yankeetravels said:As a die-hard sports fan and someone that majored in sports management, I feel like I can shed a lot of light on this topic considering the RVF community is not big on sports and I've been following it all my life. The last five years, I have been studying sports trends and try to interpret the trend the sports world is going in. While I agree with Roosh in that the NFL is on the decline, I don't think anyone here has fully dived into why this is happening. Before I do that, I want to say that I don't think this is just going to be the NFL, I see this as a sports problem AS A WHOLE. But for now, I'll start with the NFL.
1. It is the ultimate .1% sport- The simple fact is the owners in the NFL have more power than any other group of owners in sports. Players basically have no rights compared to baseball whose players get guaranteed contracts and NBA players who have max contracts for arguably doing the least work and have the least risk. NFL players can get cut on a dime and even if they have $50 mil contracts, may not see much of it if a GM decides to cut them. Because the NFL is a very injury prone sport, this is a problem because they can lose their opportunity to be set for life in a blink of an eye because of a freak injury.
The owner right now is also ridiculously biased towards the owners when he is supposed to be neutral. They want to prove they can go after anybody with a power move such as Tom Brady and Ezekiel Elliott. Now, Elliott won his appeal but I think he's going to have to serve his six game suspension next year. I see this as a big problem for players' rights because from all reports about his case, the girl Tiffany Thompson pulled off the bitter-ex move of accusing him of domestic abuse when there is textual evidence that said she was going to fake it to ruin his career. I'm honestly surprised that case hasn't been talked about at length in this forum because it fits our narrative perfectly. Point is Goodell is targeting Zeke to make him the poster child of domestic abuse after Ray Rice and the problem with this is Elliott was cleared of all charges by the police, BUT the NFL is still targeting him like they would a male on a college campus. Most intelligent fans see right through this power/political battle and they are tired of it to the point where I don't think they'd mind seeing a lockout in 2021 once the union has to re-negotiate the contract with the owners. If anything, in 2011 most fans were neutral and just saw it as millionaires versus billionaires, now the fans see the players as more of thugs than ever before and see the owners as the ultimate example of greedy, villainous behavior.
2. NFL Redzone/Sunday Ticket and Fantasy Football- This is also a big problem because the NFL has reached such a Sunday popularity in a national environment, that it gives casual fans virtually no reason to go to the games, especially if they're located in a city with a bad franchise. Problem is, that popularity has peaked TV wise and they can't replace the fans they lost from the games to TV. Fantasy football and Redzone allow fans to focus on individual players and essentially just watch the big moments in each game rather than being stuck watching a bad game on local TV or in a stadium. This is a trend I think is irreversible and will hurt the NFL in the long-term. They'll never get fans to have the attention span for one game again (which is also why I think Thursday night football has hurt rather than helped them). With fans losing interest in one game, it will not only hurt from a ticket perspective but also from a merchandise perspective. Yes maybe they'll get jerseys of a player or two they like but team shirts and hats will go down along with secondary player sales.
3. Dying from the ground up- In college I had a professor first bring this up to me and it resonated with me right after I graduated that he was 100% right about how the NFL would go down. It will die because people will be too scared to have their kids play pee wee football and once that gets mainstream, there will be no prospects for high school, then we will first notice a heavy decline in the college football scene, then it will finally start to take shape in the NFL. If you think I'm being extreme, I'm not.
I don't think most casuals studying the NFL realize how much of a game-changer the CTE revelation was. It basically took everything the NFL had under its rug and revealed it to the public. This was knowledge that the NFL was dangerous to a player's brain and long-term health and that'd they would be mentally far gone once their careers ended. The ones most vulnerable were centers, the other offensive lineman, and defensive lineman. I'm in my 20's and have already seen guys I grew up idolizing get effected by this such as Junior Seau, who committed suicide right after he had an arguably hall of fame career, donated his brain to research, and it was revealed he had strong CTE symptoms. Kurt Warner, Hall of Fame quarterback, has openly stated that he will not let his kids play pee wee football. Then there have been cases in lower level sports such as Eric LeGrand from Rutgers who ended up paralyzed because of a tackle he tried to make on special teams and there have been a couple of high school players that have died on the field and training camp who's stories went viral. Quite simply, football is perceived as too high risk for most parents to willingly let their kids get involved in if they have other opportunities.
Football may be spared if they solely go after kids in poor neighborhoods and areas but I'm not even sure if that will be enough. It has the gladiator label attached to it and unless they transition to something like 7-on-7 flag football eventually, I expect football to be extinct in the next 30-50 years, and be considered as a gladiator sport next century that we were barbaric for participating in. By the way this is part of the reason the ratings are going down, there's a lot more penalties for soft hits now and fans notice the game is being watered down.
Why Other Sports are Dying:
I mentioned way back in the beginning of this post that I don't think the NFL is the only sport dying. I think this is actually a world of sports problem. Quite simply, I think sports have reached their peak. We are officially at the point where we are being over saturated with sports, people notice, and just don't have the attention span for 24/7 sports anymore with other viable entertainment options. We are heading towards a movie, TV show, and videogame society because all of those things are more relative than sports in this day and age. Some people view sports as just something for less intelligent people and also, sports are no longer a playground game. My dad told me all the time back in his 60s childhood, all kids had to do was play sports every day to socialize so they looked up to the guys that were the best. Now, the average kid doesn't play sports just for fun, they play it in a competitive, organized league so it has become exclusive and is turning off a mainstream audience more and more.
We also are seeing ESPN reaching its peak getting involved way too much in politics and are witnessing its large decline. They are also not getting away with charging cable companies nearly as much as they use to. People just don't care about 24/7 sports channels like they use to.
Also, the Olympics and FIFA are going to have a big problem and it's sort of already happening. They rely on countries to build brand new stadiums and arenas for the Olympics and World Cup, but countries are catching on and realizing it does almost nothing for tourism compared to the money they have to invest. There will no longer be competition to host and it will only go to established sports countries like the US and Western European countries who already have the facilities. Qatar could be a game-changer from a human rights standpoint in FIFA.
The NFL is being targeted the most because it's the most dangerous but I can see plenty of other sports start to take bullets in the next 50 years. Ones already on the way to extinction are boxing and baseball because they both fail to adapt to modern times. Boxing is viewed as inferior to UFC now and baseball is viewed as too slow and boring by most, so it loses the casual audience.
Then we have sports I can easily be seen targeted for having too much violence, kind of like the trend the NFL is on but it could take longer. These include the UFC, the NHL, and horse racing. Hockey can be a violent sport with its own concussion problems and players losing teeth and on top of that is a very exclusive sport because it's hard to play hockey without an organized league. The UFC is an easy target because it's a straight up fighting sport and horse racing can eventually be targeted for animal abuse.
The future is in these three sports:
1. Basketball- I see this as being the #1 American sport by 2050. It's literally the last one left that has survived the exclusiveness of organized leagues and has minimal long-term health risk with a lot of fast-paced action. It is a perfect modern sport because it is still played in every neighborhood, is relative, has clear stars people can look up to, and people don't end up mentally screwed up once their careers end. Not to mention it's already a major sport so doesn't need much growing.
2. Soccer- There are injuries in this sport but it's already the most popular sport in the world that kids on the dirt roads of Africa can even play so like basketball, it keeps the neighborhood sport growth very well and it's inclusive. There are potential leg injuries but I think that this is an acceptable risk for most people, the money is already there in European leagues, and it is a worldwide sport.
3. Golf- This is a distant third but my main argument for golf is that I see it being in absolutely no danger of being targeted as a sport compared to some others. The sport is trending upwards unlike most. There are a lot of young stars in the game promoting positive sportsmanship to young kids and careers of stars last a lot longer than other sports. It is also getting more competitive than ever, has players from all over the world, and it is a privately funded sport by the 1% so they are a lot less reliant on the fans than say football or baseball. Not to mention, there is A LOT of money to be made in golf with arguably the most minimal risk to health in any sport. My dad pointed that out to me and I realized from an opportunity and business standpoint, it is a great sport to introduce kids to. It's not as exclusive as one might think either, considering there's plenty of public golf courses in this country.
By the way it took about 90 minutes to write this whole post so I hope people know I did honestly put a lot of thought into this response.
Golf courses, many are shutting down. Golf is the quentsential 1% sport and the game has botched attempts to open up the game to non suburban kids. Where are all the young urban black players coming up from after Tiger Woods? Golf was so tone dear to not use Rider to grow the game to new populations and it still sits as a old man sport that only old rich white guys play. Golf is also void of big start power, it's getting better, but they need a bunch of Americans who are good and consistently good to get people engaged. Tiger and Phil Mickelson was must see TV in their prime.