The Worst Way To Spend A Fall Sunday: Watching the Failing NFL

()football playerThis all started to come together for me recently. It was on one of those fine fall Sundays. I was lured outside by the beautiful weather. Together with some other people we went for a long walk in the woods; the following Sunday it was a trek over to the cranberry bogs. The people I was with had no concern for the NFL games that were being played and pushed into the millions of TV rooms in the country. We enjoyed the walk and the beauty of being outside at this time of year before the ground becomes frozen and icy and the forest trails impassable.

I remember thinking of the year the NFL went on strike. During that time no one really seemed to care. Most of the American people realized that the fall weather demands one to be outside. No one missed the games to the shock of the team owners.

I recognize that the NFL is like smoking. It becomes a habit. Habits are hard to kick and the real pleasures in life are lost because of the trap set for the people.

Then I thought that a lot of people must be catching on that the NFL with its longer game hours that are required so as to allow more commercials to benefit the cash strapped networks; with its trapping of families indoors or making the children fatherless; and the dreariness of the games is something that they can do without. Like smoking, they are thinking it is time to quit.

The last two Patriot’s games I turned on I found myself being bored. The slowness of the game, the incessant commercials, the repetitious actions on the field, and the unimportance of it all made me turn them off after several minutes.

Prior to this to relieve the boredom of watching the Patriot’s game I’d flip back and forth between it and Turner Classical Movies or even the Animal Planet.  As inane as the products being put out by those stations they seemed more appealing to me than the game. I’d miss huge chunks of it.

When I turned off the Patriots I went off to do something else which turned out to be more enjoyable and rewarding. There was a time when people read books; going on a trip back into history to understand some of the past was a lot more pleasurable than the games had become.

I accepted that I watched the Patriot’s when I convinced myself I was bored but realized that watching boring games when bored was hardly an uplifting experience. I might have as well been doing one of those ten thousand piece jigsaw puzzles that sits on a card table in an ocean front house where I sometimes get away to in Maine

The sad part of all of this is that I am talking about losing interest in my home team. You can just imagine how little interest I have in those other teams that now play in addition to Sunday on three nights during the week. It is hard for me to believe that anyone would take the time to watch them.  I know sometimes I march to the beat of a different drummer but I can’t help but feeling that there are lots more out there like myself who have found most of the NFL games mind numbing and meaningless. Who cares if the Chicago Bears beat the Minnesota Twins; or the Saints beat the Blue Devils?

We are told that the interest in and audience of the NFL is still growing. I know it is trying to become more woman friendly  — do they still have the day when everyone wears pink to show their concern? But I have the feeling things are not as good as we are told. I read a while ago that the NFL “has repeatedly misunderstood the public sentiment, and vulnerability has crept in.”  It sure has like a little cancer.

The 32 billionaires who own the 32 player confederacies and the networks that vied so hard for their business know better than I that the down slide has begun.  I assume that is why they, and the networks that made them into billionaires, are diversifying. They’ve chosen an interesting place to invest: they are putting their money into gambling enterprises.

One thought on “The Worst Way To Spend A Fall Sunday: Watching the Failing NFL

  1. Terrific post, Matt.

    “I recognize that the NFL is like smoking. It becomes a habit. Habits are hard to kick and the real pleasures in life are lost because of the trap set for the people.”

    Pity those who never get wise to this trap.

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