Boots & Sabers

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0741, 16 Jul 20

NFL On the Brink

Victor Davis Hanson is on point, as usual.

Given that about 13% of the U.S. population is black, and given that the Black Lives Matter movement embraces concepts like proportional representation, today’s NFL teams hardly qualify as diverse. Social activists might argue that the league should mentor and recruit more Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans to better reflect their percentages of our diverse national population.

Perhaps an NFL compromise could ensure that 30% of coaches and owners are nonwhite, thus reflecting current U.S. demography. But then, in reciprocity, the players would match such mandatory demographic diversity — leading to Native Americans, Latinos, Asians, whites and those of mixed ancestry accounting for 87% of the player population. The NBA might also take note.

This progressive model of proportional representation could also apply to over-represented white athletes in hockey, tennis, golf and swimming — sports faulted by identity politics groups as being unfairly over-represented by whites.

Obviously, such racial gerrymandering will not happen because fans value meritocracy over ethnic affiliations.

Or at least they did.

If the multibillion-dollar NFL decides that multimillionaire players have no obligation to stand to honor a collective national anthem, and that there will be separate anthems and politicized uniforms, then millions of Americans will quietly shrug and change the channel.

I wrote about the NFL decline months ago. I’ve been a loyal NFL fan for my entire life. I used to be the guy that, if I could, would sit and watch 3 consecutive games on Sunday and looked forward to Monday Night Football. Within the last few years, I found myself less and less interested. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but I found myself tuning in for the Cowboys or Packers when they were on, but looking for other things to do during the other games. There are a couple of drivers.

First, the game itself has changed and slowed down. The inconsistent application of rules, incessant replays, and rules that overly favor the offense eroded the game. I used to know what a catch, or a touchdown, or a pass interference looked like. Now I have no idea. Even in slow motion with the benefit of replay, guessing the outcome of the call has become as uncertain as guessing the outcome of a decision of the Supreme Court.

Second, the activism and antics have become intrusive. I don’t watch sports to get yet another lecture on how I can be a better person or the evils of racism or police brutality or the history of racism in America. I watch sports for entertainment and as a release from the real world. It is fun to get all worked up and excited about something that, in the grand scheme of things, has no meaning in regular life. It’s entertainment and escapism. If I tune in to watch my Cowboys and am just bombarded with propaganda from every approved leftist cause on the planet, no thanks. I’d rather go for a bike ride, read a book, or get working on my “to do” list.

We’ll see how this season goes, if it goes at all. I’ll probably continue to tune in to start. But if it is just four hours of being told how awful America is and how bad a person I am, no thanks. I can get that on Twitter.


0741, 16 July 2020


  1. jjf

    of being told how awful America is and how bad a person I am, no thanks. I can get that on Twitter.

    Or other web sites.  Awful.  Just awful!

  2. Kevin Scheunemann

    Excellent post!   Completely agree.

    I am starting to find myself to not even watch Packer games if I have something better to do.   Used to clear my work schedule to watch Packers…, not so much.

    I don’t want to listen to a twisted woke leftist lecture watching sports,ever.

  3. dad29

    If the NFL loses, say, 30% of its viewership, that will be a whopping chop to the TeeVee income stream those teams get.

    Think $50-million contracts might be in danger??

  4. MjM

    @daddio: No, it will be the “little” guys that take it on the chin.

    First, CCPVirus-caused empty stadiums means the NFL will lose in the neighborhood of $5.5 billion in revenue (tickets, concessions, on site shops, parking, etc.). The Packers stand to lose $174 million, about a little more than 1/3 of their total revenue, while the Cowboys are looking at a $621 million loss, 65% of their total revenue.

    Players get cut of that revenue, per agreements made last March.

    As you probably know, KC just signed Mahomes to a 12-year half-billion deal. KC is in is in the middle when it comes total revenue, about $410 million, and like the Pack they stand to lose 1/3 of that this year, and that 1/3 is less than the guaranteed money of Mahomes’ 12-year contract. So, already KC is in the hole for the next 13 years. They gotta make up that $130mill loss somewhere.

    And it will all come out of the $2, 3, 4 million/ year contracts payed to linemen, second RBs, DBs, receivers, and everyone else down the roster.

    Now add the loss of revenue of disinterested and disgusted fans – or former fans, I should say – not buying team stuff or watching the Tube. Not sure exactly how to calc that result but if the first games are woke scold exhibits – and it sure looks like it’s going that way – the disinterest will skyrocket and ratings will tank a whole lot worse than they did a few years ago during the Kaperdick episode.

  5. dad29

    OK…..thanks for the numbers.

    As to “little guys” you didn’t mention all the hot-dog/beer vendors, ticket-takers, ushers, kitsch-sellers, and bar/restaurant workers near the stadiums who will be on unemployment (at best).

    Several months ago, it was apparent to me that the NFL was waaaaaaaaay over-exposed, with pro games filling 3+ days of every TeeeeVeee week.  As any smart woman knows, over-exposure leads to boredom real fast.

    While the NFL’s preaching is bad enough, I think their greed is what will ultimately take them down.  The only question is “How far?”

  6. MjM

    Daddio wonders:  The only question is “How far?”

    To the point of all the indoor football leagues;  bankrupt.

    Owen’s On The Brink take is close, but I believe it’s a wee shy of the current actual position.  IMHO, they are already over the brink,  dangling on the cliff, hanging on with 8 fingers, the first two having let loose over the initial Kaperdick fiasco followed by the second Kaperdick “tryout” fraud.  When the new short season comes out as NFL SJ Theater they’ll lose the other 3 fingers on the same hand.  The revenue losses mentioned above takes three from the other hand.   What follows will be players bitchn about salary/bonus cuts, owners bitchn about sharing revenue they no longer have, and Goodell responding with, “What? Me??” .  That will be the the end of it.

    You are right.  Steak all week, three times alone on Sunday, and you get sick of it.  I agree that the NFL has led itself to overexposure, particularly since they started Thursday Night (don’t get me started on Color Rush).

    But biznez does what it is supposed to do – go get mo’ money.  Nothing wrong with that.  The NFL, under Goodell, has just been utterly stupid going about it.  Football for fans is time, not an object.

    And let’s face it,  3/4 of the games are farces anyway.

    Hmmm.  Miami v Oakland (sorry… Las Vegas)  or watching paint dry.  Tough decision.

    (Part of the exposure problem, too,  is 24/7 sports talk radio and tube.  Though personally  I’ve never watched or listened to any of the ESPNs/CBSSN/NFLNETWORK/NBCSN or even the local TV/radio yakity-yak shows….. EXCEPT Chicago’s AM670 The Score.  Always fun to listen to just after the Packers beat the Bears.)

    And for the hot dog and beer humpers, they are the collateral damage.


  7. dad29

    Yah, I thought of sportsball-radio today, too.

    They won’t be missed here, either.

    I don’t agree with you that the NFL is within 1 (2?) season/s of going into free-fall; I think it will be longer, perhaps 5 years.  But then, it’s also possible that they will read the tea leaves and cut back the exposure AND the Woke crap.

    After the re-election, of course.

  8. Tuerqas

    Pretty much just a heartfelt “Ditto” on the post and commentary…

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