1. I know that we currently live in a time where facts don't matter, but I'm going to ignore that for now. There are many people out there who want to believe that Colin Kaepernick hurt the NFL's ratings last season. ESPN tried to give this group some ammunition Thursday when it ran a bizarre story about a poll that said 26 percent of people who said they watched few games in 2016 did so because of Kaepernick's national anthem protest. The problem with this is that at the bottom of the story, it is revealed that only 12 percent of the 9,200 people surveyed said they watched fewer games in 2016. So that means 26 percent of the 12 percent watched fewer games because of Kaepernick. I'm not a math wizard, but I'm pretty sure that's not exactly a massive amount.
On top of that, 27 percent of those surveyed said they watched MORE NFL in 2016, but that too was buried further down in the story.
There's also this fact -- you know, something that's actually true and indisputable -- via Sports Business Daily"Nearly 203 million people watched the 2016 NFL regular season across all networks, a gain of roughly 5 million over the 2015 season.
Sorry. You may not like that Kaepernick protested the national anthem, but he did not cause any serious damage to the NFL's business.
2. Kaepernick is one of my topics I discussed with NFL Network host, Rich Eisen, on the latest episode of "Off The Board." Other things we touched on: Whether the Patriots can win more than 12.5 games, how much longer Tom Brady will play, which team will surprise this season, can the Jets win more than one or two games, O.J. Simpson, Donald Trump and much more. It was a very fun discussion that had a little of everything. You can listen to the podcast on iTunes, on SoundCloud and on Sticher (or below). Please subscribe and review.
3. Memo to the New York Daily News: Wanting to be the highest paid player in the league isn't a bad thing or a distraction and this back page is pathetic.
4. John McCain casting a vote late last night that killed the repeal of the Affordable Care Act gets the Jim Ross treatment.
5. This explains a lot.
6. It's Day 2 of training camp for the Patriots and Bill Belichick is already pissed off.
7. I waited until Friday to post this because it's an hour long and figured you can save it for the weekend or to just help you not do work at the week ends. It's David Letterman on Norm Macdonald's web talk show and it's outstanding.
8. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: How crazy was the WWE's Attitude Era? They once had Brian Pillman "shoot" Stone Cold Steve Austin.