NFL

Gridiron Gridlock: Why The NFL Has Become An Unwatchable Product

Darren - December 5, 2023
NFL

Gridiron Gridlock: Why The NFL Has Become An Unwatchable Product

Darren - December 5, 2023

Sporting News

Cultural Shift

Unfortunately, the NFL is witnessing a cultural shift where everything is softer. We care about concussions and player health but we also want a physical league. Now some linebackers are wrongly receiving abuse for being dirty players. This is unfair because they’re doing the best in their position (via PFF).

AP

NFL legend Richard Sherman tweeted: “The product is suffering. Calling a player ‘dirty’ because he plays a physical brand of football that would have him on every highlight tape on every network when this game was great. Skewed the game so that players don’t have to be as skilled to be productive.”

Sporting News

Coach Scapegoats

NFL franchises hire and fire like a Walmart in a student town. The problem is that owners are turning their head coaches into scapegoats. Mark Davis is a prime example of a garbage owner who uses his coaches to deflect his shortcomings. Meanwhile, poor Frank Reich ran into a similar problem with the Panthers.

AP

Then there’s the pressure to scapegoat somebody if things aren’t going right. Sean McDermott felt the heat in 2023 after inconsistent performances so he threw offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey to the wolves. This chopping and changing doesn’t help teams to settle and deliver a good product (via AP News).

Black Friday Football

Black Friday Football

Everybody knows about MNF but now there’s BNF. Yes, that’s right, Black Friday Football became a thing in 2023. The NFL saw a golden opportunity to cash in on America’s most wretched contribution to the world. It’s already a massively oversaturated market but they couldn’t resist.

CNBC

In 2017, Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban said that the NFL would regret milking the cash cow too hard one day. Maybe we’re approaching it because this made so many fans roll their eyes. The only thing stopping them from doing April Fool’s Day football is that the season is unfortunately over (via Total Pro Sports).

NBC Sports

Broadcasting Woes

The NFL is generating billions annually from broadcasters. In turn, the networks make their money back through commercials and advertising. This is fine for their bank balances but it’s not good for the product. The scatter market means that it’s challenging and expensive for fans to find every game.

Bleacher Report

Meanwhile, not every broadcaster is equal in their production quality. Fans bemoaned NFL + when it suffered several problems because they spent their hard-earned dollars on it. But it’s not the only platform that struggled. There are many horror stories of networks turning to commercials at the wrong time  (via Sports Business Journal).

Sporting News

Scoring Decline

Scoring declined for four years in a row by 2023. This is not a good advertisement for the NFL and probably doesn’t make sense to some people. Quarterbacks are getting away with everything so why aren’t they throwing more touchdown passes? However, we’ve also seen more injuries to QB1s over the past few years.

Sky Sports

Aaron Rodgers, Joe Burrow, Deshaun Watson, Daniel Jones, Anthony Richardson, and Kirk Cousins all received long-term injuries in 2023 alone. Meanwhile, the number of younger players means that that is more athleticism but less end product. It’s a shame for viewers because it means that there is an unwatchable product (via ESPN).

CNN

Roger Goodell

NFL fans hate the league’s commissioner because they know that he is the owner’s stooge. They sighed with despair that bordered on indifference when he signed a new deal until 2027. They’re paying him more money to do what the owners want but he doesn’t care about the sport.

AP

Yes, he brought millions to the league through endorsement deals. But it has also become an unwatchable product under his watch. For example, Goodell enraged Philly fans in 2023 because he wanted to remove the ‘Tush Push.’  Meanwhile, there have been more scandals during his tenure than any other (via Distractify).

CNN

The Moral Aspect

The NFL is the most popular sports league in North America. But that disguises the reality that fewer parents are allowing their children to play gridiron football. Now we know about the health risks and that we’re allowing our young men to inflict brain damage on each other. At least boxers don’t pretend they don’t know what is happening.

Sky Sports

That’s why the NFL is currently engaged in a concussion lawsuit. Many people think that it’s an unwatchable product because it doesn’t entertain them anymore. Tua Tagovailoa’s concussions in 2022 shocked the world and created another discussion. The sport may be at a turning point (via The Guardian).

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