It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reason why I fell out of love with the NFL sometimes.
Maybe it has to do with the terrible local team? I was never really a big Redskins fan growing up, but their games on Sundays used to be an excuse for the entire extended family to get together. Now that most of those relatives have either passed away or drifted off to some distant corner of the universe, and my own family has moved, those days are long gone. The product is awful, their practices towards their fans are abhorrent, and the whole enterprise seems to exist mainly to suck as much money out of people as practicable. I find all of those things loathsome.
Maybe it has to do with the league’s marketing of itself? I hate being sold to, and the average NFL game has become one gigantic commercial. The NFL has become this sort of “macho paradise” wherein you aren’t considered a “real man” if you don’t watch at least eight hours of football continually on Sundays, drink gallons of lite beer and scratch yourself, while making “the woman” do chores and take care of your kids.
It’s become this whole culture celebrating drunken idiots who paint their bodies in cold weather, and guys calling into local radio shows demanding certain guys be traded or signed, no matter what reality says. And I haven’t even brought up the league’s annual product-placement-and-giant-commercial-for-mass-consumerism bloated production that takes place seemingly later and later every season.
Maybe it’s the nature of the game and what it does to its participants and those around it? Greedy owners demanding more and more taxpayer dollars to build their stadiums. Players rebranding themselves for marketing purposes and trying to outdo each other with wacky end zone routines. There’s also the sad spectacle of watching older guys like John Mackey and Jim Otto and Conrad Dobler and countless others fall apart mentally and physically while the league enacts half-hearted measures to prevent those issues in the future.
I think what it all boils down to is that the NFL is boring. I have so many entertainment and sports options that I have to be judicious with my time, because I can’t possibly watch everything. I have to be judicious in order to maximize the moments I have where I can be lazy and watch TV all day, and if something is boring, I’ve got no time for it. And that’s what’s happened with the NFL. There’s 10-15 seconds of action, and then standing around for four or five minutes. Then the whole process repeats itself. As much as people like to bitch about the lack of scoring in soccer and in hockey, why would they subject themselves to something that not only doesn’t feature much scoring at the pro level, but according to the Wall Street Journal, features 11 total minutes of action.
So I’m filing for divorce from the NFL. I won’t watch any of it this year. I won’t seek out any coverage other than what the news covers normally (even so, I barely watched last year, but NFL news is so ubiquitous that I still knew every major storyline). I expect my first alimony and child support payment in the mail in two weeks.