TV ratings and anthem dominate football talk.
Another Sunday and yet another test for NFL ratings. Hate to break this to people but TV sports ratings are not as robust as a decade ago. There are other platforms that deliver games, the internet, phones not just TV. There used to be seasons, now every sport seems to just go on and on with a few weeks off. But there may be other reasons for NFL TV ratings slippage. Players committing crimes, franchises moving, a shift from average workers buying tickets to those who could afford luxury boxes, club seats, personal seat licenses. The composition of the crowd in attendance has gone from fans to customers. Then there is the concussion issue and that more than players kneeling during the national anthem and a President using a very unpresidential term, son of a bitch, to disparage the protestors and then urging owners to fire protesters will hurt football. Disrupting the players’ pipeline from Pop Warner to High School football to college can leave a far more lasting impact than twitter stupidity. That disruption may come from parents who refuse to sign a permission paper for their children to play tackle football.
There is a reason that the National Football League’s ownership group and NFL medical experts will not acknowledge a link between head injuries suffered on the field and brain damage. That would scare away parents so denying the problem is the best defense. So far, most fans don’t care about permanent brain injuries, fans root for dirty laundry, a uniform. Players come and go with only a handful making a significant difference in the game, someone like Tom Brady in this day and age. Fans have no idea how many players who entertained them on Sunday or Monday Night or Thursday Night or in playoff games are now on Medicaid or SSI. The football industry needs to keep facts away from fans to survive.
Another weekend of critics watching