For NFL fans, early to mid July is a slow time. OTAs have concluded and training camp has not yet started. Generally speaking, there is not much going on this time of year in terms of any NFL breaking news. Social media content creators look for ways to keep their followers engaged during this down period.
Evidently, that must have been the thought process for the NFL's social media team who handles their Twitter page which has over 33M followers. In a since-deleted tweet which was posted on July 11, 2023, the NFL Twitter account posted a picture of Tom Brady playing in Super Bowl LI with the caption, "frick it, an entire football game." Before the tweet was deleted, it had over 3 million views and 5,500 retweets.
It's understandable that Falcons fans would rather not resurrect any memories from that game. The bigger question that loomed for many is why did the NFL decide to make that post in the first place? Had it been March 28th, ok. There is a correlation if you're using the numbers of the lead the Falcons had. Had it been February 5th, that too would have been understandable as that is the date the game took place.
However, posting Super Bowl LI in its entirety seemed very random on July 11th. After all, the Kansas City Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl Champions. If the NFL had posted that game, most NFL fans would have taken it as the League trying to fill a news void until training camp kicks off.
The reactions and comments from Falcons fans came quickly. Unsurprisingly, New Orleans Saints fans reveled in reliving the Falcons' lowest moment. The Saints team also made a post about the NFL's Super Bowl LI tweet.
Robert Griffin III made a post trolling the Falcons and he quickly got decimated. Given how his NFL career flamed out, fans reminded him that he never made it to a Super Bowl.
If the posting of Super Bowl LI in the first place wasn't bewildering enough, the deletion of said post fueled additional commentary. In yet another odd move, the NFL then made a post highlighting Calvin Ridley and his route running ability. It couldn't be considered a makeup for the Super Bowl LI post given that Ridley now plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
For whatever reason the NFL posted, then deleted, the replay of Super Bowl LI, Falcons fans, Patriots fans, Saints fans, and fans from other fan bases all weighed in. The NFL does not usually delete its social media posts. Fans will continue to debate on why that happened. Nevertheless, the NFL succeeded in creating social media engagement during a quiet news period, if only for a few hours.