Going through an old stack of magazines, I saw a very surprising article in the November 2015 edition of AdWeek concerning a very quiet tie-in between the NFL and the U.S. department of defense.

Here’s the short version: the US military PAID the NFL over $6.8 million since 2012 to have “patriotism” events.

Here’s the best quote from the article…

“Unsuspecting audience members became the subjects of paid marketing campaigns rather than simply bearing witness to teams’ authentic, voluntary shows of support for the brave men and women who wear our nation’s uniform,” the two [Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake] stated in the introduction to the report. “It is hard to understand how a team accepting taxpayer funds to sponsor a military appreciation game, or to recognize wounded warriors or returning troops, can be construed as anything other than paid patriotism.”

All those flyovers? Military people on the field? Props to the servicemen and servicewomen in the armed forces? Paid for.

Named in the article specifically are the Milwaukee Brewers, LA Galaxy, New York Jets, the Atlanta Falcons, the Baltimore Ravens, the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills. But those are just the top takers.

$6.8 million is absolutely nothing in the overall military budget, but I would have much preferred this money going to VA hospitals and general veteran’s services instead.

Here’s the article on AdWeek and the full senate report is here in PDF format (jumo to page 5 and 6 for the short list of recipients).