I know the government bureaucracy is not involved, because none of the agencies are that clever. The closest thing to what you mention would be the GOP and DNC think-tanks who analyze voter trends and human behaviors to win elections and formulate policies. But even the Republican and Democratic parties do not have any control over the NFL. A great misconception about the US is that the government runs things. It does not.
Basically, corporate marketing is the "big brother" in this case. The explosion of excessive press coverage of athletes and the control over the national obsession with pro sports comes from the television networks themselves. Networks are businesses that need to make money by selling airtime to companies that want to advertise on commercials during "prime time". Because the US is a TV-based culture now, this makes the networks very powerful in our society. They are driven, not by the government, but by who gives them money for airtime. But with the entry of Netflix, DVRs, VUDU, HBO series', Showtime series', DVD box sets and anything one gets on-demand into the market, consumers can now watch their favorite shows and skip over seeing the commercials. This means companies might be less willing to buy airtime and the networks would go bust as businesses. Sports, however, cannot be enjoyed by pre-recording and watching later. Sports have to be seen live to get the experience. That means each NFL game is overloaded with tons of commercials where companies paid a fortune for the ad airtime. Thus, news, sports, interactive reality shows are in high demand by networks now. News TV has to hold people's attention and so it zooms in on celebrities or athletes so that the keep the interest going and each genre feeds off the other. So, as usual in the US, everything comes down to money. I am 100% convinced no one in the government wants to try to control what the American people do every day just for fun. But I will accept that anyone will control the minds of others to make money. That's essentially what commercial marketing is. The beauty is, all we have to do to break that chain is to stop watching television. It will change America. But no one will do that, because TV networks are all too busy subliminally telling us that it's the government that's after us and that we should stay tuned if we want to learn more.