The Pittsburgh Steelers traded star wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders. Last season Brown had 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and notched 15 touchdowns. If there was a better receiver last year, he played exclusively in a video game.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” match up between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers brought in 17.2 million viewers on Sunday night. That number was down 35% from last year’s Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants game, which was the most-watched prime time regular season since Thanksgiving 2015.
Yes. NFL viewership is down. That should be no big surprise.
For one thing, NFL football, like all sports is boring. For every second of excitement, there are minutes of complete boredom. There are too many commercials in between the boredom. I used to think the commercials were needed because of what was going on to get the field ready for play. That’s not so. I’ve gone to a few NFL games and during the times where commercials are being shown on TV, the players are just standing around with their hands on their hips waiting to play.
People are tired of being bored when they watch TV.
Another problem with the NFL is the perception that its players are criminals and thugs. I believe this perception is due mostly to the fact that many of the players are criminals and thugs. After a while of hearing about player legal problems, fans and casual viewers begin to form an opinion that’s hard to shake, not that it even deserves to be shaken. A long time ago, the NFL decided that it was okay to field players who had a not-so-normal propensity of running afoul of the law. Nobody is forcing the NFL to draft players out of college who seem like they will be bad citizens.
The thing that’s killing the NFL now is its stance on the National Anthem protests. It bothers people, casual viewers of the NFL, that so many of its players are refusing to stand up and show their respect during the National Anthem. What’s even worse are players, American players, who sit during our National Anthem, but stand for the Mexican Anthem. The NFL’s reaction to all this?
Nothing unless you count the league’s stupid Salute to Service gimmick. It’s where they make officially licensed clothing styled with military coloring. The NFL claims they do not profit from the sale of Salute to Service products. I do not believe them.
If the NFL really wanted to salute the service of people who have served in the military, they would make their players stand for the National Anthem. They would also offer a discount to military veterans on their overpriced crap. The National Anthem is a big deal to the military and its veterans. Perhaps if anyone in a leadership position within the NFL had served in the military, they would know that.
If the NFL wants to increase viewership, make the games less boring. Eliminate all the commercials breaks. If networks need to tell viewers what products and services they should be buying, put something at the top of the screen. Stop fielding players who if it wasn’t for the NFL, would be selling drugs or serving time in prison for selling drugs. Stop allowing players to disrespect the National Anthem.
The NFL has informed the NFLPA that unless Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, Steelers linebacker James Harrison, and free-agent linebacker Mike Neal agree to cooperate with an investigation on performance enhancers, they will suspend them for the first four games of the season.
I love how the NFL has the number four burned into its collective brain. No matter what the transgression, a four-game suspension is always the remedy. Punch the mother of your child and knock her out? That will be four games. Cheat in the AFC Championship Game by using underinflated footballs? That will be four games. Use modern medical science to prepare your body for the hardship of playing in the NFL? That will be four games.
This controversy stems from an Al-Jazeera America (oxymoron much?) produced documentary The Dark Side. The documentary contends that the above four players, along with now-retired quarterback Payton Manning, received shipments of PEDs from pharmaceutical intern Charlie Sly.
The guy’s last name is Sly. If that does not invoke an overall feeling of trust and confidence, I do not know what does.
Payton Manning was already cleared of all wrong doing because his first name is Payton and his last name is Manning. Even in retirement, he’s one of the few NFL players Corporate America loves. He is just not the kind of guy the bad stuff sticks to, just ask the woman he harassed while attending the University of Tennessee.
I think the whole PED controversy is a non-controversy. Of course players in the NFL are using performance enhancers. How could they not be? If a human could do what modern players in the NFL do without PEDs, then there would be no demand for PEDs. If eating skinless chicken, praying to Jesus, and getting a good night’s sleep could make you into an all-pro in today’s NFL, then that’s what players would be doing.