On Fridays my mind is a bit jumbled as I ponder the weekend ahead. Places to be. Chores to do. And…games to keep up with in the meantime.
Admittedly it has become much easier to follow sports with this hand-held television I sport (they still call it a “phone” for some reason). I do not watch games while driving (frowned upon by our good friend common sense) but I will listen to game coverage while tooling about…or utilizing a tool.
There’s just SO many games accessible. I would say ALL of them but I do find the occasional kickball contest that doesn’t have an Internet carrier.
Much has been made of a downturn in National Football League television ratings. Blame has been broadcast about the Election of a new President, players electing to protest during the National Anthem, inconsistent league referees and the bizarre rules they attempt to enforce (What IS a catch? Roughing the passer anyone?), flat-out poor play, playing too many commercials, star injuries, fantasy football…even the league’s own Red Zone Network (which attempts to show every score on Sunday afternoon in as real time as possible) has come under scrutiny. I love Red Zone. If the NFL is willing to stream all the best bits from a dozen games without commercial interruption it’s a safe bet people are going to take advantage of that. And in the process…people will also get very, very spoiled since there is about a dozen minutes of actual play in any given NFL game.
In an age of immediacy and increasing pressure to consume as much as humanly possible…suddenly sitting through almost four hours to see those dozen minutes becomes a “return on investment” kinda thing.
And God forbid you have a life outside of sports…hello and welcome to the new Golden Age of Television. There are a ton of quality choices available to TV fans now. I suspect at some point I will put forth all the shows my wife and I follow. (Let’s put it this way. There’s a really good chance if you GPS us in the evenings on our mini-televisions…um…phones…the latitude and longitude will reveal us positioned in front of an actual television.)
Anywayyyyy…back to the NFL. My biggest issue with them outside of no rules consistency whatsoever (that’s a BIG problem) is playing on Thursday nights (No, it’s not because I have some shows to watch but that doesn’t help their cause with me.)
Players hate Thursday night football…likely a direct correlation to the fact after Sunday games they can’t get even out of bed until Tuesday. That lack of healing time often reveals itself in the lack of quality oft presented on Thursdays. And a close game – like last night’s Dallas-Minnesota contest – doesn’t mean a well-played game. That’s like saying a highly-organized head football coach knows what the hell he’s doing during games (yes…that’s a shot at our Eagles’ Doug Pederson…last seen using his last remaining challenge flag contesting a two-yard gain…honeymoon over on this site Doug…you have been warned).
The NFL is highly successful because many of us like watching gladiators beat the living daylights out of each other. It’s a battle royal with a limited time frame. There are only sixteen games guaranteed for each team each year (Note: Cleveland Browns fans…it WILL be over soon). Each contest is an event, a spectacle. No 162 game season here. No second chances in the post-season if you make it that far – each playoff game one-and-done.
I am old enough to remember when the NFL debuted Monday Night Football. It worked because it stayed “close enough” to the ebb and flow of the spectacle of having all these teams otherwise compete the same day each week. It worked because it took one game and elevated it even higher, giving the NFL fan dessert to go with the otherwise full meal of games served up Sundays. Players did have to adjust to the flow of recovering from Monday night to Sunday but it was do-able. When Sunday Night Football came along…do-able as well. I’m not the biggest fan of Sunday night games but I’ll gladly live with them for eternity to dump Thursday off the NFL schedule immediately.
Thursdays are stupid from a player quality and safety standpoint. Coaches have less prep time. Fans? They are still watching in decent numbers but those numbers are slipping now and the networks can’t be pleased with their decreasing “return on investment.”
Drop Thursdays NFL. Play Sunday and Monday only. As you do with Sunday nights now…once the season gets underway start deciding a couple of weeks in advance which games will be promoted to go solo Monday nights.
I know ticket-holders are penalized when schedules are shuffled but we know pro sports now are all about eyeballs far from the field, court, ice, etc.
The league has a lot to work on to maintain their status as America’s premier sport.
This is an easy fix.
Which reminds me…
I wonder if the Wi-Fi will hold up tomorrow while installing those new gutter extensions?