Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Decline and Fall of the NFL, part 2

I received some interesting comments on my blog from yesterday. I felt the need to continue the exploration into the Decline and Fall of the NFL.

Today is written from a personal and family perspective.

My family used to be huge NFL Sunday football fans. We would gather every weekend to watch the games. We routinely cheer for and support four teams: Steelers, Redskins, Cowboys, and Ravens. 

The NFL, in its effort to saturate the market has made gathering together on a Sunday afternoon to barbecue and enjoy the games almost impossible.

This season the Steelers have been playing in primetime almost every game--especially the latter part of the season. The Redskins and the Ravens have been moving around the dial as well.

Primetime games are terrible for East Coast residents. They do not end until well after 11:00 PM and many of us, myself included have to get up early in the morning. I almost never see the end of a primetime game. Perhaps that is why the recent Monday Night Football game in Baltimore saw low attendance. The games end too late.

Through the magic of selling its soul to television, the NFL is actually reducing our opportunity to watch the teams we care about. Even with Fantasy Football, the product being presented is not compelling enough to watch unless our favorite is playing.

Empty Seats in Seattle
Seriously, who wants to see New England crush some hapless AFC East team again? Or Watch the Panthers and the Titans unless they live i the home cities? I admit, I like to watch the Packers when Aaron Rogers is playing, but he is hurt.

Because of the jumbled television schedule, including too many primetime games, our family does not routinely gather anymore for the Sunday games. I am sure we are not the only ones. 

The NFL just isn't fun and when watching with young, impressionable pre-teens, all too often there has to be an explanation about sportsmanship and the caution "don't do this on the playground."

The NFL is at a crossroads, it can change and rework its image and interpretation of the game of football, or it will die within a decade after the over-generous TV contracts expire.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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