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NFL's Declining Viewership: One Slice at a Time

Discussion in 'Blinded by the Lombardis: Patriots Forum' started by tims4wins, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. 54thMA

    54thMA Member SoSH Member

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    This is my biggest issue with today's NFL; how many third down stops get wiped out with ticky tack BS hands to the face/phantom illegal contact downfield, or how many third down conversions or touchdowns get wiped out by holding/offensive pass interference?

    As you said, I'm at the point where after every big play, I wait for the penalty to be called. Understood when there is a blatant penalty it has to be called, but they are killing the game with the over officiating.............
     
  2. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

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    Also it's maybe a little silly on my part, but after 40 years of watching football, I have decided that how often kickers decide the game makes no sense to me. I spend 3 hours watching a game, and then a guy barely connected to the action comes on and whether or not he kicks the ball through the goalposts decides the game. This was made worse by lengthening the extra points (not that they miss much) and I don't know how to change it, but it just leaves me feeling like I have wasted my time too often. Not looking for feedback on this, just my two cents.
     
  3. patoaflac

    patoaflac Member SoSH Member

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    Well, maybe that´s why it´s called football.
     
  4. kenneycb

    kenneycb Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play SoSH Member

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    A kicker is basically a slightly more specialized LOOGY that gets shit on for doing a few things well instead of just one.
     
  5. WheresDewey

    WheresDewey lurker

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    I don't think CTE is having a large direct influence on viewership. But it's definitely having a strong indirect influence by having more and more kids playing sports other than football due to it. In the long run, this will have the biggest impact, as people who play football are some of its most avid viewers and evangelists.
     
  6. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    A mod can move this if its over the line, but the Schillings (not *those* Schillings AFAIK) of Johnstown, PA are very clear why they stopped watching their beloved Cowboys:
    https://www.politico.com/magazine/s...rump-johnstown-pennsylvania-supporters-215800

     
  7. johnmd20

    johnmd20 literally like ebola Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    There is no way you can claim the fact that the players on the field are killing themselves are not having an impact on viewers.
     
  8. NortheasternPJ

    NortheasternPJ Member SoSH Member

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    Don’t get this at all. It’s always been this way with the exception of the XP. A team driving down the field down by 1-3 points with under 2 minutes left and trying to win or tie is awesome. Can they get into field goal range? Will he make it? Will they try a kick from 60 yards? Will the D block it? That’s great drama.

    Wide right! Is a defining moment in NFL history, the Snow Bowl kick, Cundiff missing, the guy from SD this year who blew two games in a row? I find this as a great part of football.
     
  9. LMontro

    LMontro lurker

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    Not only that but if there is one thing watching the Patriots during this run has taught me is how valuable special teams are. Kickers can impact the game in more ways than just FG and XP.
     
  10. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    Think of it as a tiebreaker. Leaving aside safeties and rare events for a second, if you were to replace the NFL's scoring system with one that was "greatest number of touchdowns wins; if equal, then greatest number of FGs wins", the results (winners) would match the results of the actual scoring system probably 98% of the time if not more. If the name of the game is "drive the ball over your opponent's goal line", then FGs reward getting "close". Your likelihood of making a kick, of course, increases the closer you got to your goal. So to me, FGs make sense as a tiebreaker.

    (now, missed PATs throw a bit of a wrench in this process, but I think the correlation between even the 2017 system and 'most TDs, then most FGs' is still tremendously strong)
     
  11. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

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    Honestly I don't need any aspect of it explained to me, and I maybe could have been clearer that this is just one more aspect of the game that I have issues with. Again, usually when I complain about something, I have a specific suggestion of how to improve it, but I don't in this case.

    But yeah, I've had issues with the NFL for a long long time, maybe starting with Lyle Alzado's Sports Illustrated article in SI in 1991 (https://www.si.com/vault/1991/07/08/124507/im-sick-and-im-scared-the-author-a-former-nfl-star-has-a-dread-disease-that-he-blames-on-his-use-of-performance-enhancing-drugs%5D). Sometime around then, SI wrote another article where they compared the routine daily contact one gets in the NFL to running into your garage door headfirst with no helmet, 20 or 30 times every day from different angles and at different speeds. That is a comparison I have never been able to fully shake, and I've never felt entirely good about watching football ever since.

    On the flip side, I fucking hate targetting penalties in college, where guys get kicked out for that game and the next even though half the time the collision is because the receiver lowered their own head before impact.

    Again, I don't know the answers, I don't think there really are answers, but I watch and care about football less and less every year which is what this thread is about, so I tried to explain (not very well) my own personal perspective on that.
     
  12. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    it's OK if you just needed to vent. I only offered my perspective because I shared that impression of silliness - intuitively, field goals seemed very odd to me too, until they were explained to me kinda like a tiebreaker. In soccer if you end up with the same number of goals in a knockout tournament game, you take penalty kicks. Tiebreakers games in tennis. Made it a little easier to get comfortable with.

    It didn't really make sense to me, though, until I learned the basics of rugby. There, the player who scored the touchdown is the one who has to take the kick, and he has to take it somewhere on a line going back from the end zone, perpendicular to where he scored, which adds a lot of drama and tactics to the play (and keeps it connected to the players doing most of the playing). Likewise, FGs that aren't after a touchdown can only be taken under certain circumstances, like a penalty, so the tactical focus remains on getting that ball into the endzone. I'm not sure why Walter Camp et al decided to let anyone take the PAT, or make FGs a more frequent aspect of gridiron football, but it does add a bit of a feeling of contrivance.

    As to everything else you mention, I won't offer a counterpoint - I think most football fans know that at this point, following the sport comes hand in hand with cognitive dissonance and general unease. The only question is how strong that unease is for them.
     
  13. Reverend

    Reverend for king and country Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    There’s also the issue of an unprecedented amount of alternative entertainment available on demand.

    It’s sorta amazing to me that isn’t a more prominent part of the discussion.
     
  14. E5 Yaz

    E5 Yaz Transcends message boarding Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    It's the myoptics
     
  15. rbeaud

    rbeaud Member SoSH Member

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    Are you speaking to the appearance of specialists in gridiron football? I do agree it is one of the XV already on the pitch with some teams designating a long and short kicker. My South African friends would wax poetic about the prowess of Naas Botha from the 70’s, so this is decades at the least. Recently in 7’s the try scorer kicks the point after to speed up the game. Makes sense not to waste time waiting for the kicker to trot up the field with 7 minute halves and no stoppage.
     
  16. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

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    It wasn't on demand, but i'm gong to a pig roast at a nearby brewery this afternoon. That's my excuse for no daytime football.
     
  17. Super Nomario

    Super Nomario Member SoSH Member

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    I think this is part of it, but this has been in the backdrop for the rise in NFL numbers, too. It's not like Netflix didn't exist in 2014.
     
  18. Reverend

    Reverend for king and country Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    True.

    But Netflix is also like 10 times better today then it was in 2014.

    Is the NFL?

    I also think mobile streaming of all outlets makes a difference, and that has improved as well. Like, people watch other shit more while also watching football... and some drift. I don’t know how anyone can watch a game like that, but I see it more and more. The stoppages in game play contribute to that drift to—the way the game works almost inexorably leads to it. I think a lot of people just are drifting away.
     
  19. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

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    Nah, 2014 was pretty much Netflix's prime. They've added some good original programming, but overall it's worse in terms of what's available. This is from last year, and the catalogue available now is even smaller.

     
  20. Reverend

    Reverend for king and country Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I was referring to quality, not quantity. Like how they’ve taken the mantle from HBO for comedy specials.

    I find the quality of what I can find to watch—across platforms as Netflix is only one anyway so kinda irrelevant as it was just one example—much higher today than then.
     
  21. The Needler

    The Needler lurker

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    You're right that it really is kind of irrelevant to the overall point, but I strongly disagree about quality. I'm not one for comedy specials, so I don't doubt you're right about that. But the quality of the movie library is a joke compared to what it was several years ago, having ended the deals with Stars, Epix, etc. It's really pretty much worthless for movie buffs now. And the old TV show library has disappeared, too.

    Some discussion here, if anyone's interested:
    https://cordcutting.com/netflixs-catalog-isnt-just-getting-smaller-its-getting-worse/
    http://bgr.com/2016/10/21/netflix-movies-library-us-uk-horrible/
    http://www.slashfilm.com/netflix-movie-catalog-shrinking/
     
  22. SumnerH

    SumnerH Malt Liquor Picker Dope

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    The core problem is vertical monopolies. At one point courts were willing to step in and say that the distribution outlets needed to differ from the production outlets; see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Paramount_Pictures,_Inc. for the most prominent case.

    In the short term it seems like letting Netflix both create shows and have a monopoly on their distribution increases choice, but the long term effect is really to make there be a zillion studio specific monopoly priced sources for content (you can only get House of Cards from a Netflix subscription or the Avengers from a Disney sub) instead of divorcing production from distribution and having a bunch of true competitors pricing things out in the market.
     
  23. m0ckduck

    m0ckduck Member SoSH Member

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    I watch bits of games with my wife who grew up in the Eastern Bloc, never saw a shred of football until her mid-20s and thus needs the rules explained (and re-explained) pretty often. Whenever I hear myself explaining anything about field goals and extra points, it sounds totally bizarre and obscure to my own ears— like this strange procedure that's been tacked on to the rest of the game, involving a skill-set that's unconnected to what we see in every other play.

    I get all the rational counter-arguments for how it serves as a tiebreaker and puts the 'foot' in football— just saying I can relate to the feeling of gut-level disconnect.
     
  24. Poulsonator

    Poulsonator Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I get it as well. I've always found it funny that these gigantic men literally kill themselves on the field for 60 minutes, only to have these small, "my first uniform" kickers come out to decide games. Of course it's part of the game, etc., but I can't imagine how awful it must feel to battle all game, be exhausted and broken, only to see this little dude come out in his clean uniform to miss the kick.
     
  25. gryoung

    gryoung Member SoSH Member

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    Lots of those “little dudes” are multi-sport athletes. Sure, there are some that may fit your perception, but many played other sports to a high level prior to the NFL.
     
  26. Poulsonator

    Poulsonator Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Of course most are amazing athletes and would destroy most of the planet athletically. But in the context of the NFL the contrast is hilarious.
     
  27. KiltedFool

    KiltedFool has a terminal case of creeping sharia SoSH Member

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    Cue up The Lonesome Kicker...
     
  28. BigJimEd

    BigJimEd Member SoSH Member

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    Reminds me of the Parcells quote when the trainer tells him he didn't think the kicker can play.

    "I don't need him to play. I just need him to kick."
     
  29. m0ckduck

    m0ckduck Member SoSH Member

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    I remember reading this too, and being haunted by the analogy. Even worse: to be specific, I believe it was actually "riding a bicycle into your garage door with no helmet 20-30 times a day", not running.
     
  30. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    Couldn't find the SI article but did find this Globe article from 2005 that has that description: http://archive.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2005/09/25/time_running_out_on_dillon/.
     
  31. shaggydog2000

    shaggydog2000 Member SoSH Member

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    And sure, back in the 60's the trend to find soccer players to be your kicker started, and we got legitimately small foreign guys who had never played American Football coming in with their odd facial hair and embarrassing attempts to make normal football plays, like this:



    But since then the kickers have all played as kickers in college, and often high school as well, and are pretty normal sized for pro athletes. Gostkowski and Vinatieri are both about 6'1" and 210, good sized guys. They only look small because they are often next to 6'7" 330 lb tackles in a huddle. The little soccer player kicker is pretty much non-existent in today's NFL. These guys can even make normal football plays, like tackling somebody, or throwing a football. Not as well as NFL players who specialize in doing those things, but in a convincingly athletic way. It's not like the 50's where your middle linebacker would take place kicks, but enhanced specialization has hit every aspect of sports, especially the NFL.
     
  32. singaporesoxfan

    singaporesoxfan Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Papa John’s walking back their earlier statements

    “We believe in the right to protest inequality and support the players’ movement to create a new platform for change. We also believe together, as Americans, we should honor our anthem. There is a way to do both. (2/3)”
     
  33. crystalline

    crystalline Member SoSH Member

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    Yup. Such monopoly / monopsody concentration might be the defining economic issue of our time. It's part of the Piketty story. Frank Foer's recent book is good too.
     
  34. wiffleballhero

    wiffleballhero Member SoSH Member

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    This is such a tired trope in football, but if kicking was that easy there would be a story like Hauschka's every week -- cut from DIII soccer team, ends up in NFL. It is amazing how good some of these guys actually are at this, especially since a ball over long distances has so much space to tail off line.
     
  35. Quintanariffic

    Quintanariffic Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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  36. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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  37. Reverend

    Reverend for king and country Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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  38. Van Everyman

    Van Everyman Member SoSH Member

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    This was teed up in the ESPN Van Natta/Wickersham piece as part of the "action plan" Goodell wasn't initially sold on when it was presented to him but went to bat for when the big player/owners summit happened:
    I wouldn't be surprised if McNair's "inmates" comments ended up giving players and the league office the upper hand in this.

    Also, for anyone who thinks Joe Lockhart isn't getting shit done in this job isn't paying attention. The league has been amping up its "My Cause My Cleats" initiative a bunch the last month to start giving "outspoken players" a league-sanctioned channel to express themselves -- the Black Unicorn is one of the latest to be participating and it's pretty damned good:

     
  39. eustis22

    eustis22 lurker

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  40. johnmd20

    johnmd20 literally like ebola Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    I'll say this about the NFL viewership and interest. The SoSH thread last night had 11 posts in it. Dallas versus Washington and it was generally ignored. That is incredible. I will admit I watched 0 seconds of the game, myself.
     
  41. tims4wins

    tims4wins PN23's replacement SoSH Member

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    I had it on for like 10 minutes but I asked myself why, then changed the channel
     
  42. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    I have t watched a single minute of a Thursday night game outside the Pats. Perhaps if I added up all the minutes of any non-Pats game I’ve watched, I might be able to accumulate enough to get to one full game, but it’d be close. That’s really got nothing to do with CTE, players kneeling or any other conscientious decision to avoid it, but simply that if I have three hours to burn, there’s so much more content I can watch instead; my fiancée doesn’t like football and we only have one cable box; and frankly there havent been many compelling matchups - I likely would have watched Pitt/GB if Rodgers wasn’t hurt; for example. I also don’t go out for games anymore - whereas I used to go watch the Pats with buddies and either get there early or stay late and watch another slate of games, I’m much more content now sitting at home where there’s no bathroom line, food and drinks are free and I can pay attention and not miss large swaths of action or pause it when I need to do something. I am most definitely not in the ‘as soon as Brady/BB retire, I’m gone’ camp, but I definitely don’t consume like I used to and there’s no one thing to point to. But I could apply that to most sports on tv. Life is too busy.
     
  43. Bowhemian

    Bowhemian Member SoSH Member

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    I watched part of the 1st Q, really just for background noise. And that 1st Q was pretty bad.
     
  44. Strike4

    Strike4 Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    One factor that hasn't been mentioned is the rise of outdoor activity as an alternative to staying inside on a Sunday and watching TV. People don't want to be tied to live TV.
     
  45. Marciano490

    Marciano490 Urological Expert SoSH Member

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    I watched the end, but just because I had money on it. If not for gambling, I don't think I'd watch any non-Pats games.
     
  46. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

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    Sorry, the rise of what? come again?
     
  47. bigq

    bigq Member SoSH Member

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    If it’s nice outside on a Sunday afternoon I’m out doing something with the kids or doing yard work instead of watching football.
     
  48. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    What do you mean by the rise of outdoor activity though? Did you recently just discover the outdoors? People have been doing stuff outside for a lot longer than there has been football on television.
     
  49. Reverend

    Reverend for king and country Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    I think he’s saying he had kids and that led to the discovery of a world outside of televised sports, but I could be mistaken.
     
  50. bigq

    bigq Member SoSH Member

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    I’m not sure there is really a rise and I did not pick up on that part of the comment the first time around. For me there are an increasing number of better alternatives to spending three hours (or six or nine) in front of the television on Sundays.
     

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