NFL will allow limited hard liquor commercials during games this season

Roger Goodell and the NFL will accept hard liquor ads on a limited basis this season. (AP)

For many years, NFL games have featured about as many beer commercials as plays on the field. This season, the league is branching out and giving hard liquor companies a chance to buy advertising.

Reversing a long-standing trend, the NFL will run commercials from liquor companies, the Wall Street Journal reported. The WSJ said no more than four 30-second hard liquor spots can be shown per game, with a limit of two ads during a quarter or halftime. Networks that air games can also show two liquor ads in pregame and postgame shows. It’s a one-season test, the WSJ said, but it’s expected to be a permanent change.

While it’s not exactly a huge shock the NFL has gone down this road – yes, NFL fans like to drink during games and, yes, the league enjoys making money however it can – it is curious that the league is making this change at a time when commissioner Roger Goodell has spoken out about marijuana. 

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In late April, Goodell said marijuana was “addictive” and unhealthy when asked about allowing its players to use it. Not that it’s apples to apples to compare accepting hard liquor advertising to allowing players to use marijuana, but it does seem a bit hypocritical. One would assume Goodell and the NFL also believe hard liquor can be “addictive” and unhealthy. But marijuana companies don’t have big advertising budgets.

The shift in advertising policy shouldn’t be that big of a deal. This season, you’ll just have to get used to some whiskey and tequila ads alongside all those light beer commercials you’ve grown accustomed to seeing during NFL games.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!