Ratings are in the cellar.
Fans are burning their stuff.
Stadiums are half-empty.
Sponsors are getting worried.
So how in the world did the NFL, the NFL, make such a mess of things?
What do you suppose is behind the appeal of professional athletics?
I think the sports fan tries to find some way to identify with the athlete: so that the athlete’s victory somehow is the fan’s victory as well. So maybe the athlete’s hometown is my hometown too. Or maybe he went to the same school as I did. Or maybe his birthday’s in November, and mine is too.
Over the last several years, it’s become harder and harder for the fan to identify with the professional athlete. Not even considering the vast difference in financial/lifestyle, I recall several years ago when it seemed that every week there were reports of an football player beating his wife/girlfriend/child, and NFL’s response was a series of commercials with players looking at the camera in disappointment and telling the camera (or the fans, I suppose) to quit beating their wives/girlfriends/children. I’d venture that for the vast majority of the fans, beating each other is not a normal way of life.
I love our country. I love its flag. With the ongoing anthem-kneeling controversy, I really don’t know how to identify with them anymore. They are showing their hatred and disdain for what I love.
I’d suppose I'd just as soon watch a matchup between the Taliban and North Korea. :-)