By: Kyle Tooley ~Sports Editor~
The television ratings for the National Football League (NFL) are at an all-time low, sending league executives into a frenzy as they try and figure out why there has been such a steep drop in viewership.
Spoiler alert: it’s because the NFL isn’t fun anymore.
We’ve all heard the joke-acronym that the NFL actually stands for the No Fun League, and that narrative rings true now more than ever. With an increased number of fines for a variety of different things as well the saga surrounding NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Player’s Association, the criticisms of the NFL are gaining more and more traction.
Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers has already been fined twice, for a total of $30,000, for dancing in the end zone. Whether Brown’s dance was appropriate or not is up for debate, but the bottom line is that the NFL is taking money away from its players for having some fun after scoring a touchdown on the highest stage in the sport.
I completely understand that the NFL wants its games geared toward families of four that can enjoy football on a Sunday afternoon together. But read that last sentence back to yourself. These are games. Games are supposed to be fun. The moment a game of any type loses that aspect, no one wants to be a part of it.
A large part of this has to do with Goodell, as he more or less acts as a puppet for the owners while failing to do anything to further the league.
He entered into a small war with Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, just to prove a point. People didn’t like that.
He dishes out fines left and right for almost no apparent reason, and people really don’t like that.
He doesn’t let the players wear decorative cleats, he doesn’t want Cam Newton giving footballs to little kids and he’s been trying to cover up information about concussions for years for the “betterment of the league.” People hate all of those things.
Does the decline in viewership lie solely on the league’s shoulders? Of course not. Defenses are once again reigning supreme in the league, offering low-scoring games rather than the shootouts that college football brings to the table. But make no mistake about it, the NFL can be fun and low-scoring.
This doesn’t need to be a league where everything goes and there are no consequences. That would be chaos. But you won’t be able to convince me that a man dancing in celebration is bad for the league.
The downfall of the NFL is upon us. Week five ratings were down 20 percent from last season.
It’s time for the NFL to make some changes.