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The NFL's Trouble Barometer

Posted by Radatz on November 14, 2017 at 1:00 PM


Think the NFL isn't in trouble? Think the hype and soft-pedaling by their media outlets is the truth? Think their pandering to players has solved a problem?


I didn't have much of a gauge myself until last night as I watched the awful Miami Dolphins put in about a quarter's worth of work in Carolina. It wasn't the awful product on the field, watching a game in which yet another team packed it in at midseason, that gave me the idea.


It was a stray shot of the stands. Cameras typically avoid upper-deck shots so you don't see empty seats. But in this game the lower decks --- as in first-tier --- were practically empty, and it wasn't just at the end when the game became a rout. Nobody was there... and with their team winning, about to go to 7-3 on the season, in a 3-way fight for the division and with a real playoff shot. And in football country. I've seen exhibition games pack the stands better than that regularly in the past.


Then there's that other thing that took a while to digest. Teams are packing it in, not in week 16 when they're 6 games out but in week 10 with the starters playing. I don't mean (oddly enough) teams like the Niners and the Browns, who seem to try hard every week but just aren't good enough. I mean teams like the Giants, Bucs, Ravens, Broncos, Bengals, Cardinals... how many teams can you think of who aren't exactly giving it their all? Add Miami to the list now.


I no longer think things are trending slowly back to normal. I suspect it's worse than most of us thought. And if the past is any indication, we can count on the league to make the wrong move. It's the classic internal collapse of an overly successful corporation that cut its teeth in a seller's market. I've been through a few corporate collapses that followed halcyon days. Instead of having contingency plans or quickly quashing root causes, corrupt executives refused to admit error and instead redoubled their bad practices. If it works, you're an infallible hero. If it doesn't, you bail on a golden parachute. Unions smelled blood and demanded the world, making things worse. The little guy (aka the customer) was left out. In this case, it's the fans. And many are getting the idea. That's bad for organizations that have grown fat relying on fawning stupidity.


The corporation that couldn't fail has found creative ways to shoot itself in the foot, exascerbating its issues. Or is this alarmism? Maybe it'll all just go away and we're seeing a bump in the road. But it's bad enough now to worry more than just a few conspiracy theorists. The inmates are now truly running things. We're watching a spreading quasi-strike fueled by a vague purpose --- the modus operandi seems to be "We'll show up and get paid, we just won't try too hard." Alas, the fans are noticing, and not sympathetically. The Golden Goose is what's in trouble now... first kneeling, then distracted low quality football, now teams packing up early --- all of it caused by mollycoddled millionaire players too stupid to see what they're really accomplishing.


Alas, like inept executives, they'll get to keep their money. But the next generation may have to opt for real jobs.


Categories: NFL Blogs

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13 Comments

Reply Ark_Razor
7:40 PM on November 14, 2017 
Just saw that Bobby Doerr passed. Oldest HOFer ever.

NFL: As long as the league has their TV contracts, they will plow on.
Reply Radatz
7:52 PM on November 14, 2017 
I saw it too. Should post on it. 99 years old!
Reply the immortal scurds
8:00 PM on November 14, 2017 
i noticed a concerted effort to not show the stands too, but i saw a lower bowl shot in atlanta that was a vast expanse of empty seats. i hope they pay dearly. puhlenty of replacement players in the ncaa, cfl et al to send the message. the first amendment doesnt say anything about consequences. thats left up to the listener
Reply Galfur
7:50 AM on November 15, 2017 
Sure hope this thing is in a death spiral and wishing it would tighten. I mean I'd like to see the NFL eviscerated (and many of the players literally).
Reply vapor5
9:53 AM on November 15, 2017 
" the first amendment doesnt say anything about consequences."
AMEN , Scurdsy
Reply Southern Lion
10:01 AM on November 15, 2017 
It's gotten to the point that I don't even care about fantasy football anymore, and I'm commissioner of a league over on yahoo, how sad is that??!

The sophisticated and glamorous fools at GQ made Kaepernik their Man of The Year, or something like that, meanwhile JJ Watt raises 37 million $ and gets not one mention.

The NFL sucks out loud now and it really doesn't bother me it just makes me sad.

SL
Reply Ferociousjane
12:11 PM on November 15, 2017 
Good to know what's happening on tv while I am proudly not watching.
Reply Southern Lion
1:41 PM on November 15, 2017 
Southern Lion says...
It's gotten to the point that I don't even care about fantasy football anymore, and I'm commissioner of a league over on yahoo, how sad is that??!

The sophisticated and glamorous fools at GQ made Kaepernik their Man of The Year, or something like that, meanwhile JJ Watt raises 37 million $ and gets not one mention.

The NFL sucks out loud now and it really doesn't bother me it just makes me sad.

SL

I guess if it makes me sad it actually does bother me to a certain extent. :)

SL
Reply the immortal scurds
4:46 PM on November 15, 2017 
it bothers me too,.and goodell has demanded a lifetime prvt jet as part of his contract extension. for guiding the league to this point. what ever happened to the concept of merit?
Reply Southern Lion
4:52 PM on November 15, 2017 
the immortal scurds says...
it bothers me too,.and goodell has demanded a lifetime prvt jet as part of his contract extension. for guiding the league to this point. what ever happened to the concept of merit?

Ever since the Ray Rice debacle a couple of years ago Goodell has been in crisis mode regarding how he's perceived by the NFL's patrons, and he needs to be replaced.

SL
Reply the immortal scurds
9:56 PM on November 15, 2017 
Southern Lion says...
Ever since the Ray Rice debacle a couple of years ago Goodell has been in crisis mode regarding how he's perceived by the NFL's patrons, and he needs to be replaced.

SL


of course! why r the fools not seeing the giant escape clause right in front of them? the guy has been a terrible terrible commissioner. fans dont like all the foreign games. and they dont like thurs-sat-sun-mon football, and they dont like inconsistent stupid disciplinary practice and the deception that goes along with it...the list goes on and on. jerry jones wants him gtone, and he is right. WHERE does the support for this guy come from??? i could do better. right now.
Reply Ark_Razor
12:59 AM on November 16, 2017 
Southern Lion says...
The sophisticated and glamorous fools at GQ made Kaepernik their Man of The Year, or something like that, meanwhile JJ Watt raises 37 million $ and gets not one mention.

SL


GREAT point.
Reply Galfur
8:16 AM on November 16, 2017 
Ferociousjane says...
Good to know what's happening on tv while I am proudly not watching.


I've given up on most all of TV. Rarely have it on. Only watch hockey, TVLand reruns and try to stomach my way through UM games. Nothing else worth turning it on for.