A pair of new reports spell real problems for the NFL and its inept leadership. Week 13 was an attendance disaster, and preliminary forecasts are showing that NFL ratings this year will be the lowest in over a decade, according to investment group RBC Capital Markets. RBC analyst Stephen Cahill said to Business Insider that investors are now wary of buying stock in media and NFL-related advertisers.
Most pundits believe that the decline is directly related to the 'Anthem Protests' and Cahill acknowledges this is a factor. But he also points out that NFL viewership has been in a sustained decline since 2013. He mentions oversaturation as another cause, which is also a good point, but not the whole story either.
The ratings numbers that came in from the annual Thanksgiving Day games are a case in point. All three games saw a double-digit drop in ratings from 2016. It used to be that there were only two games on Thanksgiving, but the greedy NFL mandarins expanded it to three. This is a prime example of oversaturation. Thanksgiving is a day when people gather with family: one or two games before dinner might be doable, but who's going to watch football all day on a holiday?
The problems that Cahill mentioned are symptomatic. The Anthem Protests are really more of a last straw than the actual cause for disgruntled fans. Oversaturated markets are a sign of one of the reasons for this disillusionment. As we mentioned above, it shows that the NFL places a lot more value on profit than all of its lip-service to fans and community would suggest. In fact, the NFL has very little concern for either. Let's examine team moves, for example. From the league's modernization in 1932 to the NFL-AFL Merger in 1970, we saw four teams change cities. Since the mid 1980s, it's been anybody's guess where a team might end up next year. How can anybody be loyal to team that runs off at the first lure of a fat financial deal?
It's the same with the players too. There used to be what were called 'franchise players'---most of whom are quite famous. These were players who stayed with one team throughout most or all of their careers. Now players are up for the highest bidder. These types of men can hardly be the role models that players formerly were:
Not to mention that no father in his right mind holds up thugs or 'openly gay' players to his sons as someone to emulate. And herein is the root reason for the NFL's sustained decline: it has ceased to have any appeal to men.
Like much of the rest of our Trash Culture, professional football has become an emasculated institution. Team sports are---and always have been---a means of male bonding either as active participants or passive spectators. This is a fact rooted in masculine psychology and spans all cultures and epochs. Long before the White Man arrived in North America, the Indians were playing lacrosse, a game with strong parallels to American football. And we all know the value other nations put on soccer, ice hockey, and a few American imports like baseball and basketball. Take away the masculine interest in team sports by glorifying values that most men find repulsive and put profit and political correctness over team spirit and you have a recipe for the kind of disaster that the NFL is heading for.
If the NFL ownership doesn't change course---radically and immediately---2018 is going to be much worse for them than this year. They're on a economic trajectory to collapse well before their centennial in the next decade. And nobody will even miss them.