TV ratings are up, significant issues are on the back-burner.
The National Football League has somehow swept the concussion issue, Colin Kaepernick’s blackballing after he took a knee during the national anthem, and a presidential bashing of its product under the rug. The league’s 2022 four conference playoff games averaged about 37.1 million viewers, a 21 percent increase over the same round last year. TV networks and streaming services are willing to throw big money at the NFL’s only product, games, because advertisers are willing to pay big bucks to reach the male demographic. A few years ago, before the Supreme Court of the United States legalized sports betting, the league was reeling from players arrests, Kaepernick’s protest, franchise movement with Stan Kroenke taking his Rams to the Los Angeles market from St. Louis, Dean Spanos moving his Chargers from San Diego to the Los Angeles market and Mark Davis relocating from Oakland to Las Vegas.
The National Football League bounce back is not unusual. The NFL never has had a concrete business plan. For instance, the four teams vying for the 2022 Super Bowl. None of them started out as NFL teams. The Inglewood, California-based Los Angeles Rams started life in the second American Football League in 1936 and the team moved into the NFL in 1937, moved to LA in 1946 and that happened only because the owner Daniel Reeves hired Negro players. Carroll Rosenbloom moved his Rams to Anaheim in 1980 then there was the move to St. Louis in 1995 and back to the LA market in 2016. The San Francisco 49ers started in the All-America Football Conference in 1946 and the team was allowed to join the NFL in 1950. The Kansas City Chiefs started life as the Dallas Texans in the fourth AFL in 1960 and moved to Missouri in 1963. Cincinnati was an AFL expansion team starting in 1968. Getting lucky made the NFL.
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