That’s the question being asked after the NFL’s big weekend. If the answer is yes, I’m fine with it!
For some background, NBC and the Wall Street Journal just issued a new poll obviously designed to make fans worry about both the short-term and long-term future of the enterprise.
The poll indicates that fans are paying less attention to the NFL than ever. Due to safety concerns, parents are increasingly encouraging their children from playing football. Fan interest is down across demographic lines, including all age groups, across the political spectrum, and even among young males.
Just 50 percent of men aged 18 to 49 say they follow the NFL closely, down from 75 percent four years ago.
The article I read on this never brought up the influence of Colin Kaepernick taking a knee or the commissioner going fully politically correct. A rather glaring omission I’d say.
Here’s why I won’t mind if pro football loses a big chunk of its audience. Roger Goodell and his bean counters are more interested in the economics of the business than the core appeal of the sport: a stirring athletic contest. Turning the league into a spectacle for the masses serves only to detract from the core appeal of the game.
I don’t care whether women are drawn to the sport. I don’t need cheerleaders, a 24-hour NFL TV channel, or billion-dollar architectural-wonder stadiums. I’m not interested in the Super Bowl as a two-week social extravaganza.
I’d be perfectly content if the NFL had a following similar to that of the National Hockey League. It’s too bad that powerful people have let financial aspects overshadow the great athletic contests that takes place down on the gridiron.
Remember when NASCAR was a regional pastime embraced by southerners. Now they’ve built racetracks in California and Nevada, Michigan and Iowa, New Hampshire and Canada. I don’t follow NASCAR, but I’d guess that a lot of the fans hark back to the good old days.
I sure as hell don’t care if the NFL ever has a division in Europe.
Bigger isn’t necessarily better.