NFL end-of-season awards: Brady’s brilliance and Pagano on Groundhog Day

As Super Bowl week kicks off in Minneapolis, we look back at the best and worst of the 2017 season

“Weak and out of control.” That’s how the President of the United States of America described the NFL in 2017. Many people agree with him. How else to define a league that, almost a century on from its foundation, only seems to get more confused about what constitutes a catch?

Of course, that wasn’t actually what Donald Trump was ranting about. This was a year not so much dominated by protest in the NFL as by the hyperbolic reaction to it. What began in 2016 as a lone player’s attempt to raise awareness of unequal treatment of minorities in America has instead been contorted into a toxic discourse on patriotism and free speech.

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