What’s Wrong With The NFL

Pretty much the only reason I ever owned a television or had a cable subscription was so I could watch sports. Growing up, we only have a few channels and they were often so fuzzy you could not watch them. Television was just not a central part of my life as a kid, so I never developed the habit. I grew up on sports, so as I got older, I did what everyone else did and got cable and a television. In truth, I bought my first TV after a girl I was dating said she would not come over to my place if I did not have a television.

Over the years, the only thing I bothered watching with any regularity was sports. Even as the cable companies kept jacking up the rates, I liked sports enough to keep paying the rate. In fairness, the number of games kept rising and the quality of the television got better, as the prices went up. When I was a kid, we got one NFL game on Sunday. If I want to watch every NFL game on a Sunday, I can do it now. The same is true of college and other sports. It really is an amazing change just in my lifetime.

I no longer have a cable subscription. I will watch movies off Amazon or off the Kodi, but that is the stuff I can get free. I stopped watching the NFL a few years ago, even when I still had cable. I am not sure what happened. The games just got boring to me. I will still watch a college football game, but I am not arranging my schedule around it. Basketball stopped interesting me in the 90’s, mostly because I am white. The only sport I will watch is baseball and I primarily follow it over the internet and through the box score.

It is popular to say that the NFL is struggling due to the player protests. There is certainly something to that, but it feels more like the final straw than the prime reason. I have friends who were regular fans, going to games and watching on TV, but now they do not follow the NFL at all. At the same time, they cut the cord and started disengaging from sports media too. That is not just the protests. There is something else going on in the culture that is causing people to rethink their interest in professional sports.

A few years ago, it was received wisdom that the NFL, and to a lesser extend college football, was the tent pole holding up the cable business. Americans were football crazy and they would pay the price to have their weekend games. Now, ESPN dropping the NFL is no longer a crazy idea. They are getting killed by cord cutting, but they are also paying huge money for professional sports. They are preparing for another round of layoffs. There is a limit to cost cutting. Anyone involved in downsizing knows it is just a way to stall.

The question no one seems to ask is why has the NFL lost its appeal? Again, the decline has been going on for a few years. Ratings were dropping before the players decided to demonstrate their hatred for white people. If we could get an honest accounting of ticket sales, my bet is those have been in decline as well. People in the secondary market say prices have been dropping for years, which is a good indication that retail sales were sliding too. For some reason, normies in America are losing interest in football.

One possible explanation is that supply created a bubble of demand. We tend to think of economic bubbles as demand driven but take a look at the bookstore business. There was a time when the bookstore was the small shop selling bestsellers at the mall or a shop in the bohemian section of town. Then all of a sudden, every town had a massive warehouse selling books. Of course, Amazon came along too. Book sales went up until people remembered they did not like reading that much. Poof. Bookstores went away.

Maybe something similar is happening with sports. In the 70’s, it was rare for a sporting event to sell out. Big games were a hard ticket, but even some title games failed to sell out. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, the NBA playoffs were on tape delay. The famous US hockey win over the Soviets was not broadcast live. In the 80’s, new arenas and the roll out of cable made everyone a sports fan. Then the girls got into it and being a sports nut became the way people related to one another in the public.

It could be that after a generation of sports mania, people are remembering that watching live sports is not all that much fun. Just as the culture changed with the new flood of sports television and high end sports arenas, the culture is changing again as the novelty of those things wear off and people rediscover other entertainments. We tend to think of fads lasting a week or maybe a summer, but maybe some things run their course over a generation. Maybe as the Boomers fade, their cultural items are fading too.

If you think about it, Boomers have driven other sports fads that have come and gone. In my youth, tennis was important. Boomers were young enough to play tennis, so they watched tennis too. Then the boomers got old and moved onto golf. Tennis collapsed and golf took off. Now, Boomers are getting too old for golf, so it has fallen into decline. Maybe that is what is happening with professional sports like the NFL. The demographic cohort that blew the sports bubble is expiring and the bubble is collapsing.

It is not an elegant answer, but there is no obvious reason football has a stink on it all of a sudden. The games have been over-hyped circuses for a long time. They actually made some changes to quicken the pace and shorten the games. The cost of attendance is ridiculous, but you never hear that as an explanation for the sudden decline. Even so, that would not explain the free fall in TV ratings. Whatever the cause, it is part of a much longer trend and not the result of one thing, like the player protests.

145 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With The NFL

  1. Some black NFL players are whining about racial injustice in the US even as they show up to work in $5,000 suits, driving $100,000 cars from their $5 million and up mansions. You don’t need to be whitey to see the irony in that.

  2. The reason for me was the “thugification” of the NFL. When they removed the morals clauses from players contracts and it became an unending “who got caught doing what” it was the end for me. It didn’t help when they stopped showing the cheerleaders and halftime shows to show a hasbeen/neverwas talking about the game.

    • The rapid thuggification of the NFL was part of the plan all along. You people are so dense. First they got you to think Football is America’s sport and is for tough blue collar white men who like cheerleaders. Once that was established they started applying affirmative action and rule changes to benefit blacks (same happened in basketball). Finally it ends up with most white guys spending their free-time wearing Jerseys of blacks and worshipping them while their girlfriends wonder why they aren’t dating black guys since the best white guy they could find seems to worship them given his every spare opportunity.

  3. Used to bleed NYGiants blue, probably didn’t miss a game for 20 years, including some ridiculous efforts to find a sports bar when I lived in the rural Deep South before the days of serious cable TV football accessibility.

    But I stopped watching the NFL cold turkey after the ref lockout. It was so petty on the owners to save a tiny amount of money and the quality of the officiating was so terrible, that it dawned on me: They actually don’t give a shit about the sport. Why should I?

    I was amazed at how easy it was to let it go. I had more time for my children on weekends, or work around the house, or read or just do stuff.

    One thing I didn’t see mentioned in Zman’s article or any of the comments in the creeping suspicion of the public–or at least a bunch of guys I know–that the sport is FIXED. Not every game, not all the time, but sometimes. Nobody can prove it, but a lot of people suspect it. I know I do.

    But the brain damage, the gangsterism and violence against women (and children!), the clown CEO, the dithering over the anthem protests….like any kind of relationship that ends, it’s never any one thing. It’s a bunch of things that build up until the breakup arrives.

    I don’t think the NFL is ever coming back. I think the rejection may even quicken, as it becomes uncool to support football for any of the reasons cited in my earlier paragraph.

    One thing I read in the comments that I don’t agree with is that the media shits all over baseball. I don’t get that at all. Who is shitting all over baseball?

    Finally, I tried to register to post on this site but Google and Twitte wouldn’t let me. Do they hate you, ZMan, or is NSA trying to keep us apart?

    • As a 50 year plus, NY Giants fan, I have to agree. Have Sunday ticket and watch the games each weekend for the last 19 years living here in Texas, but I am more and more done. Lost interest in the weekly football pools and fantasy. I still watch the Giants when I have nothing else going on, but that is no longer sacred time in my house. No more football from 11am to 11pm, and I find I really don’t miss it that much.
      I also believe football as with anything with this much money involved is fixed. The NFL comes up with some type of storyline and that drives the games

  4. Sports were always a re-creation of the hero story, a ritual retelling.
    The NFL lost that primary purpose.
    Substituted brands and braggarts.

    Mythology is important.
    Corporate is not.

  5. I think the changes in mainline entertainment media has a lot to do with the rise and fall of major sports.

    Back before TV, baseball and radio were made for each other. There was only one thing going on at a time, and an announcer could easily describe what was going on: “Here’s the windup and the pitch, and it’s a high fly to center field. Jone catches it, throws it to third, and Smith is tagged out.” The mind’s imagination could fill in the details.

    Along comes TV. Football and TV are a natural fit. Once the ball is snatched, there are about 2 dozen bodies in motion, and the viewer is challenged to keep his eye on the ball (that’s part of the fun). It’s a feast for the eye. (A woman once said “If there’s color, motion, and someone keeping score, a guy will watch it.”) I watched some baseball on TV with my dad in the mid-60s; it didn’t seem to be as entertaining as football. (disclosure: as an adult, I watch neither; I’m just not into organized sports.)

    Along comes the internet, and as other have already noted, there are now competing alternatives for one’s attention.

    I think the NFL’s crash is partly (maybe mainly) due to the fact that they’re on the downslope of TV’s popularity as the major entertainment medium. Others have noted the increasing cord-cutting as homes shift more to internet-based diversions. Kids today are growing up without much interest in football.

  6. Quit NFL a few years back. All the PC crap. The kneeling was no surprise. Seemed like a natural progression.

  7. I stopped watching for the protests. Football was a thing you could talk about with anyone of any politics because it wasn’t political.

    I have a circle of friends that’s pretty Republican. The tone in my circle went from one where if you weren’t into football you were odd and possibly effeminate to one where if you watch the NFL you must like BLM and commies.

    Pretty amazing how the NFL ruined their brand so quickly.

  8. This is one of your best, Mr Z man. The decay of interest in “big-time” sports has no specific cause. It’s a sign of the times. To call Colin K and his imitators the “cause” of the decline of the NFL is kind of like blaming Alaric for the decline of Rome.

  9. People are now overloading on mind stimulation (mostly due to the endless preoccupation with smart phone internet browsing). There is only so much of this that the human brain can tolerate before it goes numb. Watching sports like football used to be a diversion from the tedium in life (and hence it’s appeal and therapeutic benefit). Now, just the opposite is occurring. Our minds crave recreation that is calming rather than jarring.

  10. The NFL’s suicide wasn’t enough for ESPN. They are working hard to destroy college ball by injecting women into the game; having them do the play by play, and delivering pre and post game commentary.

    Now there’s a 22 year old babe sitting in there with Paul Finebaum, giving everyone the benefit of her informed opinion on all and sundry every day.

    I predict that within the next decade the game will go to flag, with ejection and eventually lifetime bans for hard contact, so that the girls can play.

    • I can’t the presence of women in sports, especially football. It is another formerly male domain that has been compromised. It all started with Phyllis George.

  11. “girl I was dating said she would not come over to my place if I did not have a television.” Ouch.

  12. Sports will be fine. People of Color are the future but selfish white men have all the money. Once People of Color have a larger share of wealth they will spend it accordingly

    Only whites are against the kneeling and protests

    • See. Chronic negro fatigue.Do You Have�NEGRO FATIGUE?

      Chronic Negro Fatigue, or CNF, is one of the fastest-growing chronic fatigue syndromes. Month by month, the number of people who are experiencing the symptoms of CNF is growing. It affects primarily white people and Asians, mostly between the ages of 25 and 55, although anyone can experience it. City-dwellers are more likely than rural inhabitants to display its symptoms, but NF can strike any White person of any age or locale at any time.

      Are you among those suffering from CNF? Know these warning signs:

      1. Increased blood pressure when in the presence of Negroes, or when viewing images of negroes on TV or in print.

      2. Lack of concern with what negroes want, deserve, think, or feel.

      3. Diminished patience with behaviors typical of negroes, e.g., talking loudly in public, crotch-grabbing, ruining theatrical movies etc.

      4. Increased awareness of the number of negroes in one’s immediate environment.

      5. Hyper-alertness when encountering negroes in public.

      6. Lack of desire to view or listen to negro music, video programming, motion pictures, or other entertainments.

      7. Anomalous behavior (e.g., walking away in mid-sentence) when conversing with other White people who seem concerned with the welfare of negroes.

      8. Decreased resistance to using the “N-Word”.

      9. Increased feeling of annoyance when encountering someone that actually uses the term “N-word.”

      10. Scrupulous avoidance of contact with negroes at work, school, shops, etc.

      11. Hatred or cold indifference toward professional and collegiate sports, especially basketball; increased interest in White sports such as hockey, swimming, etc.

      12. Sudden lack of shame in White behaviors (e.g. earning a living, abiding by the law, monogamous marriage, wearing Dockers, etc.).

      • A.W.M……seems like you’ve just described why us ‘rural inhabitants’ don’t live in the busy bee hives. We un’s might just have had Chronic Negro Fatigue longer than you un’s ,
        and we un’s have done something about it……….soapweed

    • When the white people are gone, you’ll be working for the Chinese.

      They’ll teach you about selfish, and you’ll find them a lot less indulgent of colored people’s foibles.

  13. “The games just got boring to me.”

    There you have it in a nutshell. The NFL starting dumbing down its product, probably, to appease TV execs. I used to enjoy but I hate it now.

    Don’t forget the salary cap; that may have something to do with it, too.

    • My tastes have completely reversed in the last 25 years – I know I find college football much more interesting than the NFL.

      The NFL is boring because every team plays basically the same offense and defense. They used to want parity – well they got it. Mundane, mind-numbing, sameness throughout the league.

      In a college game I might see the quarterback option, wishbones, and all kinds of craziness. And I’ll see players and fans who actually care.

      • The game’s also purer at the college level.

        Guys are more about playing for the team, and the rules don’t permit any of the self celebrating shenanigans that have become the norm for the pros.

        You could say that the game is “whiter” at the college level, in both the literal and figurative sense.

      • This is the opposite of the solution.

        One of the biggest on field problems with the NFL is that a QB who’s basically an RB who can pass a bit puts the defense at a huge disadvantage. Sloppy, badly executed offense but effective – until that QB takes a hit that slows him a step then it’s a downward spiral as he slows more and more and gets hurt more and more badly from taking hits. People are used to seeing the development pattern of white QBs – if a white QB is as good as a black QB as a rookie he’s going to have a great career. A black QB is likely having his best season.

        In college this is magnified. The defenses are much much slower and less skilled (if maybe 10 or so defensive players become NFL regulars out of all of college football what does that say about the average college team). The payoff to running QBs is even higher.

        What’s the result? No one is training the next Tom Brady or Peyton Manning because the payoff goes to an NFL team 8 years down the road. Everywhere in our society it’s the same thing – sell out the future by not investing in training the next generation of whites because whites peak later and higher in lots of areas.

  14. Part of the issue, surely, is the feminization of everything in today’s society. With the growing concern over CTE/concussions, parents (read moms) not wanting little Timmy to potentially suffer life altering injuries, and the general wussification of America, it was only a matter of time before football too fell by the wayside. Think about it: what makes, or made, football so popular? In essence, its the classic analog for war that societies have needed to produce in order to keep their testosterone-driven male populace in some semblance of order. Now, “manly” men are derided as some archaic throwback, and the need for those analogs is seen as equally archaic.

  15. There are several reason I stopped watching the NFL.

    1. Gameplay and the clock. The WSJ added up the actual time of play at 11 minutes in a 3 hour game. The time between a TD and the next play from scrimmage is 5 minutes. There was a rule change awhile back that started the clock after out of bounds plays, which reduced the number of plays in a game, but it still takes 3 plus hours. More commercials made up the difference.

    2. All the SJW crap and criminal behavior of the players.

    3. The concussion issue made me feel dirty watching games. The NFL is basically a handful of greedy billionaires exploiting modern day gladiators for profit. I get that the players agree to lose their health and lives for short-term material wealth. But there is not enough money in the world to justify inflicting dementia and chronic pain on men in their 40s and 50s, no matter how gullible they were in their 20s and 30s.

    4. The owner corruption involved in moving teams from loyal markets, violating league rules, lying to cities and begging for welfare. Seinfeld was very insightful when he pointed out we basically are cheering for clothing:

  16. NFL has too many commercial breaks ( to pay for the rights and to pay for the salaries ). The players agents made it expensive. The owners made it expensive. They sold their souls to having to make money. Fine, but it changed the viewing/watching experience. Owners showed in the 60s-70s and since they could care less about their location. Players move all over the place looking for money. Meanwhile, the NFL keeps changing rules… emphasizing this or that new rule and ruining the game.

    Add in politics and marketing the game to go after womenz, so everything is explained. ( I joked to a buddy of mine years ago, I would love a audio feed you could click on, like SAP, where you’d hear a broadcast that assumes the viewer has watched football before and doesn’t need to have stuff explained… and add player inside knowledge instead )

    Anyway, it was foreseeable. This is like bankruptcy… slowly and then all at once. Will this lead to reduced salaries? TV contracts? IDK, it is going to be interesting to watch the failure. It’s only a matter of time before players start intentionally hurting other players or blowing games b/c they are mad, etc. I’ve not read any criticism of the players union either, and they are a big part of this stuff. A box indeed.

  17. Here’s what’s wrong with the NFL:

    1. Player protests. Mandating that the players stand won’t help now as the genie is out of the bottle. People know how the players feel about America.
    2. Poor sportsmanship: Showboating, end zone dances, shitting footballs, etc. For the most part, the star players act like it’s all about them, not the team.
    3. High ticket and concession prices: Companies buy up blocks of tickets and give them away to clients and employees. If Joe six pack wants to take his kids, he can’t afford it. At a recent SF Giants game, a draft beer was $14.

  18. Football needs to change its rules; the games are too damn long, there are WAY to many commercial breaks and there is far more non-action than action.
    If you have watched world class rugby, you know what I mean.
    If I recall correctly, somebody actually timed (with a stop watch) the amount of time of real action in a pro game; it was something on the order of 10 minutes or so (in a THREE HOUR game !) .

    Here is a suggestion: allow a team to line up any way they damn well please and have as many “receivers” and running backs as they choose. If a team wants to send out the center to receive passes- after he has hiked the ball – so be it.
    Let the defense figure out what they need to do.
    These changes would force teams to stop hiring big, fat, slow, ape like humanoids and hire smart, big, real fast and agile players.
    You know, real athletes.
    Aside from this, keep all the other rules.

    This would certainly liven up the game.

    Baseball needs to change the rules too.
    Here is a suggestion or two:
    1. Once the batter is in the batter’s box, he cannot step out of it (way to much time wasted futzing around with their gloves, testicles, jock itch, helmet, shoes, bat, etc.
    2. Install a “pitchers clock.” The pitcher has, say, 15 or 20 seconds to throw the next pitch, or the batter automatically gets a “ball” in the batters count.
    We live in the hi-tech world. Basketball has had a shot clock for how many years?? No reason one cannot be installed behind the batter’s box.
    3. No more “staff meetings” at the pitcher’s mound; it’s just another waste of time. They probably are chatting about which pizza joint they should visit at games end.

    Lastly, if black players don’t like their teams or their leagues, they should recruit the 50 wealthiest blacks ( you can start with Ofra) and most influential (B.HUSSEIN Ocommie) blacks, raise the $$$$ and buy their own teams or start a “blacks only” football or baseball or basketball league.
    No reason why it should not work. Football and basketball are really now all black and baseball is nearly becoming a non-gringo sport.

    Or just watch the shows on Amazon Prime and Netflix. It’s cheaper and more entertaining. (though the Rugby World Championships should not be missed!!!).

    • Football need to speed up the game. It also need to eliminate the specialists. The goal is to keep the same 11 or so guys out there playing continuously. This will greatly reduce injuries and make for more action. Cut the roster down to 50 guys and put an end to all the breaks, and the game changes for the better.

      Baseball really only has one major issue and that is the constant stalling around by players. Get the games into the two hour range and they are fine. As you said, once the at-bat starts, it does not stop unless the ump calls time out. That lets the pitcher work quickly. Fans are not interesting in long at-bats. fans want the ball in play and the runners moving on the bases.

      • As a young man, I loved Bill James, but to be honest, all the Sabermetrics stuff has really done a lot to slow the game down, and make it more boring. A game played in the most “rational” way is not necessarily the most interesting or enjoyable for fans.

        • You’ve nailed it. The same thing happened to chess when the Russians took the game over after the war.

  19. A piece of the puzzle is that young men, 20’s, 30’s, use video games as their primary source of entertainment. If a young guy is watching TV it’s because the show is especially good somehow, or because his girlfriend/wife wants to. This warps what sells.

  20. I got into Australian Rules football while being in Australia most winters. Took awhile but realized just how bad the NFL is.
    Armored giant Blacks with room temp IQ’s playing “for” a team like a mercenary works for a country.
    That and the razzle dazzle American sport BS and the fact that some small amount of football breaks out once in awhile between constant official interference and commercials, more commercials and still more commercials.
    I still listen to college football, mostly because Wisconsin in #5 with a bullet but not the NFL.

    • When I lived in Australia, I accidentally discovered “Don Lane’s American Football,” which was a TV show where games played in America were edited down to around 20-30 minutes each.

      Although I’ve never been a football fan, I found this very enjoyable: it had all the action but left out all the crap. Normally, football bored me to tears, as it was mostly a minute’s worth of action, preceeded and followed by ten minutes of standing around. Then add commercials! No thanks.

      For a fast moving game, that is far more interesting to watch than American football, Aussie Rules is great. It requires strength, agility and speed; there are no armor-plated giants in it, and they’d be left standing like great lumps if there were. Players “take the mark,” i.e. catch the ball, far up in the air; how did they get there? They just jumped off some other player’s back, that’s how! It’s a game that goes unbelievably fast, compared to US football.

      The sad part is, that game will probably never catch on in America. Instead, we’ll get soccer; I’d rather watch paint dry. YMMV.

  21. I think you are missing a key component to why people are turning off pro sports, the political process of the last 50 years, and the “diversity is our strength” delusions. CNF. Chronic negro fatigue.

    • There’s definitely something to that! In general, it’s the ignorance that really gets me. The last straw was those idiots playing in London — kneel for the Star Spangled Banner, stand for God Save the Queen. Hey, geniuses, one word: “Amritsar.” Do you know what it means? No? Then shut the fuck up about national anthems and legacies of violence until you do.

      • The Superbowl halftime show with Beyonce foreshadowed all this. Her dance team “Ode to the Black Panthers” dressed as militants,and her stuffed into a bodystocking so tight she looked like a bratwurst about to burst its casing. Nice family halftime fare,Goodell.
        Horse racing courtesy of NBC lost me when they hired former figure skaters to do the color commentary. Johnny Weir dressed as “My Little Pony” giving his thoughts on the upcoming race proved to me NBC hates their viewers.

  22. I think people still love football but just hate the NFL. Witness how CFB has gotten more popular, though if it keeps on trying to mimic the NFL that may change. I do wonder if the domination of the NFL by blacks and their hot-dogging antics have turned off a substantial part of their white fan base.

  23. The NFL used to be run with the fantasy that the team was a local institution, ‘owned’ more or less by fans. Obviously outside Green Bay this has never been the case but despite greed on the part of the owners they were able to keep up this facade.

    Now the owners are unwilling to maintain this facade. They are unwilling to swallow their pride, to even pretend: “this is yours.”. Now they say, openly and shamelessly: “this is mine.”

    And we are saying: “you can have it.”

    • Except the teams now belong to the “inmates”. Smooth move, genius owners; at least Sterling got $2B for his nigshow; you guys will get Amazon shipping coupons for yours.

    • Here in San Diego we dodged a bullet. The Chargers owner was exactly as you said, “mine, not yours”. The prior owner, Gene Klein, was happy to mingle with the players and party with the fans, and sold the team because the ‘70’s Chargers drug scandal made him feel like the team had betrayed him.

      The Chargers owner wanted “us” to buy “him” a new stadium, because the old one was, well, old. Gotta keep up with the (Jerry) Joneses and all. If he had succeeded, we would have a half built stadium on our tab, a miserable team, and still the same awful (out of town) owner, a slumlord apartment developer from Stockton. Have fun in L.A!

      • The NFL left LA for a reason. In the 60s and 70s, the Rams’ home games were frequently blacked out on local TV since they could not sell enough tickets. Moving to Anaheim Stadium helped, but even Anaheim said to kiss off when the bill for luxury sky boxes and a new stadium arrived. The Rams’ and Chargers’ attendance woes are no surprise to old farts like me.

        • I was a huge St. Louis Rams fan, and loved the Greatest Show on Turf years. I was very upset when it became apparent Kroenke and the NFL were corrupt liars, and planned to move the team. It’s amazing how fast I got over it. I rooted for them to fail in LA for the first year, but now I could not care less. It’s so nice to have my Sundays free.

  24. The hot dogging and buffoonery did it for me. No class, no grownups, no discipline from above. Who needs to watch three hours of pop culture toxicity on a regular basis? Not me.

    • Alex Karras’s great antidote to the end zone dance was effective for a time, but now it’s time to turn the whole thing off.

    • Ryan;
      Why no love for horseshoes and shuffleboard any more_? They and croquet were the semi-active sports for Boomer’s parents. Still big in AZ & FL, I’m told.

  25. For me, it’s been the protests. And I’m not quite gone yet. Still have Sunday Ticket and watch… have been glad that Fox at least no longer shows the anthem or spends time talking about the players’ antics.

    I’m mostly just sick and tired of the left’s victim/sjw attitude infecting everything. Is there nothing sacred anymore?

    I actually think you can trace this back a bit further… the Redskins name non-controversy and Bob Costas using SNF as a platform to rant against guns.

    It’s just further evidence how out of touch these people are with average Americans.

    There are plenty of other ways to spend one’s Sunday… maybe next year will be the year…

    • Agree, all of this stuff just wore me down when it came to football, and in the end, the product just wasn’t good enough to overcome all the negatives. The protests were the last straw. But in addition, I just got tired of football, in a way that I can’t really put into words. Still like hockey, horse racing, and to some extent, baseball, so it’s not just an overall disenchantment with sports. I just got sick of the whole NFL package.

  26. Back in the day, you had players who played for the love of the sport. Once it turned to the love of the money, that’s when the downward trend started. Teams from all sports from the early 80’s backward were usually pretty stable, fans had their favorite players, players would sign autographs for the kids at the game, you didn’t need to mortgage the house to afford 4 tickets, parking, some food/drink and a couple of souvenirs for the kids.

    The collective bargaining, greedy players and owners amped it up. Now instead of rooting for team and the players you loved for years, every year or 2, the face of the team was different. Your favorite player skipped town to make more money playing for the arch-rival. Owners moving their franchises to greener pastures because a new luxury stadium at $1.3 Billion in cost would not be built for free for them, a big FU to the fanbase that supported the team for years. No more free autographs for the kids cause the player could earn $100 an auto signing at shows. Tickets that used to go for $25-$50 for fair seats now run $250-$500 each. Parking costs $50, 4 Hot Dogs, 4 drinks and a souvenir was easily another $100.

    Then endless stories of the sports-star thugs making millions now in bankruptcy after blowing it all on giant mansions and all-night parties during the off season. Felonies, misdemeanors galore. Because they are stars, they get off scot-free where you and I would be in jail for a lesser offense. Players holding out because $15 million a season was not enough, needed at least $25 million because they have to feed their family (Latrell Sprewell). The general public can no longer relate to these sports stars because today most of em are spoiled brats. The owners are assholes and the broadcast quality generally sucks. Back in the day baseball players finished the season and then went back to their 9-5 jobs at hardware stores and supermarkets.

    Zman is perfectly spot on. This has all been on the decline since the 80’s and the Krappernick saga was the final tipping point. Progressive SJW syndrome and virtue signaling are highlighting the twilight of our great American sports pastimes.

  27. Seems like all the early comments were dead on. The culture changed and as someone said below, atomized. The loss of spontaneous neighborhood games cut into the appreciation of the sport(s) from a distance. No one is having fun – they’re watching others not have much fun.

    And from personal experience, I could as a youth identify with most professional players. I was never going to BE Len Dawson or, I dunno, Ed Podolak, or Otis Taylor, but walking down the street I wouldn’t appear all that different from them and I could imagine that with enough work I could maybe have been okay.

    But all sports have become so programatized that regardless of size, all athletes are effectively Chinese ballerinas, selected at an early age to be that one thing. All quarterbacks are 6’4″, all linemen are nearly 300 pounds with what two generations ago would have seemed like super-human speed. I don’t know how boys could even begin to dream to identify with them.

    This was driven home further when my 6’0″ daughter got into basketball and discovered that even in 9th grade it was a year-round commitment with an implied sense of disloyalty if you wanted to even take a summer vacation.

    Finally – go ahead and wag your Imam finger at me – computer games, sports or otherwise are really, really fun and diverting in a way that 1) addicts, 2) further atomizes. If I had had those as a kid, I might not have made it to high school basketball. They are also quite expensive and are one of the unspoken causes of music and movies decline. There are just so many options that didn’t used to be there.

    • My daughter actively chose to quit her cross country team this year. The coach sent out a decree over the summer that missing more than 5 practices in the 10 week season would mean getting kicked off the team. They practice 5 days a week with meets on Saturdays. It’s roughly a 15-20hr/wk time commitment because her bloviating coach makes 24 minutes of running last from 3-6pm. Many of the meets are an hour or more away, and can last 4-5 hours.

      Because she plays violin, she would have “only” been able to run 3-4 days per week…and would have been kicked off the team by the end of September. Youth sports have grown into their own monster. So, we teach our kids to be athletic without being “Athletes”. They all know how to ski and snowboard on expert terrain. They can run and catch and kick and climb. My son can throw a tight spiral with enough pepper on it that I started taking my wedding ring off before we go out to have a catch. They climbed Buffalo Mountain (13,000 feet) with me in September.

      I think the NFL bubble is a sign of things to come in the youth sports arena as well.

      • I was wondering about the 4-5 hour cross country meets. When I was in HS, they lasted about 90 minutes. Get off the bus. Warm up. The boys would run. Break. The girls would run. Everyone gets on the bus and goes home. Since we often ran against other Catholic boys high schools, sometimes we were done in 45 minutes. With the exception of the Mt SAC invitational, all of the other invitationals would last about 2 hours with the extra 30 minutes needed to tabulate scores and present trophies and medals.

        The overspecialization and crazy time commitments in youth sports would be a great Z-topic, if he hasn’t written about it already. Funny thing is, even with all of the demands and commitment signalling, you look at the record boards for your typical HS track, swim, and XC teams, and you’ll find that most of the records were set in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

        • XC courses are 3 miles. That’s 16-24 min. Usually four waves with the A/B team boys and girls. By my count it’s about 90 min of actual running, but long gaps between waves. And then…lots and lots and lots and lots of standing around for results, and awards, and the Top 10 get recognized, etc. etc.

          The kids get out of school at 3:10. So they could change, warm up, run 5K, and wrap up practice in about 70 min. They usually finish between 5 and 6, and the last hour is often just them huddled in a circle when then coach talks.

          When she dumped XC, she got about 20 hours of her week back, no shin splints or drama, and more family time. I don’t miss it at all, and she never brings it up.

          • My lacrosse practices run an hour and a half. I feel that any more than that the kids lose focus. I try to limit standing around and keep everybody occupied. I also encourage my guys to do other things in the offseason other sports, or the play or something else. I love sports, but I want my kids to be well rounded.

    • Bingo on the Youth Sports. It’s fubar, with every two-bit coach in every flyspeck burg thinking he’s Billy Martin or Vince Lombardi. It’s all Travel Squads and year-round commitment. Regular kids drop out pretty young (or the other activities, like freakin’ Band, consume all their time), and so don’t develop much affinity for organized sports.

      Boys who didn’t grow up playing sports don’t often become men who enjoy watching them. Pro sports are losing their audience partly because youth sports became exclusive.

  28. If it can happen to America’s National Holidy (the Stuporbowl), then let us pray it can happen to the Media as well.

    And to the GOP. The Dems are soon to be the Black Party, and only that. LBJ’s ‘genius’ done bit them in the ass.

    And for what it’s worth, since I’m allergic to sports and know nothing about any of them, I think the ball started rolling with that Vick Whats-the-Shithead’s Name and the dogfighting.

    A zillion applicants, and this dick is so important you’ve got to bring him back? Get stuffed- FOAD, and give us our frickin’ money money back for the stadiums, you greedy pricks.

  29. 1. negroization of the league
    2. dilution of talent across too many teams
    3. too many games on tv
    4. too many commercials in each game
    5. diminished quality of play
    6. ownership by rich mens’ sons (i.e. retards)
    7. changing tastes in sports (hello soccer)
    8. explosion in costs
    9. corporatization
    10. chicks on the sidelines, and everywhere else
    11. huge increase in number of injuries (i.e. the cripple bowl by the end of the season)

      • Most of the world disagrees with you. The fact Americans can’t self-reflect about this is astonishing. Especially since Europeans are dominant in Soccer because it’s based on intelligence and teamwork. I really think you people have been brainwashed through too much television.

        • Soccer IS awful and ubearably boring, but football was an American thing, when being an American embodied a certain white male heterosexual ideal.

          Now that half the country are hyphenated-Americans, and it’s the fashion for everybody to hate white males, football is over.

          Your grandchildren will all have brown babies who love soccer.

          • The reason you don’t like soccer is because you associate it with immigrants. Has nothing to do with the sport itself. White Germans are the best soccer players. The fact you think negro-ball is a white man’s sport (maybe the quarterback is a white man position) is evidence of your indoctrination.

          • Flopping, showboating, and a general lack of sportsmanship seem endemic to soccer. Combined with the fact that it’s boring? No thanks.

            The real “international” game that’s worth watching is rugby union. There’s an old saying: soccer is a game for gentlemen played by hooligans; rugby is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen.

          • You all find soccer boring because you don’t understand it. You like Rugby and football because human males are enthralled by violence. In soccer violence is done to the ball, in football/rugby violence is done to the man to get the ball. Not all that different.

            Flopping hasn’t been a problem ever since they started penalizing it and Europeans are generally professional/don’t showboat much. But if you have a problem with a little celebration I think that reflects on you more than the sport. It’s all standard to have youth teams line up and shake hands after the game.

            The short of it is American football was intentionally created as a modern day Collossiuem through television and Blacks were intentionally thrust upon us as apex gladiators. You have been socially engineered.

          • The reason soccer has never dominated in the colonies is because we developed better sports. American football, rugby, Australian Rules and even ice hockey are better. No crying, pretending to be injured or games petering out into nil-all draws. The Middle Eastern teams are an embarrassment of bad sportsmanship. As for the crowd violence (which yes, has declined) well, we have better things to do.

          • You think rugby was invented in the colonies? The clue to its origin is right there in the name, genius. A lot of people LARPing as people with something to say around here.

    • RE: 6. ownership by rich mens’ sons (i.e. retards)

      Jeffrey Lurie’s mommy literally bought the Eagles for him.

  30. Got rid of the propaganda machine (TV) shortly after Al Buraq became president. Had Netflix for a year, never watched it once, then canceled. Thank you, NFL, for red pilling the country. Nobody does it better.

  31. We had a local mega-church out here in the 2000’s which was absolutely staggering in size. I think at one point they had 14,000+ registered members. When we would drive to mass on Sunday, we had to sit through the traffic jam of people trying to find a place to park. They started to occupy an empty field across the street that the church owned as over-flow parking. They ran radio and television ads to draw in more members, advertising not just their faith and devotion to Jesus Christ, but also that they had 250 different groups and organizations within the church from quilting to snowboarding.

    And then several years ago the pastor made national headlines when he was busted for taking meth and having gay sex with a black prostitute in Denver. And some nutbag tried to go on a shooting spree, killing a couple of people in the parking lot before a concealed-carry off-duty security guard took him down.


    Last week, on our way to church, their 9am service had a half-empty parking lot out front. I don’t hear their ads on the radio any more.

    The behavior and culture of the people who run the business matter. It doesn’t take much to pop that balloon.

  32. It’s two things, one you hit on:

    1. A generational thing, just like it was with horse racing and boxing and baseball, which were ‘the’ sports of the pre-Boomer generations (baseball managed to trundle on in this role until, oh, the mid-80s, when the generation most into baseball–the Silents–packed it in or were drowned out by the Boomers and football-mania). Times change, and people move on to new distractions.

    2. The fact that the broader culture is so atomized, it’s going to become increasingly difficult, if not outright impossible, to have a ‘national sport’ as was the case w/ any sport that has ever laid claim to the title. As we become one nation,, disunited (another wonderful Boomer legacy), there isn’t going to be that sort of unifying athletic force, likely ever again.

    • Your comment about baseball shows the power of the media. Baseball is a white sport, so the media makes war on it. Yet, baseball is in better financial shape than all of the other major sports. It’s attendance has been solid, even in the minor leagues. It has a sustainable TV model. Youth participation remains steady and there’s no looming liability over head injuries. Despite all the arrows pointing one way, the public thinks they are pointing the other, because the media blasts that from its megaphones.

      • Minor league baseball is a great example. We have a minor league team near where I live. It’s not marketed (very much) as “see future Major Leaguers!”; rather, it’s “a fun night out for the whole family.” Baseball fans who like the sport appreciate seeing it up close, but attendance is largely driven by business groups in the stands — coworkers and their families — and things like “Harry Potter Night.” It’s not the sport per se, in other words, but the experience – something big league sports have recently lost.

        • Baseball is different from the other major sports because it is not an event. Baseball is a long story told over the summer. The games are stories told over a few hours on a summer day. Fans can socialize, eat ballpark food, play with their kids, etc, while at the park. It’s why baseball is played in parks, rather than arenas. MLB is not without its issues, but it is the most stable of the main sports for a reason.

          • Being a San Diego fan, I hated the Dodgers, but I loved to listen to Vin Scully broadcast a game. It was a leisurely conversation, with a specific pace and trajectory. Even the Farmer John testimonial ads were woven into the conversation, rather than being an intrusion. Vin made you understand that each moment, each play, and each player had a role to play in an epic story that would play out over generations. Even Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine and Vero Beach in the spring had a vital role in the telling of the story. Just by listening, you the fan had a tiny role in the epic tale as well. You could also listen in for an inning or two, drop right into the game, and drop back out again. Vin was very good at keeping the important elements of the game-so-far (box scores and big plays) front and center, minute by minute. All gone now, but it was a nice ride, as a fan.

      • This is an excellent point, which many of us have overlooked. My city has a minor league baseball team. Even I have been to the games a few times. The ticket prices are reasonable, attendance is good and there are lots of guys there with their kids, many of them wearing the team ballcaps.

        Many of the players still tip their hats to the crowd.

        • Our team is low-minor, which helps I’m sure — most of these guys must know they have no realistic shot at the Bigs — but they are unfailingly polite and often go way out of their way to interact with fans. Sure, there’s always the one Next Big Thing with autograph hounds around him, but the other players spend lots of time with kids, do all kinds of community events, etc. They carry themselves as part of the city, even though most of them will only spend a few months here. I can’t see too many NFL guys doing that.

  33. In my younger days I could watch 6 games a weekend. Now I’m a dad and I barely have time to watch my own team. I’m not taking my kids to games to have some fat putz behind me call young millionaire athletes who are one-third his age “fuckin’ losers” for two hours. Maybe I’m getting too precious but whatever.

  34. Since blacks dominate sports, sporting events allow them to showcase their success. Non blacks are less enthusiastic about watching another group dominate their own. Rooting for the home team is less a force because our population is so transient and the players themselves come form all over the country – the world in fact.

    • 100% disagree. I couldn’t care less about the color of the athlete. I want to see the best.

      People seriously think about this sort of stuff??

      • But are you seeing the best? What makes you think the politization of sports hasn’t brought in AA there, too?

        • money. money. money. owners want to win, so they play the best players they can find. except for QB, that’s usually a black.

  35. When I was a kid, each sport had its niche – most boys “followed” most of them, but you were only a “fan” of one sport, based on your self-concept: Baseball for the nerdy kids, football for the jocks, basketball for the blacks, etc. Age mattered, too – you “graduated” from baseball to football as you got older (and anyone who was into boxing was over 50, a degenerate gambler, or both). But now there’s no social cachet to any particular sport (except maybe hockey in the Northeast?) – saying “I’m a football fan” used to mean “I’m a red-blooded, beer-drinking regular guy who works for a living;” now it means “my girlfriend and I put on our matching jerseys and go out with our college friends to have our fantasy football draft / spa weekend each August.” I’m tempted to say “women ruin everything,” but it’s really more like “conspicuous consumption ruins everything.”

  36. Another factor in the decline of interest in the NFL, at least for me is the time investment. I began watching pro football around the late 1950s, and a televised game took about two hours, including half time. Somewhere, after military service and college, the time drifted up to three hours, and climbing. No additional play, just commercials, pontificating, and on field prancing sack dances and end zone crap. I just didn’t have the interest in using the time required.

  37. OJ ruined football for me . . . . . . Just kidding !

    Never cared for football.
    Now hockey was different. We had Bobby Orr and the big bad Bruins 🙂
    Street hockey , collecting cards , good times.
    Just wish the games are on regular TV. Maybe with the death of football they’ll bring it back. ( I can dream can’t I ? ) 🙂

  38. I doubt the decline of the NFL has one primary cause; the kneeling thing may have been the catalyst, but the impetus for a shift has been building for some time, and a slow leak is harder to notice than a sudden puncture.

    Tastes change, sometimes at a barely perceptible pace, and the NFL hasn’t helped its own case very much. Over time it’s become less “football” and more “parity ball” as the rules were adjusted to ensure no team had any advantage over any other team. Couple decades back Pittsburgh had a dynasty going with several sequential Super Bowl wins, then San Francisco did it, Dallas for a while, too. Now the NFL has decided that winning a lot is a Bad Thing, and would probably very much like each one of the 32 teams to win a Super Bowl once, preferably in alphabetical order.

    Over the same period the NFL has become about 70% black; black people comprise just under 13% of the U.S. population, meaning over 87% of the population is Not Black. This has occurred at the same time affirmative action has been rammed down everyone’s throats, and, lately, the “White Privilege” bludgeoning ramped up.

    Oprahfication – the “You Go, Girl” philosophy – came on the scene at the same time, pushing females into positions for which they are biologically unsuited, and unsuited not by a small amount, coupled with the denegration of males in TV shows, advertisements and college campuses. Too many men have had feminization shoved in their face, through having to tiptoe around females’ obvious shortcomings, and work harder for their organization to overcome them. Anyone who has had to hire – only because there were no other choices – recent school graduates, especially blacks, understands how inadequate the young, and how incompetent the young blacks, are. Disdain for a highly identified 70% black domain may be one manifestation of protest; Joe, or Jane, may have to hire blacks or get sued, but there’ s no government penalty for turning the TV off. Yet.

    “Cord cutting” was the doman of non-establishment weirdos, until it wasn’t; ten years ago “normals” didn’t have to be identified as such, now they do, mostly because dominant media, leftists all, insists on defining by group and assigning privilege, or blame, by group criteria.

    A lot of water can build behind a dam over a couple decades, then either the spillways open to relieve the pressure, or the dam collapses. I don’t know if what we’re seeing is spillways or initial stages of bursting, but I do know the dam won’t hold back nearly as much water as it used to. It would be smart to not even try.

  39. I would guess it also has to do with the commoditization of the football teams, and sports saturated markets. Football has always been regional pride. The deepest rivalries are between neighbors, like steelers/browns. The more teams move around, the less people will identify with them. The second thing is class based : football is a blue collar masculine sport, culturally speaking. What do we have less of since 1965? The blue collar working class. The immigrant replacements do not want to adopt this culture, and with the continuing intrusion of feminists, it is less masculine, than say the 80s. Both the audience (and traditional player sources) are shrinking, and the sport makes more and more changes (pink socks????? Pink shoes!?) that turn off the core audience. Sure, some can continue to cling to tradition and continue in their habits, but others give up the habit.

  40. I was never interested in football, but I’ve always followed boxing and probably always will. Once you get out of the American bubble, most of the bigger guys who can fight are European. Wlad Klitschko, for instance, has the second longest title-defense reign in heavyweight history. That said, it’s easier to understand why boxing died as a mass sport. Black obnoxiousness was part of the problem, as with football, but so was a general cultural change regarding how much violence you wanted in your entertainment. The last generation to really watch boxing were vets of the Second World War, who grew up in tight-knit ethnic communities where boxing was almost as important as church. After a couple of high profile deaths captured on camera, people had had enough.

  41. I would agree, demographics. The knee thingy just made people realize that they really don’t care anymore and were just watching out of sheer habit.

  42. The problem has been there for years; agreed that the kneeling has just been the final straw.

    I would argue (in a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, islamaphobic, arachnaphobic, agoraphobic, and hydrophobic manner) that it has been the displacement of nearly all White players save a few charisma challenged White QBs that have left the NFL with lowered, vastly lowered, appeal to White audiences.

    What appeal does Richard Sherman have to White viewers? Even Russell Wilson, by all accounts a non-Ghetto type? Or Ray Rice? Ray Lewis, canonized by the NFL as the most awesomely (stabbing to death) defensive player ever. Sure outside Tom Brady and charisma challenged Aaron Rodgers there is … Gronk. And Matthew Stafford. The Atlanta QB and Derek Carr, Philip Rivers playing without a team with hapless San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. But mostly its an unending parade of Black, and ghetto Black at that, athletes.

    The NFL is about as popular as Rap Music with the White fanbase. I’m sure Jay Z fans will flock to the NFL, how much money there is remains to be seen. I figure most Rap music revenue is just fancy money laundering for cartels. Can you see Jay Z’s fans actually PAYING for his music or concerts? [He had a show in the Honda Center last weekend. Tickets went on sale for $15 and a bunch of the ladies in the office went.]

    The NFL was kept alive for years by John Madden, and later Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, as popular White figures in the sport for the White fans to follow. The retirement of two of those left the field mostly Black.

    Transparently, the protests are all about Black players wanting an all Black league. They’ll get it too — Arthur Blank and company love Goodell and Jerry Jones now wants his players to stand after kneeling with them during the anthem. Good luck with that Jerry! Roger has their back. Jones’s futile attempt to not extend Goodell’s contract is as doomed to failure as his desire to fire players who don’t stand for the anthem. Most of the owners want an all Black league as they won’t have to pay talented QBs like Stafford $18 million a year or whatever — the Black running QB is a dime a dozen and easily replaceable.

    • The Kneeling was the final straw, sure, but it was a straw that was 14 feet long weighing over 700 pounds.
      The NFL could have plugged along for a few more years slowly losing relevance, but the Kaepernick thing just kicked the diaspora into overdrive.

      • Like bankruptcy, these things are gradual, then sudden. The bubble made teams greedy. Around here one of the first signs was the number of people I knew that dropped Jets & Giants season tickets with the new stadium. One extended Irish clan that literally bought their 50 yard line tickets directly from Wellington Mara in the 50s, dropped all ten when the seat license bill of nearly $200,000 came in. People have been drifting away and the kneeling thing was just an accelerant. Problem is, football is like the airline business–not a lot of variable costs. A 10 or 20% cut in revenue is devastating. A lot of the season ticket sales and those license fees were supported by secondary market sales, whose prices around here have collapsed. The resellers have no loyalty–if there isn’t a margin to be made, they’ll drop out. Another funny thing? The Texans are all upset about the “inmates” comment. Apparently at least 14 have arrest records. Project much?

    • Sports used to be an expression of tribalism, and the teams represented a region or a community. I suppose the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Cardinals still retain an element of that. On the college level there are still shreds of the idea hanging on in Division III.

      Otherwise, it is now let’s watch our spades play their spades. Also sports are a government and corporate endorsed expression of acceptable rivalry which I detest (James Caan”s movie Rollerball got that exactly right).

      I’ve replaced the TV in my house with four aquariums.

  43. End-zone dances and hotdogging? Impatience with the ghetto vibe and culture, off-field crime, and resentment built up over years? A sense that it’s all polluted, can’t be the way it was again, and there’s no point in paying attention or money to it anymore, perhaps.

    • Pretty much this.

      I’m in my mid-30s. I loved football growing up. I watched all the games during the season, read books about football in the offseason, watched the old NFL footage, etc, and played in HS.

      I’m annoyed by the NFL now. The showboating and lack of sportsmanship just big the hell out of me. The focus on off-field drama on the one hand and “uplifting” or sob stories (again, off-field) is also annoying.

      And the commentary is p.c./pozzed to the hilt. If my team makes a Super Bowl run I’d probably watch. Otherwise, no thanks.

  44. I find that Americans are over saturated with Football and the feeling that it is an athletic showcase isn’t primary anymore. It feels like it is part sport, part hyper consumerism, and part tmz style drama with a dose of celebrity warship mixed in….I watch Hockey…. being Canadian that’s no surprise. The NHL and its athletes have avoided what ever is off putting about the NFL…..for now

    • I’m like you Guest, although Minnesotan, not Canadian. Even with the advances in TV technology hockey is best experienced live- however the in-arena experience is taxing to this old fart- the ear-bleeding levels of artificial noise make it impossible to have a conversation most of the time- as well as the constant exhortations from the PA announcer. The game can’t be allowed to stand on its own. Not just true of hockey, either. Too many sport management majors out there.

      • Sadly, hockey has followed a similarly trajectory to the other kid sports mentioned, namely over-organization and over-commercialization at all levels from 6 years old and up. Mostly driven by hyper-competitive parents, I’d say.

        In the late ’50s and early-mid ’60s we used to play pond hockey. We organized it ourselves. The rules were adjusted to the reality that many of us only had skates and a stick and no pads or helmets (e.g. no slap shots; stick comes off the ice, you’re out of the game, rough pond surface made ‘icing’ nearly impossible, etc.) Cost per season to participate: ~ $ 20.00 for two sticks, tape and a puck, ~ $25. every other year for used skates as you grew (~ $ 150.00 in today’s money) It was less if you inherited skates from an older sib or parent. Time commitment: Some after school afternoons before sundown and the occasional Sat. afternoon.

        Now, it can easily cost $1k – $2k per year plus four nights a week + all weekend to have a kid in hockey. IOW, 10x time and money.

  45. If we’re talking generational change here, I wonder about the current lack of children playing outside unsupervised. As a member of the tail end of generation X, my entry into sports as a child was going outside and playing sports with other neighborhood kids, most every day, without adult supervision. At some point this generally stopped happening. That some point happened long enough ago that these kids are now adults uninterested in sports.

    • I think you have a very good point. In the past one would see children outside playing and what not. Now in most places that is a rarity. In fact, if someone allows their children to play outside unsupervised all hell breaks loose. Just look what happened here in the Peoples Republic of Maryland not too long ago when that couple allowed their children to walk and play at a park down the street from their house. Many activities are learned when young. If one went hunting or fishing when growing up it tended to stick. As the younger crowd doesn’t participate in youth sports as much, it would only seem follow that the interest would decrease in time.

      • Another factor might be the rapid feminization of a significant percentage of our boys and young men. I live in a town that 15-20 years ago still reflected a strong component of rugged manilness in its culture and in its male population. Adjacent to the vast western desert, construction trades, mining, warehousing and agriculture predominated. Now, it’s become a colony of California. Wine bars and coffee houses have reached critical mass needed to sustain the testerone challenged, and those being transported in from the cities to the west. And with this change, I see an ever-increasing number feminized men and boys — overtly and un-self-consciously feminine in behavior and appearance — as the place rapidly urbanizes. I’m sure this is happening in all our urban and suburban areas. Perhaps these non-physically-competitive, feminized males just don’t care any more about a bunch of grunting, sweaty men running into each other on a grassy field over a pigskin ball ….

        • I live in a nice suburban neighborhood. I have never — not once — seen kids playing a pickup game of anything. Most every house has a basketball hoop, and I’m regularly subjected to the sight of row after row of houses, each with its boy out front, shooting solitary free throws. When I was a kid, of course, there were elaborate rules for “who got next,” and if by some miracle there weren’t enough boys to fill out a team, we would’ve drafted somebody’s Dad to play until another boy came along. So too with football, and even pickup baseball… and I’m not even that old. What the hell happened to testosterone in this country?

          • It’s not all about feminization. A lot of it is that youth sports have been professionalized. Many of those neighborhood kids are so absurdly busy with extracurricular sports (paid, and school-based) that they don’t have time to just hang out and play. Or they’re just exhausted.

            I remember a couple years ago my son wanted to have a Halloween party with a dozen of his buddies, so they all came over to the house. I handed them a frisbee and said, “Go play ultimate at the park.” They came back 2 hours later exhausted, but ready to go bag up a crap load of candy.

            The kids instinctively know how to do these things, but they generally lack time and motivation to do so.

            We all went outside and played as kids because there was literally nothing else to do.

          • There’s definitely something to that. I have a cousin in Little League. They’re not particularly good, but he individually is ok, so he plays on a “travel team” that goes all around the state, and even out of state. I understand this is not unusual — baseball now is a 365-a-year thing in places where weather permits, and it sounds like football, basketball, hockey, etc. are going the same way. Which sucks in a lot of ways — even the kids who are never gonna make varsity need to play outside a bit!

          • I have a good friend who did this with youth soccer for over a decade with his daughter. She wound up at a Div I school on a scholarship. She was out of school the next year as everything imploded. As a college sports-recruiter (Div I) friend of mine told me recently, “You’re there as an employee of the school. Education is secondary. If you can’t square that circle, it’s not going to go your way.”

            Hyper-competitive youth sports – and especially the parents of these kids – have ruined sports for everybody else.

          • Hokkoda — it’s part of a much broader trend, too. In the college classes I teach, I have many students — probably the majority — for whom class is way down the priority list… as I suppose it was for a lot of us, but with sports, and an ever-increasing number of things that *aren’t* sports, the admin backs them up. This isn’t a nerdy professor gripe, I love college football, but the sob sisters are basically right when they say that colleges are now very little more than unpaid minor leagues for the NFL and NBA. Just recently I taught a class that met on Wed. and Fri. I had a student who had mandatory practice on Wed., and Fri. they left for out of state meets. Hence, this kid was excused for at least half the class meetings, ALL SEMESTER. How the hell are we supposed to teach anyone anything under those conditions? And this wasn’t even football….

          • I hear ya. My kids’ school refers to extracurricular activities as “co-curriculars”…which tells you all you need to know about where their priorities are with respect to academics.

          • I’m a HS lacrosse coach. ( and secondarily a History teacher :)) Many of my players have never played UN-organized sports. I find them lacking in creativity and spontaneity Some still do, though, and they happen to be my best players.
            I was not good enough in HS to play any of my favorite sports: football, hockey and baseball, at an organized level – but we played all the time- in winter it was come home, drop off the books and head to the (outdoor) rink across the street, play till dinner, and then go back after supper.
            Not much of that today.

        • There are simply more options for boys today. You have Judo, MMA, Kickboxing, If you want to build up their maniless and sheer physicality.

          Here’s the problem with football. Only the very toughest kids can play it. No one wants, the weak, awkward, short, on their team.That means most boy are out.

          Pick up FB games? I never saw one growing up in a white working class town. And that was 35 years ago. Even then the non jocks avoided it. For us,

          That means for average boy who isn’t a athletic talent it’s often FOAD in high school athletics. They get disgusted and either play videos games or do some other physical activity.

          One last thing. Jocks in high school were totally despised by most other students. They hated their guts. They hated thei preferential treatment they got from admin, teachers fixing grades for them, etc.

          • In the very distant past, Viking era and the like wrestling was the sport for boys since it as foundational for a warrior spirit , helps self defense and requires little gear

            We should consider that again I think

          • Yes, though we need to find a way to get rid of (or at least mitigate) the destructive “making weight” process. That can lead to some terrible health consequences.

        • what about a bunch of grunting, sweaty pigs running into each other on a grassy field over a manskin ball — would it be even more testosteronerific to care about that?

      • Children playing outside had declined hugely here in the UK. First there are not the open spaces (a nearby recreation ground as it was called near me was allowed to grow wild because the local authority claimed they did it for the wild life — though most of us know it is simply cost-cutting — so no kids play much there now) and when I was a child we could play on the streets as there both wasn’t much traffic and in any event some roads were closed deliberately by the local council as designated ‘play streets’

        The latter allowed us to play what the US calls soccer and this involved anything kickable (often a tennis ball) and what we call ‘jumpers (sweaters) for goal posts.’ Games would go on more or less for hours with kids dropping out for a meal when called home and returning as soon as they could — often to join the opposing team. Soccer doesn’t in the end have many rules that have to be followed, so no officials, no offside, fouls and penalties were rare and the boundaries were house walls. Disputes were settled pretty much on the spot and when it got dark only real night or bedtime prevented us playing. Even rain didn’t dissuade us totally. What this did was to get kids doing something pretty low cost and organised by themselves as required.

        But, my grandson doesn’t play street footy and while he plays in an organised team complete with sponsored shirts, etc, he misses the joy of what is basically a well-meaning, high energy shambles. Sometimes things are best done just for the hell of it.

    • Somebody back in the 1980’s and 90’s realized they could monetize playground football. I grew up in the heart of the Gen-X’er 1970’s. When I was throwing the football out back with my son last weekend, I was showing him how to catch a fade over his shoulder without breaking stride. “We spent HOURS as kids doing nothing but throwing each other bombs on post routes just to practice over the shoulder grabs, and toe-tap sideline catches.”

      Last summer he and I were doing this, and three of his buddies from school walked by. One of them made a smart alec comment to my son, so I turned around and threw a tight spiral to the boy. He couldn’t catch it, and looked like Barack Obama throwing a baseball when he tried to throw it back. I said, “Hey, come on down, and I’ll teach you guys how to do this.” They all refused. My son ran off to hang out with them, but I’ve told him more than once that he’ll leave the house knowing how to throw and catch a baseball and football with some pepper on it. You can be very athletic without be “An Athlete”.

      The “professionalization” of youth sports has made it tough for us as parents to even want him to play football, baseball, etc. at school. It’s 6 days a week, and the high school coaches don’t want anything to do with you unless you aspire to college baseball and the pros. It’s driving parents and students out of youth sports except for the truly committed – i.e. “asshole sports parents” – who are worse to be around than feminists at a pussy hat rally.

      • When I was in HS, the school teams were forbidden from having AAU kids on them. You had to pick one or the other. Now all the teams have coaches that also run club level teams — big conflict of interest.

      • Last week I linked to a piece about kids not being allowed to play around as kids anymore and parents getting arrested if they let them go out unsupervised. It turns out that Youth sports are a $15 billion business that has grown by 55 percent since just 2010.

        As always, just follow the money. Just who exactly is pressurizing legislators to pass laws making it illegal for kids to wander around outside as kids? It wouldn’t be a $15 billion industry by any chance, would it?

        • I wouldn’t doubt it, but also there’s a cultural shift that you’re not “normal” unless your kids are booked wall-to-wall with these things. So, when somebody in the neighborhood sees a kid wandering around, they immediately suspect the parents are up to no good…because everybody knows that “good” parents load their kids up with sports 5-6 nights a week.

          • The US was vastly more rural than.

            If you are thinking baby boom years, it as anomaly caused by the fairly typical war time response (higher fertility) faux ruralization in the suburbs and the best economy in American history

            Otherwise most of the 20th and all the 21st century have been marked by reduced fertility rates and absolute numbers mainly do to industrial living and urbanization in teh developed world

            As an example the total birth rate (number of babies per 100k) dropped by more than half from 1800 to 1920.

            The Total fertility rate dropped below replacement in the 30’s and didn’t rise significantly for more than a decade

            This is natural and expected . Now the US/Western TFR is a bit low do to Cultural Marxism . Getting rid of that would probably put us at replacement or a shade above but not more.

            Also more than a few women are making concessions , eschewing feminism to some degree in order to get men, If this becomes widepread the birth rate will go up

            Also though htis is basically not going to happen the first Western or Developed nation that reverses development and goes actual White Sharia , ban TV, ban Internet, Ban Birth control , remove female suffrage will get a baby boom

            if it survives the first generation of low parenting kids from pissed of families or the civil war , it can get a lot of growth . It might not, This kind of meddling got Ceausescu a bullet

          • This is it. Parents can’t discipline or control their kids, so they keep them busy with sports. It wears out both the parents and the kids. Parents figure that if they are going to have to put their kids in sports to keep them from delinquency, they might as well have a kid who’s really good at sports, hence the year-round sports. Also, the daughters might get an athletic scholarship and the parents might therefore be able to afford college.

            An unrelated thought follows. Athleticism does not necessarily lead to physical courage which I define as willingness and ability to defend oneself and others. I’ve known plenty of athletes who couldn’t defend themselves. Actually, this was more of a rule than an exception. Football players made up for lack of fighting ability with power. Athleticism can impress some chicks, but not so much after high school. Overall, athleticism is not a great thing compared to self-control, character, work ethic, and academics. It’s hugely overemphasized in our society. To the extent that athleticism is important in defending against street violence, it is not taught as it should be. Few men learn how to defend themselves, but tons seem to get mediocre at sportsball for thousands of hours of practice.

    • Very good point. Getting into sports I think also helps a lot if the men in the family be into sports,

      Generation single mom doesn’t want their kids playing a sport with the injury risk of football.

      I can’t blame them though, I’ve no kids myself but if I did, my general instinct as a father would be hell no. Traumatic brain injury is not something you can get over. The risk reward ratio is way off

      if I were from a sports family though, no doubt this would be different and the fact the people are turning on this sport, is a huge deal . The NFL was a big part of the civic nationalist infrastructure (like NCIS is for older folk) and the SJW’s getting into wrecked it. Not good for them since Leftists really don’t watch the sport and the Right you’ve just pissed off might decide an AR15 is a better investment than a jersey and season tickets

      Also re: neighborhood kids. I’m Gen X too but we didn’t play sports outside other than hiking and messing about with wooden swords (we were too rural) so your point about this being import, rings true to me.

  46. From what I’ve seen over the years football was something of a family or one could say group event. Everyone would get together to watch the big game even if one were at different places. It gave everyone something to talk about. Just as people no longer the gather at the dinner table they no longer gather for game day. Growing up if it wasn’t game day it was the crab feast or a holiday. As our society has lost the idea of family and community everyone just seems to want to do their own thing. The get togethers of the past seem to follow suit.

  47. The NFL is dying due to the failure of the League to respond to the Kapernick protests. Full stop. I stopped watching last season, when all this started.

    I come from long line of military service–WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam. My uncle died face down in the jungle in Vietnam, six weeks from coming back to the farm town from which he was drafted, awash in his white privilege. Every time they take a knee during they anthem they are pissing on his grave.

    Fuck the NFL. I’ll never watch another game again.

    • This.

      It’s the steel beam that crushed the camel’s back. The audience has been eroding for years as people see more and more criminality “off field”, and then the antics “on-field”. But I canceled my NFL Sunday Ticket last season as the NFL tolerated, and even played up, Kaepernick’s absurd protests. I chalked it up at the time to him wanting off the team, and so he and his agent cooked up a can’t-lose scheme to get him released so he could sign with another team.

      Well, it half-worked. And then other players – too stupid to realize it was a negotiating tactic – glommed onto it. Gas on the fire.

      I’ve never even contemplated writing a football team before this season. I wrote the owners at Denver and Philly to tell them flat-out that if it continues, I’m done for good. I haven’t watched a football game since Week 2, and really only had those games on in the background while I did other things.

      They pissed off the wrong part of their fan base. In this respect, the NFL is a lot like the Government Party which is running for elections by trying to appeal or appease 25% of voters on the Left-wing side of the aisle. Half the country is unrepresented.

      The NFL decided to piss off the other half. And, as others have noticed and I have experienced, people are suddenly realizing they were mostly watching out of habit…and found better things to do with their time.

      • I do think the protests were a tipping point, more than a first cause. The thing I noticed in my habits is I first shifted to the Red Zone channel. I’d put that on almost like the radio. I’d listen while doing other things around the house and pay attention when something interesting was happening. After a while, I started finding it hard to watch the actual games because of all the breaks and bullshit. After a while, even the Red Zone got to be irritating, so I’d turn the volume lower.

        Now, the games are unwatchable. Even if they crack down on the player shenanigans, I’m not coming back. To commit 3.5 hour for a one hour game is ridiculous. To sit through the mindless nonsense they pack around the game is too much to ask.

        • I’ve found that I prefer good old fashioned AM radio for sports. It’s in the background when I want it in the background. I can stop and pay attention when something happens. I have MLB.tv on my phone so I can listen to Phillies games while I’m at work. We used to listen to the games on the radio all the time as kids because (like you) television options were pretty limited back then.

          It’s unlikely I’ll go back to NFL on TV except for bigger games of some import. The NFL has been trying to shift everybody to streaming because they see the writing on the wall too.

          • Plus, MLB has made it almost impossible to watch UNLESS you buy cable/Sat. And their stupid blackout rules make buying the MLB package stupid if you want to watch your nearby teams.

          • The mlb.tv has a hometown team option that costs quite a bit less, and you can cancel anytime. I like it. It’s the local team’s regular announcers, so you feel like you’re back home.

          • Hokkoda… I just checked, as of 11/2/17, the blackout rules apply , period. I live in north Texas and both the Rangers and Astros are blocked to me. There is no provision ( at MLB.TV to get around their blackout. It must be different somewhere else. and yes, I know. I could do the VPN thing, but I’m not doing that.

    • Oh contraire, G – they’s givin’ all y’all da finger, honkey-man!

      I say it’s the money too. Wherever you get big money – you get corruption, grifters, hucksters and middlemen – all trying to make a buck off it or spin a buck out of it.
      The other problem is that it’s too serious. Contrary to our host there are people that live their lives through the sport and actually love all the peripheral crap that goes along with it. Half a day for one game? AWESOME – they’ll spend the entire week talking about it and driving others nuts with it. Perhaps the negro protests are waking folks up to the fact that they need to get a life.

    • The lesson the dying NFL teaches is simple; negroes ruin everything they touch. The NFL is rapidly becoming the “Detroit” of professional sports.

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