CS85

NFL Breaking Point: What would it take for you to lose interest?

Recommended Posts

Posted in the NFL Offseason thread about the league considering removing extra points from the game. It's one in a slew of moves that the NFL is doing to totally alter it's landscape at the peak of it's popularity and exposure.

I ask you, CCSLCers, what would it take for you to really challenge your status as an NFL fan? 18 game schedule? No more extra points? Hyper-damage control regarding injury prevention? Shady league politics?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it was a combination of the CTE issues and the ubiquity of the NFL as a cultural force. It just grew into something that was too big and too ugly for its own good and I didn't want to associate with it anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it was a combination of the CTE issues and the ubiquity of the NFL as a cultural force. It just grew into something that was too big and too ugly for its own good and I didn't want to associate with it anymore.

So you've already sold your fan stock in the NFL? Interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to say what the tipping point would be for me, but I do feel like the league is getting watered down severely with their favoritism toward offenses and Goodell's inability to control his urge to change the rules every year. At least teams like Seattle, Baltimore, and the Giants have proven that you can still win with SOME semblance of a defense in spite of how hard the league has tried to promote offense, but I don't know if that will be possible anymore in the future. Maybe when Super Bowls start to have the 60-59 final scores that Goodell dreams of every year, then I'll stop watching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I'll ever stop watching completely. Football is by far my favorite sport and the NFL is by far my favorite league.

Ironically, I would decrease the amount of football I watch if I see the Cowboys win a Super Bowl. I've seen all of my favorite teams in other sports win titles, but I'd trade the memories of those championships all away to see the Cowboys win a title, just one title.

I feel like I've been handed a curse and I have to watch/follow the cowboys religiously else I risk extreme discomfort. The only thing that would set me free from my overwhelming homerism/die-hard fandom would be for the Cowboys to win it all.

I'd still watch them after they won a ring, but not like I used to. I wouldn't have the need to see every game and wouldn't follow the NFL, as a whole, as closely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it was a combination of the CTE issues and the ubiquity of the NFL as a cultural force. It just grew into something that was too big and too ugly for its own good and I didn't want to associate with it anymore.

So you've already sold your fan stock in the NFL? Interesting.

Yeah, I'm out. I missed a lot of 2010 games, most of 2011, almost all of 2012, and all of this year. This sidebar I had in the Chris Kluwe thread with OnWis97 kinda hits on some more of the problem:

Is it me, or do fans of the NFL hate its labor as much as the management does? I mean, when the NHL was locked out, you had some people who grumbled about the players wanting too much, but for the most part, intelligent fans supported the players, and once everything got back going, fans generally like the people who play the game. NBA, you'd have been hard-pressed to find anyone siding with Stern, or at least anyone who doesn't own the Milwaukee Bucks, and of course in times of labor peace it's all about the players.

But with the NFL, whether it's before, during, or after a labor stoppage, there always seems to be a distinct sense of contempt for the players: that their CTE problems are theirs and theirs alone, that they should always just Shut Up And Play, that they can/will/should be replaced for the slightest decline or dissent. I think I really started easing out of NFL fandom during their lockout when I would ask people why, if you think so little of the people playing this terrible game for your amusement, do you even watch them play the game, and never get a worthy response. It was kind of my first real clear realization that the NFL had become something too big for its own good. If these aren't people, or at least not people I should see as people, then what am I watching? Now, I'm not asking that people send Christmas cards to their second-string offensive linemen here, but the way these guys are treated like these mere components that are to be resented and hated for doing anything other than what they're expected to do is just very offputting vis-a-vis the other team sports where players aren't quite so fungible.

The article you linked hit the nail on the heard (particularly the bold part above). I have always had a sense that the NFL does not really even want its players having non-football interests.

Some people (not me, ha ha) take sports too seriously, be it hockey, baseball, basketball, etc. But football has become a bit too much of a way of life. And, like you, I find myself kinda hoping for the NFL to be taken down a peg...in part because of the massive coverage at the expense of all other sports. In part because Packer fans seem to think their team is something more than a football team (I admit that's my issue to an extent). In part because it seems you are not allowed to go to a Vikings game if you don't drive a huge-ass SUV, judging by game-day traffic. I suppose if I was a more empathetic person, it would also be because of how much we want our players to be like the Fox robots and could care less if their quality of life is horrible after making their 500 grand.

Another part of the problem is that it really started hitting me how much the experience of watching an NFL game just isn't that great. It's all commercials and standing around. The only minutes of football I saw this year were a little bit of Packers-Bears at the end of the year. When it stops being a part of your routine, you really notice how plodding it is. I don't miss it.

EDIT: "there always seems to be a distinct sense of contempt for the players" sure seems Eerily Prescient in the wake of people calling Richard Sherman a n-gger for yelling at Erin Andrews.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't disagree with some of those points. For what it's worth from my perspective, I don't have the patience to watch anything but Bears games, and obviously that's trying enough as it is. If I had just become an NFL fan in the last 6 or 7 years I don't know if I'd be willing to stick it out, but because I caught the last gasp of decent NFL football right around the millennium I grew with the NFL in it's transitional phase. For those reasons I have nostalgic ties that keep me watching my favorite team with ever-waning enthusiasm regarding anything else.

Right now the league is definitely a castle of glass, and if they continue to warp it into this strange variant of actual football it's going to crumble almost all at once. IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually I could watch NFL Primetime and catch all the highlights of the game with out having to sit through a 3 hour game. With other interests, hobbies and other stuff going on in my life, spending 3 hours a day watching a football game isn't top priority. I'll catch a score or I'll watch a highlight package but that's about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First are things that are off-the-field, things that have made me lose my "gee whiz" enthusiasm for the league in general:

CTE: I can't help but get a small sense that I'm watching these guys kill each other when I see a game now, and it's not just that the injuries are happening... it's the league's denial and conspiracy to cover up. If they wanted to, they could be pouring multiple times the amount of money they currently spend for pensions, safety equipment, research, etc. They wouldn't be losing money all of a sudden.

Lockout: It all sort of ties together, but the fact that the owners cried poor and that the players and owners collectively couldn't figure out how to divvy up their billions of dollars just really rubbed me the wrong way. I sided more with the players than the owners; I also hate that the players are so disposable. This guy plays two games, gets hurt... team moves on to someone else. I was watching a game with my wife a few years ago, and one of the kickers was having a really bad day. I told my wife after one of the misses, "That guy's off the team tomorrow."... I was right. That sucks. No matter how many goals a goalie gives up, they're not cut loose the same way kickers are, or the way that the special teams guy is who happens to fumble. I hate that contracts don't mean anything; when a guy signs a "four year, $20M deal", it never actually means that. Owners ditch guys all the time. If you underperform on your contract, you're gone; if you overperform on your contract, WELL YOU SIGNED A CONTRACT. I prefer the NHL guaranteed contracts, even though I realize there is a buyout there, I think it's much, much fairer than the NFL.

The on-field stuff:

Dumb rules: Calvin Johnson Rule, the Tuck Rule, things like the Bowman fumble recovery not being reviewable for whatever reason... they all suck. Bowman very clearly recovers that fumble and holds it firmly all the way despite his knee being torn to shreds, but it's "not reviewable"? The emphasis on offense doesn't really bother me, but I do think they've been reaching on roughing the passer. You can see a hit that looks clean, but you can't even get excited because you don't know how the ref will feel about it. In a game where inches are literally sometimes the difference between winning and losing, I hate that guys get flagged for hitting someone when they're almost out of bounds... if you're "almost" out of bounds, doesn't that mean you were in-bounds? For the Calvin Johnson rule, where a guy has to catch the ball, preheat the oven, make a souffle, and not let the ball jiggle at all... ridiculous. It's double ridiculous because I think you could apply the same scrutiny to many, many of the sideline catches, but they just don't for whatever reason. Sometimes, it's just a catch just cuz, sometimes the ref spends five minutes seeing if the player made a "football move".

Instant replay: We need it, but the NFL executes it in a sucky way. There have literally been Bills games this year where I felt like instant replay had equal weight with offense, defense and special teams as far as a facet of the game. Instant replay is supposed to correct obviously wrong calls' instead we get refs "legislating from the bench", looking at something for literally minutes on end and deciding what happened from the replay instead of seeing if the replay shows an obvious conclusion one way or another. I don't remember which game it was, but there was a goal line play that really bugged me recently. It was ruled a touchdown on the field. On the replay, you could see that the player's body didn't get into the end zone, but you literally could not see the ball at all behind a mess of players... only the tiniest bit of the ball needs to touch the tiniest bit of the goal line for it to be a touchdown. It should have stayed a touchdown just because the replay showed nothing close to conclusive, but the ref decided from the play that it didn't look like he made it, so no touchdown. I'm with TMQ in that they should get 30 seconds to watch something. If it's not obvious, then keep it the way it was called on the field. I'd even go further: have a replay official upstairs somewhere, and you should be able to get these things hashed out just in the time that it takes the on-field ref to trot to and from the replay machine.

All that said, I'm still stuck with the Bills for basically as long as they're in town. I'm more likely to start watching in the second or third quarter now, though I'm also a father of three, a head-of-household and full-time worker now, instead of the lazy college student with a part time job like I was several years ago. I'll normally catch a quarter of non-Bills games. The only exception is that I really enjoy seeing Peyton playing, so I can sit down and watch the majority of his games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting question. I can't imagine I'll ever stop watching but I don't like Goodell and many of his initiatives. Some of which are already chipping away at my interest level. For example, penalties every time a guy gets hit hard even if it's clean. Agree with the admiral about commercials and such. Ironically, the league says it's reluctant to expand reply because it would extend games even though they control the length of games through commercial timeouts.

But the answers to that, friends, are called a DVR and NFL Rewind. I almost never attend games anymore or watch games live. I schedule my time so as to start the game around halftime and that usually allows for zipping through the commercials. Tip: if you're watching an entire game on the DVR, for most offenses the commercial skip button will take you right to the beginning of the next play. That doesn't work for uptempo offenses though.

What would make me lose more interest? Eighteen games, international expansion, continued decline in officiating, expanded playoffs, more player strutting and preening after every play, more exclusive deals to force people to pay for content...that's all I can think of for now.

On the money front, public funds going to stadiums.

Edit: agree with crllachepinochet about the goofy rules, especially when they're interpreted differently by different refs and so on. To say Calvin Johnson's TD wasn't a catch but Lance Moore's 2-point conversion in SB44 was...that's crazy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

International teams. That's the final straw for me. I just think Goddell is pushing it and foreign markets won't support a team on a regular basis. It's easy to show up twice a year, but eight?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For someone like me, it would likely take something radical. In all honestly, I am probably too much of a sports fan for someone who, at this point in time, makes no financial benefit for being a sports fan. Football is probably the biggest example of this. I read several football websites. I am actively trying to learn more and more about how the game because I have a complex that basically says I have a need to know what I am watching. Admiral brings up several really good points, here and in general, about the ugly nature that is becoming of "NFL fan culture"; I think I do a good job staying clear of this and it makes me feel much less, for lack of better term, "guilty" about how I watch the sport.

What would it honestly take for me to lose interest? Probably a great deal of things. After the 2004-05 NHL lockout, I honestly paid a pittance of attention during the 2005-06 season and the first half of the 2006-07 season. I didn't return to the sport until a chance situation where I was doing some tidywork and turned on the radio, and the Lightning happened to be on and holding onto a one-goal lead against the Wild. I'm not kidding; I did watch a few SCF games, but other than that, I can't even remember watching a single regular season game that season. But this was also eight years ago now, and it was a different sport. It was also easier to "not watch" when I just had a full NHL season where I didn't watch and thus was rather easily able to do that again.

I'm writing a ton of crap, really, because I don't know the answer to this question. Like I said, it would take a great deal of things, but what things exactly? In the rare event this ever happens, I would probably only know the answer after-the-fact; that if I reached the breaking point, I would only know how I reached it after it happens. It would be like driving over a cliff blind-folded, in that I know on some level that I'm headed for complete despair as a fan, but I won't know when it will have been reached in totality until I'm on a downward plunge. I dunno. I really cannot imagine weekend days between September-January not having football games at the focus.

--

I will say this, Goodell is a frigging clown for considering something like removing the extra point. There's no reason to be fixing things that aren't broken. Greg Schiano isn't in the league to put forth ridiculous ideas anymore, so stop considering some of these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two words Flag Football, if the nannies who are hyping up CTE get the league to get rid of tackling and all contact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me to lose interest in the NFL it would take the Green Bay Packers moving to a different city and Roger Goodell outlawing fantasy football.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, I already lost most of my interest in the NFL because of my rising intrigue of college football. First, I think the league as a whole is just stale. That is coming from the fact that teams will have to face their divisional rivals twice (or 3 times in postseason play) and to me, drains variety in a scheduling viewpoint. That's why I love college football in general because their schedule only lets teams in conference play each other once (or twice if conference title game) with a unique non-conference schedule. That creates fewer rematches and makes every game more important to win unlike the NFL where you can get away with a few losses.

Secondly, the offenses are predictable sometimes. Outside of Chip Kelly's offense in Philly and the Patriots with the shotgun, most teams in the NFL run a pro-style offense with some plays in the shotgun. In CFB however, there is much more offensive variety from Mike Leach's air raid offense to Navy's triple option and Oregon's spread offense. That just makes college football more attractive to me. Third, the NFL doesn't have some of the tradition and rivalries of CFB. The NFL has the Steelers-Ravens, Packers-Bears, and Colts-Patriots rivalries but sometimes the repetition of playing division rivals twice (outside of NE-IND) weakens the importance of the rivalry somewhat and ruins what a rivalry game should be about. Because the CFB schedule lets teams play rivals once (both conference and non-conference), those rivalry games mean much more than the NFL and the NFL doesn't have some of the unique traditions of college football like Howard's Rock at Clemson or FSU's War Chant. Fourth, the NFL has a fan support problem. I'm not going to bash the hardcore NFL fans but the bandwagon fans. The bandwagon fans are probably the worst thing in the NFL outside of Goodell (I'll talk about him another time). A good example is the Patriots because of their success throughout the last decade. When the Patriots went through the 90's, there were very few bandwagon fans but have a serious hardcore group of superfans. Skip to the end of the 2000's, they have a ton of bandwagoners thanks to the Super Bowl titles and Tom Brady. If lets say the Browns won a couple of Super Bowls and were consistent winners throughout the 2010's :P, they will have bandwagon fans and it ruins the game day atmosphere somewhat (they may not know the history and lore of the team)l College football has a problem of bandwagoners as well, but not nearly as much as the NFL.

Lastly, the NFL has plainly too many teams in the postseason. I know that increases revenue, but it diminishes the importance of winning the division and is the one thing why I dislike the NFL as a whole. A couple of years back, the Giants barely went in the playoffs thanks to the wild-card and won the Super Bowl against the then-undefeated Patriots. What's great about the upcoming CFB playoff is that there is only 4 teams in the playoff so the importance of each game is far greater and provides an incentive for teams to win their divisions and conferences which is something the NFL lacks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since this is a sports logo site, it'll be when* the league keeps the same logo structure since Super Bowl XLV.

*not if, but when, because Goodell loves corporate blandness

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it was a combination of the CTE issues and the ubiquity of the NFL as a cultural force. It just grew into something that was too big and too ugly for its own good and I didn't want to associate with it anymore.

This. This exactly. Outside of playoff football, I don't really watch it at all. Fantasy football is really the only reason I still keep up with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was a kid I was the biggest NFL fan you could find. I had my favorite team, but they were horrible, so I just enjoyed watching the whole league. I had NFL bed sheets, posters of players from all over the league on my walls, my favorite shows were all NFL Films etc and etc. As I’ve gotten older though it has slipped to a distant third in my favorite leagues. Here’s my reasoning:

The Rulebook and Officiating

There’s too many rules and the game is far too complicated. Which leads to officiating. It feels like these guys make it up as they go. The 49ers linebacker clearly takes the ball from the receiver and it’s unreviewable? Why? Jim Schwartz throws a challenge flag on a play that was already going to be challenged and because of that now it can’t be challenged? Why the :censored: not? Also, instant replay is a good thing and with the speed of the game it’s totally a necessary evil, but I don’t like the way it slows the game down. You can never trust that a play will stand.

NFL Fan Culture

The NFL team I cheer for doesn’t make me who I am. If your favorite team is better that doesn’t make you a better person. It’s amazing how many meatheads define themselves by their football team/are willing to literally fight (and in some cases stab/beat a guy to a pulp) over it.

The coverage is exhausting

There are other sports on the calendar that are in many ways more exciting and more interesting with more likable athletes and smarter fans and analysts that don't have years of head trauma clogging their brains. I don’t like the notion that I’m supposed to consume every game, every highlights show, and watch the ESPN NFL show every single weeknight. Do we need a daily NFL show in the offseason? I pretty much exclusively watch the Bengals games and then will catch some highlights of their rival teams, but starting last season I found myself watching other programs or movies on Sunday and Monday nights instead of the late NFL game.

I realized this season that the only time I watch commercials are during sporting events and the NFL has the most of them. People say soccer, baseball, and hockey are boring, but those sports have something happening at all times. There is a ton of standing around in an NFL game and the TV timeouts never let the game get into a rhythm.

Players’ Health and Safety

Every since watching League of Denial I have had a harder time watching football. I don’t get pumped up by big hits anymore. Instead I worry about the long term implications on both players and I hope they’re okay. For many of the players this is their one opportunity to give themselves and their families a better life, but they have to sacrifice their bodies and long term health to do it. More and more it doesn’t seem worth it. I’m not into the gladiator mentality anymore and I fear for the day when I’m watching an NFL game and I witness a death. It’s a matter of when, not if.

To answer the original question: If a guy dies on the field that might be the end of it for me. That or another Steelers super bowl win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, I already lost most of my interest in the NFL because of my rising intrigue of college football. First, I think the league as a whole is just stale. That is coming from the fact that teams will have to face their divisional rivals twice (or 3 times in postseason play) and to me, drains variety in a scheduling viewpoint. That's why I love college football in general because their schedule only lets teams in conference play each other once (or twice if conference title game) with a unique non-conference schedule. That creates fewer rematches and makes every game more important to win unlike the NFL where you can get away with a few losses.

Secondly, the offenses are predictable sometimes. Outside of Chip Kelly's offense in Philly and the Patriots with the shotgun, most teams in the NFL run a pro-style offense with some plays in the shotgun. In CFB however, there is much more offensive variety from Mike Leach's air raid offense to Navy's triple option and Oregon's spread offense. That just makes college football more attractive to me. Third, the NFL doesn't have some of the tradition and rivalries of CFB. The NFL has the Steelers-Ravens, Packers-Bears, and Colts-Patriots rivalries but sometimes the repetition of playing division rivals twice (outside of NE-IND) weakens the importance of the rivalry somewhat and ruins what a rivalry game should be about. Because the CFB schedule lets teams play rivals once (both conference and non-conference), those rivalry games mean much more than the NFL and the NFL doesn't have some of the unique traditions of college football like Howard's Rock at Clemson or FSU's War Chant. Fourth, the NFL has a fan support problem. I'm not going to bash the hardcore NFL fans but the bandwagon fans. The bandwagon fans are probably the worst thing in the NFL outside of Goodell (I'll talk about him another time). A good example is the Patriots because of their success throughout the last decade. When the Patriots went through the 90's, there were very few bandwagon fans but have a serious hardcore group of superfans. Skip to the end of the 2000's, they have a ton of bandwagoners thanks to the Super Bowl titles and Tom Brady. If lets say the Browns won a couple of Super Bowls and were consistent winners throughout the 2010's :P, they will have bandwagon fans and it ruins the game day atmosphere somewhat (they may not know the history and lore of the team)l College football has a problem of bandwagoners as well, but not nearly as much as the NFL.

Lastly, the NFL has plainly too many teams in the postseason. I know that increases revenue, but it diminishes the importance of winning the division and is the one thing why I dislike the NFL as a whole. A couple of years back, the Giants barely went in the playoffs thanks to the wild-card and won the Super Bowl against the then-undefeated Patriots. What's great about the upcoming CFB playoff is that there is only 4 teams in the playoff so the importance of each game is far greater and provides an incentive for teams to win their divisions and conferences which is something the NFL lacks.

Since you brought up division rivalries, allow me to counter that point. The NFL has always had division teams play twice. In fact, that takes up less of the schedule now with 4-team divisions, but I digress.

For me, the NFL has really gotten old. Maybe it's the fact that my team (Dallas) is as inept as a bag of grapes but I long for the days where there was actual passion in the league overall. Goodell has turned the league into a big money grab--not that most businesses don't do that anyway. Aside from shoehorning as many commercials in as possible, there's simply no point to the way games are handled now. You can literally watch all the action in a game in thirty minutes. That's just over 15% of broadcast time. In my book, that's unacceptable.

I miss when coaches (Jimmy Johnson and Buddy Ryan feud) would call each other out. I miss when rivalries were about the teams and not players (Manning vs Brady is extremely old). That's why I loved watching the NFC championship: Seattle and SanFran simply hate each other, NCAA style. The NFL needs that.

My final straw was actually when jerry jones went on the radio after Dallas blew a 20+ point lead and said "at least we gave you a good show right". That's what is wrong with the NFL; as long as we get money and sell tickets, who cares.

Bring on baseball season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.