You can see the battle brewing. It’s coming to a head. And no one is telling you the real reason the NFL is dying before your eyes.
Everyone sees the symptoms of football’s death spiral: empty stadiums. Crashed ratings. low quality. Criminals on the field. Some people call it “the National Felony League.”
Frustrated fans look for better entertainment. Ticket sales remain high for one reason: stupid corporate executives. Stupid executives think it’s still a status symbol to control lots of NFL tickets. It’s not. Holding a lot of NFL tickets is a sign of stupidity. This isn’t 1999, folks. American sports fans have moved on.
But none of that gets to the reason for football’s demise.
The NFL’s Real Problem
The real reason for football’s demise is complicated. Inferior quality of play is one. Terrible officiating another. And the league’s stupid rules. Too many pads that become weapons. Outrageous prices designed to drive away retail fans and attract that corporate executives and their tax-free marketing dollars.
Those are reasons. But they’re not the main reason for football’s collapse.
The main reason is more human. Football’s death spiral is all about the players and owners. And the fans.
“Television ratings for the NFL have been slipping since the beginning of the 2016 season. The league and observers have blamed a combination of factors, including competing coverage of last year’s presidential election, more viewers dropping cable television, fans’ discomfort with the reports of head trauma and the anthem protests.” —CBS, Boston
And it’s a sad story that reflects the divisions throughout the country.
The NFL is dying because NFL insiders despise NFL fans. The players hate their fans. The owners hate their fans. The sponsors hate the fans. And the fans can sense it.
You know’s the epitome of the NFL fan? Donald J. Trump.
I Can’t Stop Laughing at This Line
“Get that son of a bitch off the field right now . . .” —President Donald J. Trump in Huntsville, Alabama
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners,” President Trump told 20,000+ roaring fans in Huntsville, Alabama last night, “when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s FIRED!'”
That’s the line everybody remembers. The line everybody loves. The vulgarity. The emotion. The voice of the voters who elected him. Perfectly delivered. Perfectly summarized. A perfect takedown of NFL flag desecrators and their owners.
Players and Owners Hate Their Fans
Ever since failed quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee to show is disdain for the country that made him a millionaire, some NFL players have made it clear: their values are not their fans’ values.
NFL owners, meanwhile, have been afraid to deal with their players’ contempt for the fans and the country.
But the people know. People know.
Our brains are wired to recognize contempt in others. We can see it. We can smell it. Our brains detect even the tiniest sign of contempt. Because contempt is a potential threat. And our survival as individuals and as a species requires early, reliable threat detection.
When NFL ratings and attendance began their decline last year, you can bet a major part of that decline stems from our brain’s remarkable ability to detect a threat. A threat posed by the players who hate their fans. Hate their fans’ values.
Trump Exposed NFL’s Contempt for Americans
Well, President Trump brought the players’ contempt to a head. Immediately after the president’s remarks, NFL players and even NFL commissioner Goodell, took to Twitter to express just how much they despise their fans in places like Huntsville, Alabama.
It must embody the sentiment of what's been bottled up for years! https://t.co/0HjExuYgSQ
— Husain Abdullah (@HAbdullah39) September 23, 2017
Former player Shaun King and others weighed in. Their brainless, selfish, anti-fan, anti-American tweets don’t deserve space on my blog.
Americans have no reason to support the NFL any longer. The commissioner and the owners have taken their stand. Or, I should say, have taken their seat. They’ve taken a seat to show their contempt for the flag, the country, our president, and their fans.
You Can Live Without Football
I did not watch a single NFL game last year unless football was the only thing on in a public bar or whatever. You can do the same. And, judging from this tweet, a lot of people stayed away from the Rams-49ers game on Thursday.
Thursday night football. Time for kickoff. pic.twitter.com/SinMLDH6AD
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) September 22, 2017
Look at that empty stadium. For a rivalry game!
I was a St. Louis Cardinals football season ticket holder. I played high school football. I loved my great football heroes like Jackie Smith, Ottis Anderson, Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, Jim Hart, Dan Dierdorf, Conrad Dobler. (I’ll stop there. Too many to name them all.)
The Greatest Show on Turf era in St. Louis gave us so many great, lifelong memories. Football is such a great sport.
But the greed of the owners and players, the cowardice of their corporate sponsors, and the politicization of the game by players and owners alike has made football a disease to me. And to many others. Football disease.
[Franco Harris: ‘Players in my day would have dealt with anthem protesters.‘]
I’m sad to see football go. As crazy as that sounds, football is dead to me. Football is dead.
It’s time for the fans to administer last rites. Time for the fans to say, “get those sons of bitches off the field right now. Out. They’re FIRED!”
Or maybe the good players will deal with those anthem protesters. Like the old days.
Also published on Medium.