I am sitting here after taking a nap (during the game) sort of, but not really watching the Falcons vs Eagles – it is more background noise that every once in a while catches my attention.
The NFL had a commercial that I caught the last part of, where they talked about reducing injuries and the future of football is here and they showed a room with lots of video monitors – not the playing field. Sort of indicating or insinuating that the future of football is technology studying how the game should be played.
Maybe I have become so jaded towards the NFL, its leadership and marketing campaigns, that I misread the intended meaning. It seemed like a CYA marketing effort to show how they are using technology to improve player safety, by a bunch of office hacks for legal purposes, rather than something to actually help players. Which would be a good thing, but just rubbed me the wrong way for some reason or other.
However, it brought up a litany of other things that I don’t like about professional football.
Now, I have never played organized football and have only been a fan since the days of George Blanda, Lance Alworth, Gino Capelletti, Mike Ditka the player, the AFL and the NFL, before it became one league. So I have been watching it for a few years now.
The game is different today, than it was then. Just the way it is and honestly, I can’t say that it is better to watch or follow, there were officiating mistakes, but they were part of the game. The games were usually exciting and the interruptions were minimal. I find myself turning off games because they are not competitive or entertaining, due to the number interruptions, commercials, insipid announcers or poor officiating.
It used to be you could count on the first Sunday game starting at 1:oo PM and being over by 4:00, then by 7:00 PM football being over for the day. Not anymore – there are just too damn many interruptions and too many games.
Over saturation is also part of the issue – having games on Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, Monday night, Thursday night, London Sunday mornings – come on! I used to like watching a game or two, but not almost every day.
All that leads up to my opinion of that commercial and the insinuation about the game, is about what the science says or reviewing the game with technology – is the future of the game. Technology has its place, but it is not the answer to all the other issues that plague the league and its declining popularity.
No, I believe that the game must be improved on the field, by the players, coaches and officials who are actually on the field during the game. Not someone in a booth or league office smudge, who is better at counting dollar signs than knowing what it is like to get tackled.
Because pro football’s popularity is declining, because the product itself is not captivating enough to keep my and other’s attention.
Get rid of the marketing gimmicks – the Ketchup and Mustard uniforms. Let the players play football, let the coaches coach and make the referees full-time officials, who are professionals, not part-time employees and get rid of replaying almost every damn play.
Personally, I don’t care if they get the call right every time – a blown call here and there is part of the game, a pain in the arse and something whine about if it happens to your team. However, I am more concerned about the pacing of play and keeping the excitement going, instead of killing it, for some replay official in New York to make a determination what will happen next.
All I know is what I like and professional football after so many years of enjoying watching it, my interest in their product is waning – quickly. It is becoming more background noise and definitely less a must watch sporting.
I didn’t even watch the Super Bowl last year, after watching every other one that was played.
Okay, NFL you makes billions of dollars as a ummmmm non-profit. Now what are you going to do to make your product better on the field, to bring back this formerly passionate football fan?
Cause unless you do something, I know I will be finding other things to do and watch when your product is on the television, because I will never go to another game in person, but that is another story.
I have a feeling I ain’t the only one.