The most important legacy of the NFL season may have nothing to do with football

How the league protected itself — and taught the CDC something about COVID-19 in the process

Referees.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

Like a lot of big businesses over the years, the National Football League has cultivated an image of inevitability, as dependable as church on Sundays.

This past season tested that notion like few before it. But there came the confetti, showering the field at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, and with it the realization that the league had made it past Week 21 of another season, without interruption or drastic measures, like an NBA-style bubble.

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