Jennifer Thomas is a bestselling author, psychologist, speaker, consultant & apology critic

A Bowl Full of Apologies


It started before the kickoff. Singer Christina Aguilera sang the wrong lyrics just three lines into her rendition  of our national anthem.  Her press release regarding her error has been called an ‘apology’ but to me, it sounds like an explanation and a request for understanding:

“I got so caught up in the moment of the song that I lost my place. I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through.”


Next,  400 fans were denied the auxiliary seating they had been promised.  The Huffington Post has an apt name for this episode:  “Seat-gate”.   The NFL quickly apologized, making no excuses, and offered this restitution:  triple the face value of their tickets.  Many of the fans were not appeased by this offer.  Many had paid more than face value for the tickets and because the back-up plan was unacceptable.  The unseated fans were taken into rooms that had TVs no larger than one would see in a sports bar.  In the midst of the continuing outcry, the NFL increased its restitution with this offer:  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would invite those fans to next year’s Super Bowl.

While any offer is a step in the right direction, did the NFL acknowledge an obvious flaw in the value of this offer of amends?  Those fans know quite well that it’s unlikely for their team to make an appearance in next year’s Superbowl.  Sadly, special experiences often can’t be replaced.  I’ll bet commissioner Goodell has quite a headache today.  I wouldn’t want to have his job. Your thoughts?

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