finished 2-14 and earned the top pick with a .545 strength of schedule, Miami would have had to be 1-15 that year because of its far weaker strength of schedule (.481). It’s hard to go 1-15. And Ross certainly should have known that Flores, who associates say is a principled person, would never have agreed to lose games on purpose. Miami finished 5-11 and picked fifth. As it was, the Dolphins could still have picked Herbert, who clearly has been a better player than the QB Miami chose, Tagovailoa.

So Miami actually failed twice. They failed to lose spectacularly enough to earn the Burrow pick. They failed when picking Tagovailoa over Herbert.

If Flores can prove the case—and he’d better have at least one rock-solid witness—the implications would be massive. It could force the NFL to confront tanking and change the draft to a lottery, as the NBA does. It would force Ross to sell the franchise and perhaps to be charged with a crime. And with the NFL being in bed with gambling companies all of a sudden, the league would have to put more guardrails in place to assure there’s no funny business with the outcome of games. There’s a lot at stake.

The NFL’s Job Now

Frankness would help. Two hours after the Flores news exploded, the league issued a statement that said his claims “are without merit.” A day later, Chris Mortensen reported the NFL would investigate Flores’ allegations about Ross and tanking. And Saturday, Goodell sent an email to all top club personnel acknowledging the efforts to improve diversity in coach hiring “have been unacceptable,” and “outside experts” would be brought in to review what’s wrong.

Which is it? “Without merit?” Or we’re serious about getting to the bottom of tanking a day later? Or it’s so bad we’ll engage outside experts to help us out of this quality quicksand? All those reactions, in the grand total of a four-day time span.

Goodell wields significant power among owners here. As much as the public thinks he’s a human shield to block damage to the 32 owners—and he is—Goodell also has shown he has the power and the conscience to push things that are good for the game. When there’s a rules proposal that he and the Competition Committee believe is best for the league (i.e., moving the PAT line back 13 yards in 2015 to make it a competitive play), Goodell can arm-twist with the best of commissioners. He needs to do that with the 32 owners. Now.

Whatever the progress point, and it must be more than cosmetic, Goodell needs to take some of the decision-making out of the owners’ hands. They’ve proven time and again that they talk a good game and say they’re all-in on making coaching ranks more diverse. Then, nothing. That’s why the next move should be a mandatory move by the league—as in my idea about the mandatory hiring of a minority coach who would touch the quarterback and the passing game daily—or the idea of implementing a system to reach a minimum number of minority coaches at the top positions around the league.

Read more in Peter King’s Football Morning in America column

How to watch Super Bowl 2023: TV channel, live stream info, start time, halftime show, and more

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Super Bowl 2023 takes place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 PM ET at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals–in Glendale, Arizona as Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles will look to win their second Lombardi Trophy in franchise history and Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs make their third Super Bowl appearance in the last four seasons.

Not only will the match up feature two top seeds for the first time since 2017, but Super Bowl 2023 will be especially monumental because this is the first time that two Black quarterbacks will face each other in the league’s biggest game of the year.

RELATED: What to know about the 2023 Pro Bowl –  Dates, how to watch/live stream info, AFC, NFC coaches, competition schedule

Super Bowl 2023 will be nothing short of exciting, see below for additional information on how to watch/live stream the game as well as answers to all your frequently asked questions.

How to Watch Super Bowl 2023 – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs

  • Date: Sunday, February 12
  • Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Network: Fox

Who is playing in Super Bowl 2023?

The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Who is the home team in Super Bowl 2023 and how is it determined?

The Philadelphia Eagles are the home team in Super Bowl 2023. The designated home team alternates each year between the NFC and AFC champions. If it is as odd-numbered Super Bowl, the NFC team is the designated home team. If it as even-numbered Super Bowl, the AFC team is the designated home team.

Which teams have been eliminated from the 2023 NFL Playoffs?

The Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals have all been eliminated from the 2023 NFL playoffs.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs scores: Final bracket, recaps, results for every AFC and NFC postseason game

Who is performing the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023?

It was announced in September, that international popstar, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Rihanna will headline the halftime show at Super Bowl 2023.

RELATED: Super Bowl 2023 – What to know about national anthem, pregame performers ahead of Super Bowl LVII

Why does the NFL use Roman numerals?

AFL and Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt proposed using Roman numerals for each Super Bowl to add pomp and gravitas to the game. Roman numerals were, unsurprisingly, used in ancient Rome as a number system. I stands for 1, V for 5, X for 10, L for 50 and C for 100. That’s right: In 2066, get ready for Super Bowl C.

Super Bowl V was the first to use Roman numerals. They were retroactively added to the Super Bowl II to IV logos and have been used each year since⁠ until 2016. For Super Bowl L, or 50, the NFL tried out 73 different logos before breaking down and using a plain old “50.”

The Roman numerals for this year’s big game, Super Bowl 57, are LVII.

RELATED: Super Bowl halftime shows – Ranking the 10 best Super Bowl halftime show performances in NFL history

How many Super Bowls have the Eagles won in franchise history?

The Eagles have won just one Super Bowl title in franchise history, however, Super Bowl LVII will be their fourth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

RELATED: Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl History

How many Super Bowls have the Chiefs won in franchise history?

The Chiefs have won two Super Bowls in franchise history (1969 and 2019). Super Bowl LVII will be the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl appearance.

RELATED: Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl History

Who was the first Black quarterback to play in a Super Bowl?

Doug Williams was the first Black quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl. Williams, a product of Grambling State–a historically Black university–achieved the milestone on January 31, 1988 in Super Bowl XXII as the QB for Washington.

RELATED: FMIA Conference Championships – Eagles rout Niners, Chiefs outlast Bengals to set Super Bowl LVII stage

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL season and playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

Chiefs Super Bowl history: When is the last time Kansas City made it to, won the Super Bowl?

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After losing 27-24 in OT to the Cincinnati Bengals in last year’s AFC Championship, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are back in the postseason for the 8th straight year. The Chiefs are now set to make their third Super Bowl appearance in the last 4 seasons, after a 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship game but their history with the NFL’s most coveted game is so much more.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule – Bracket, game dates, times and TV networks

Super Bowl LVII  takes place on Sunday, February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. See below for additional information on how to watch.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Founded in 1960 by Lamar Hunt, the Chiefs started in the American Football League as the Dallas Texans. After winning the 1962 American Football League Championship in the longest championship game in professional football history, Hunt decided to relocate to Kansas City. The team changed its name to the “Chiefs” in honor of Mayor Harold Roe Bartle, who convinced Hunt to move the team to the City of Fountains.

After winning the AFL Championship in 1966, Kansas City represented the American Football League in the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, retroactively known as the first Super Bowl, on January 15, 1967, against the NFL Champion Green Bay Packers. Kansas City played Green Bay close in the first half, but Green Bay scored 21 unanswered points to win the game.

RELATED: When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs start: dates, schedule, playoff format, overtime rules, and more

It wouldn’t take the Chiefs long to taste victory in the Super Bowl though – it came just three years later in Super Bowl IV. Though they faced the feared Purple People Eaters of the Minnesota Vikings defense, Kansas City head coach Hank Stram had a plan. He took advantage of Minnesota’s aggressive defensive with short passes and trap plays. The Chiefs would prevail 23-7 for Kansas City’s first Super Bowl win.

It would be another 50 years until The Kingdom made its return to the Super Bowl, but it would come back armed with some of the most explosive weapons the NFL has ever seen.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs scores: Final bracket, recaps, results for every AFC and NFC postseason game

When was the Chiefs’ last Super Bowl win?

Half of a century went by before the Chiefs earned a Super Bowl berth, but they were back in the 2019 season with a bang in Super Bowl LIV. Led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was coming off an MVP season the previous year, Kansas City made it to the championship game overcoming double-digit deficits in the Divisional Round and AFC Championship Game. They even fell behind by 10 in the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers.

However, the magic wasn’t over for the Chiefs. The offense scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to secure the team’s second Super Bowl championship. Kansas City retained most of their core and many expected them back in the championship game in 2021.

RELATED: What are the highest-scoring and lowest-scoring Super Bowls in NFL history?

When was the last Chiefs Super Bowl appearance?

While the team did make it to the Super Bowl in the 2020 season, they ran into an old nemesis. Quarterback Tom Brady was now with the NFC Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the last time he faced Kansas City was in 2018 as a member of the New England Patriots, who eliminated the Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

He would get the better of them again.

Kansas City could not stop Brady and the Bucs’ offensive onslaught. On the other side, Patrick Mahomes couldn’t move the ball against a Tampa Bay defense that caught fire in the postseason. The end result was a 31-9 rout with The Buccaneers hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and the Chiefs hoping to get back to the Super Bowl next year.

Chiefs Super Bowl history

  • 1966 season: Lost Super Bowl I vs. the Green Bay Packers, 35-10
  • 1969 season: Won Super Bowl IV vs. the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7
  • 2019 season: Won Super Bowl LIV vs. the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20
  • 2020 season: Lost Super Bowl LV vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-9

Chiefs Super Bowl records and firsts

  • Tied for fewest touchdowns – 0 (Super Bowl LV)
  • Hank Stram was the first head coach ever to be “miked for sound” in the Super Bowl (Super Bowl IV)
  • Lowest attendance for Super Bowl – 24,835 (Super Bowl LV) *due to COVID Pandemic 
  • Lowest attendance, attendance not restricted –  61,946 (Super Bowl I)
  • Participated in first Super Bowl
  • First team to come back from three double-digit deficits in the playoffs and win Super Bowl (2019)
  • Most penalty yards in a half (Super Bowl LV)

How can I watch and live stream Super Bowl 2023?

  • When: Sunday, February 12, 2023
  • Where: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
  • TV Channel: FOX
  • Follow along with ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports for NFL news, updates, scores, injuries, and more

RELATED: Who is playing in Super Bowl 2023?

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!


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Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!