The NFL is dying

kosko

Peacock
Gold Member
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.
 

rudebwoy

Peacock
Gold Member
Rugby is never going to be huge in the USA.

The NFL is huge in the UK, selling out Wembley stadium every time they host games there.

I wouldn't say hits are glorified, I wouldn't want to be hit by JJ Watt or James Harrison.

Oh well, there is always college football which is just as entertaining.
 

Renzy

Pelican
britchard said:
Rugby is going to be huge in the US. The main issue with the NFL is the head injuries and brain trauma. Parents will be guilt tripped in to not signing their kids up to 'football' when they see the frankly horrifying statistics on brain trauma for American football players.

In the last few years, in both 'football' and rugby, the huge hitting tackles have become glorified. Players go harder and harder, and the sports become hyper-professional. However in rugby there aren't any helmets or pads, and tackles have to be under the armpits, and at children's level below the waist.

The NFL has to change. Or it will disappear.

It's only anecdotal, but this pretty much matches what I'm seeing.

Where I live the city's youth football league is seeing big declines, especially at the younger levels (mighty mite/anklebiter, pony, etc), to the point where they're having trouble fielding teams. But rugby seems to be expanding and I'm seeing more youth teams crop up each year. They start out with touch until 11-12 age range and then move into tackle.

My neighbor's got his son playing in one of the youth teams. I went out to watch one of the games last summer and the tackling looked a lot different - more like pulling the other guy down than crashing into them. I'm not that familiar with rugby, but the rugby coaches made a point to explain to the parents there that the tackling in rugby was safer than in football. I think they are using the safety concerns about football to their advantage, and from what I can see it seems to be working. If you watch the kids, they do seem a lot more careful when there's no helmet or pads to protect them.
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Change of opinion requires a slow, long build-up of disagreement followed by a tipping point. The straw that breaks the camels back.

For the NFL, it was Colin Kap. I can't believe how many adult men, aged 30-60, I've spoke with who don't watch the NFL anymore. Die hard fans who don't care anymore. When I ask why, they all give the same answer. "Fuckin' Colin Kaepernick BS...I'd rather watch LSU..."

I used to be a huge NBA fan. Over the past few years I stopped caring as much. This past season was my tipping point. Between LBJ's hate crime hoax and this video, I'm done.

 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
I think rugby 7s has a good potential for growth in America. Open game, fast, open field running, intuitive, no large scrums compared to XVs, tournament format, and olympic sport to boot. XVs is a bit weird for outsiders if you didn't grow with the sport.

The NFL is OK as far as the game itself. It suffers from having too long a season (nothing like the NBA, MLB or the NHL, but individual games don't have the weight they do in the NCAA), but things start picking up towards teh end with the scramble for the playoffs. The game has improved with more open offenses and the talent level at QB has been high. Teams like GB, NE or Seattle have their own personalities.

Soccer is going to keep growing albeit slowly in the US. One barrier is the lack of homegrown talent and potential for World Cup glory, the USMNT hasn't progressed much on the world scene since the 90s.

On the health front, football is going to slowly decline in the Blue regions but it will stay strong in the South, Texas, and many midwestern red states.
 

puckerman

Ostrich
The thing I hate most about pro football now is that everyone is gutless. Nobody takes chances any more. How often do you see anyone fake a punt or a field gold? How often does someone go for it on fourth down? How often do you see teams take field goals instead of going for touchdowns?

Take some risks now and then. That is what makes it interesting. About the only place you see it anymore is in high school football.
 

Razor Beast

Woodpecker
The political activism and anti-male/pro-women agenda is the biggest turn off with sports these days. I don't see non-American sports ever gaining wide popularity. Soccer would be the only one I would pick due to demographic shifts. But not enough scoring to be entertaining, just people kicking a ball around for a couple hours. Thug culture in NBA makes it hard to get widespread appeal. It's the same way with NFL but to a lesser extent.

The other problem is lack of parity in NFL and NBA. You pretty much know it will be one of a handful of teams that win the championship every year before the season even starts. Baseball has far more parity which makes it more entertaining. They just need a shorter season, more teams making the playoffs, and make the playoffs longer.
 
I fear for MLB. 162 games per season is ridiculous I don't know how that's economically sustainable in the future to get people to keep buying tickets. Hell, there's minor league teams all over selling tickets too. It makes more sense those small countries that basically the kids only play soccer and another sport. USA has so many sports its ridiculous, like those retail shops closing down I don't see how many of these sports leagues will last.
 

Razor Beast

Woodpecker
Hispanic parents are going to have their kids playing baseball and soccer. Its a growing demographic in the US. Baseball is very popular in Latin America, Caribbean, and South America. Baseball is not going anywhere. They do need to shorten the season though. That will be tough to sell to the owners. The biggest growth for baseball right now is probably in Asia. China could become a huge baseball hot spot in 20-30 years.
 
The biggest threat to all sports is the loss of television revenue. That's where the bulk of the money comes from, but less Millennials are buying cable and satellite tv packages. There's simply no cash cow in the long-term to justify $10m+ per year contracts. All major league sports will have to come to terms with doing business in a New Normal economy that doesn't support their current business model. The league owners seem largely out of touch. They've been riding a cash cow for decades, but that cow is about to throw them off its back very soon. People just aren't watching sports on tv like they used to, and ticket prices are out of reach for many in the middle class. Hard times ahead for all sports leagues IMHO.
 

komatiite

Pelican
Gold Member
YankeeTravels that was a solid post, enjoyed your takes.
One thing though, I don't know if Golf is as popular as you make it out to be. Yes everyone loves Masters Sunday or a showdown in the US Open but I've noticed some trends. Nike stopped making clubs and adidas sold TaylorMade to some private equity firm. Without Tiger I think the PGA has taken a bit of a hit. What a great era the early 2000s were for golf, Mickelson, Vijay, Ernie, Tiger and Duval. Will Speith, Rickie, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, DJ, Scott, Rory or Jason Day and Oosthuizen be able to generate the same buzz as those old legends? Furthermore, check out this article from NY Post:

And for Generation Y, at least, the answer is no. According to the National Golf Foundation, there are an estimated 24.1 million golfers in the United States, down from 24.7 million in the previous two years and over 5 million fewer than played the game in 2005. In 2013, for example, golf in the United States lost over 400,000 players, half of whom were millennials.

https://www.google.ca/amp/nypost.co...ing-golf-because-its-too-hard-and-boring/amp/

There still are very large purses though. Big corporate sponsors. It will be interesting to see if this trend of Millenials that don't like golf continues and starts to hit the PGAs bottom line.
 

NightVale

Sparrow
Step 1: Find a male dominated interest.
Step 2: Dumb it down so it will suit women because double the $ and also sexism is bad.
Step 3: Profit. Well, more like watch the profits wither away.
Step 4: Move on to the next male dominated interest to find ways to destroy it. Because why should guys enjoy anything in life?

A lot of guys I know got red pilled because of Gamergate. Meanwhile way before that women journalists invaded sports locker rooms and dumbed down the commentary and in the business world made business newspapers into little more than gossip columns because female readers complained about the columns being too long.
 

N°6

Ostrich
911 said:
I think rugby 7s has a good potential for growth in America. Open game, fast, open field running, intuitive, no large scrums compared to XVs, tournament format, and olympic sport to boot. XVs is a bit weird for outsiders if you didn't grow with the sport.

The 13-aside Rugby League (as opposed to the 15-aside Rugby Union) would be interesting to North Americans. The five tackle system is where American Football got the down system from. It is physically more demanding than Rugby Union as it is faster, has less stoppages and the tackles tend to be three defenders on one attacker.


As a whole, multi-channel, subscription TV sports channels have damaged male team sports as this brought about the sad fact that young men prefer to watch sports than train and play them, the uber professionalism has brought about the franchise system, players have no loyalty to the club and the traditional fan base is priced out from going to the stadiums to watch the matches.

A sign of decline is the sudden appearance of the women's games on mainstream TV. As we know, we women ascend to positions which were once for men (politics, civil life, the church, sports etc), it isn't the cause of the decline, it is a symptom of existing decline.
 

Prufrock

Robin
el mechanico said:

This is the day I ditched it.

Starting as a way to pay my way through college, I worked as a room service waiter in luxury hotels in a major market for many years. I served hundreds of celebrities and pro athletes during that time, and noticed a number of patterns.

Neon Deon is one person I served multiple times. He was always very nice and a generous tipper, so I can't hate on him.

One thing I noticed about pro athletes is that the Hall of Famers or future Hall of Famers and those who had a future or current career in broadcasting or front office work were always courteous and tipped well.

The biggest assholes were the flash in the pan athletes who might have been hot at the time but ended up bankrupt and with all their bridges burned.

Athletes usually tipped in cash, anywhere from 20 to 100 to even 1000 dollars for an order. The latter tip was usually for a few bottles of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne and red wine like Opus One or Phelps Insignia.

Beware the pro athlete who orders Moet instead of Cristal. He is usually a cheap bastard!

All in all it's a pretty good gig. if you are a night owl there are worse jobs to have.
 

Vaun

Hummingbird
Gold Member
rudebwoy said:
I started the NFL thread, I was a die hard fan for decades.

The breast cancer thing grinds me and annoys me to no end. What the fuck about a disease that kills men like prostate cancer.

Turned on Monday night to see my beloved Chargers, they had a woman calling the plays. I stayed with it for like 5 minutes, thinking she must be a sideline reporter. When I realized she wasn't, I turned off the TV and went to bed.

The West is fucked, the agenda to turn men into women is stupid.

This is it in a nutshell, for why the league is dying. Last weeks Monday Night Football was a total disaster on all sides. The woman calling the game on ESPN had zero experience calling any sort of sporting event, let alone Monday Night Football. The sideline twerp had to take to Twitter and issue a sobbing apology about his lousy performance. They took him off the air after his awful sideline reporting.
 

beta_plus

Pelican
Mature Market & Cord Cutting

Feels like it's 2 main things for the NFL.

1. They have maxed out all revenue streams. Ticket prices, miserly stadiums, TV Ads, DirecTV to get Sunday Ticket, gouging municipal tax payers for new stadiums, etc... - there just is no more that they can squeeze. The NFL's market has matured.

Especially ticket prices and the stadiums.

I remember for the '13-14 playoffs wild card round teams couldn't sell out stadiums for the playoffs, including the Green Bay Packers. You can charge $150 a ticket for nose bleed seats for the NE Patriots, but not the Rams, Chargers, and 49ers. I wonder what the average ticket prices (including all taxes & fees) and beer prices were for those empty California games last Sunday. I'd pay $35 after taxes & fees for nosebleed seats & $10 beers to see the Rams, but not $100+ and who knows for beer.

As for the miserly stadiums, 2 Decembers ago I paid over $100 for the non-playoff bound Ravens for a top deck seat in a 1/5 empty stadium. I was curious what it was like since I'd never been to a regular season NFL game before. I couldn't believe how tiny my seat was. Southwest has lazy boys by comparison. If I had gotten stuck between 2 obese football fans, I would have been miserable. I decided that I'd much rather be at a college game in an old school stadium.

2. Cord cutting.

Everyone under 40 is doing it. ESPN is fucked because of it. I never had cable and with amazon prime & netflix, I don't see why anyone would want it. The only thing that sucks is not being able to buy Sunday Ticket. I'd bet that much of the drop off in ratings is because people under 40 refuse to pay year round for DirecTV just so that they can pay for Sunday Ticket on top of that. As well, many young people probably physically can't get DirecTV since if you jack up housing prices in large sections of the USA and stick everyone in north facing apartment buildings, it's impossible to get satellite. I used to work with Nielsen's system and it can easily break this down by demographics and allow you to do year over year comparisons. It's telling that no one who has access to their data is discussing how the ratings fall splits up among age groups. I think plenty of under 40s want to watch the NFL and would pay for Sunday Ticket, but only streamed and with no strings attached.

While I don't like mass immigration or all the protests, I'm not really buying the demographics or PC arguments in this case. They probably have some impact but get drawfed by the 2 reasons above.
 

redbeard

Hummingbird
Gold Member
John Michael Kane said:
The biggest threat to all sports is the loss of television revenue. That's where the bulk of the money comes from, but less Millennials are buying cable and satellite tv packages. There's simply no cash cow in the long-term to justify $10m+ per year contracts. All major league sports will have to come to terms with doing business in a New Normal economy that doesn't support their current business model. The league owners seem largely out of touch. They've been riding a cash cow for decades, but that cow is about to throw them off its back very soon. People just aren't watching sports on tv like they used to, and ticket prices are out of reach for many in the middle class. Hard times ahead for all sports leagues IMHO.

They're largely out of touch.

I used to be pretty active on /r/NBA. Every year there's a bunch of people interested in getting NBA League Pass to stream games on their laptop.

The problem is the service is absolute shit. IIRC

-Stream quality was bad
-No playoffs/Finals
-Still subject to local blackouts

If the leagues could work out realistic streaming options, they would make a shit ton of money.

I don't have cable but I still have weeknights where I get the craving to watch NBA. If I could pay $3 to get a high quality stream I'd pay in an instant, just so I didn't have to go to the virus-ridden stream sites that exist today.

Same thing with the Finals, my roommate and I streamed every game because it was such a fun series. We put up with the stream failures, time delays, everything. If there was an easy option to buy the finals for...$25? We would've paid.

The founders of Spotify had this mentality. Somewhere in an interview they said something like "if you make legal streaming easier and faster than illegal, everyone will use legal." Same thing with sports.
 
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