Go Read This Reddit About the NFL Reaching Its Peak

Kyle Scott —  January 13, 2014 — 25 Comments

Really good discussion on Reddit:

I’m slowly pulling away from football, and you have nailed one half of the equation for why. Going to the games is actually less enjoyable than watching it on tv.

But then, watching it on tv gets less enjoyable every year. The broadcast is so packed full of advertising it feels like I view more promotions than actual content in any game. Score, commercial, kick, commercial, injury, commercial, time out, commercial, instant replay, commercial. It’s tedious and actively breaks my immersion while watching the game. We get less of a feel for how the game is going because we go to break for timeouts instead if the announcers discussing the situations each team is facing or showing highlights from the current drive.

And the commercials aren’t even the only advertising. The intro to Sunday Night Football is a two minutes advertisement for a phone company, every highlight has a title that awkwardly forces some company into the name, the onscreen graphics flash brand logos instead of constantly revealing useful information, and the pre & post game segments never go more than five seconds without a sponsorships, including awful skits that aren’t in any way entertaining.

Add in the greed of expanded playoffs, teams playing in (or possibly moved to) London, locker room cultures that promote racism and homophobia, merchandise that is always 20% more expensive than it needs to be, an abuse of breast cancer to make money by pandering to female fans while donating less than 5% of proceeds to actual research, threatening to abandon fans in order to force stadium deals that become a hardship on local communities, blackout rules that punish fans for not paying exorbitant prices for attendance, the Super Bowl having only 1% of its tickets available to the general public, the NFL actively suppressing concussion research, the NFL apologizing weekly for something the officials screwed up, expensive tv packages, a lack of internet streaming, and a blind eye to performance enhancing drugs while overreacting to a little pot and at the end of the day my interest in the league is getting seriously close to the last straw.

I don’t know what that straw will be, but I know it’s coming. Culturally popular things rarely implode based on one action. They slowly rot from within, which is already happening for the NFL. It wont be quick, and the NFL is going to get bigger before it fails, but the groundwork has already been laid.

Unless a player dies on the field. Then the whole league craters.

There areĀ a lot of comments, but if you have time, read through some of them.

I agree with virtually everything written here, except for when you’re watching your own team– then most of this stuff gets thrown out. But I can’t sit through a full, non-Eagles, non-RedZone game without distracting myself somehow. I don’t think the NFL has anything to immediately worry about, however. It’s just that the viewing experience kind of stinks.

Kyle Scott

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25 responses to Go Read This Reddit About the NFL Reaching Its Peak

  1. Manfred von Richthofen January 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    This is why I switched to football…no commercials, complete fluidity, and non-stop unbridled tension.

    American football will be it’s own undoing…for Christ’s sake, they can barely sell out playoff games.

    • Lt. Wilfred “Wop” May 209 sq. RAF January 13, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      ^What he said. This article is why I prefer the pace of football to the NFL. in football there are NO commercials, and nearly every game is competitive. NFL teams essentially have two different teams that play the game – so essentially FOUR TEAMS play in each game. Silly waste. The advertising, the stoppages – all really killed the sport. The average play lasts 6 seconds. These guys get paid so much to do so little.

    • The Eagles-NO playoff game was pure torture to attend. There’s no way they haven’t added an extra 20 minutes of commercials to playoff games. You thought you were cold, then after ten consecutive “double commercial breaks” with the score 3-0 you KNEW you were cold. And worse….bored to tears. Then add in all the shitty random-holding-call officiating and you start wondering why you care. It’s not worth attending even with good buds.

      In my family’s once-dominant SJ football town it’s all lacrosse & soccer now, football can hardly field teams. There is such a thing as too greedy, NFL can suck it.

    • couldn’t agree more. it’s AMAZING going to a Union game and for 45 minutes actually watching action, even if you don’t think soccer is the best game in America (I dont). Something traditional about not having all of these breaks is awesome, and you can really tell. Advertisements aren’t shoved down your throat at Union games, people aren’t watching the videoboard to see if they get on the jumbotron (who the hell cares Phillies fans), people aren’t turning around infront of you to wave to the camera when the action is in their end of the ice (Flyers fans), and the last 5 minutes of a game do not take 30 minutes (NBA). It’s by far the most “pure” sporting event in the city

      Face it, this was the most exciting Eagles season in awhile and I was bored out of my mind most of the time at the 4 games I made it too. Sure the 10 minutes of action during a 200 minute game are pretty cool…but that’s about it. No wonder people get piss drunk.

  2. The NFL is cresting and is about to start its long march back down. The horrible in-game experience is now openly discussed and on full display with the need for hijinks necessary to sell out three of the four opening weekend playoff games. The fact that this happened in Green Bay is hugely telling. The NFL treats its fans that attend live games like shit, particularly in the playoffs, when the breaks between plays are longer and the weather is always worse.

    The NFL is cashing out while it can. Youth football participation is dropping so the next stream of players are on the soccer pitch to theoretically avoid concussions.

  3. The Philly Drunk January 13, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Aside from the concussion issue (which is large), hasn’t advertising always been there? The NFL hasn’t become a billion dollar business by sitting on it’s laurels and not taking action on certain things. The NFL will adjust and move on and be the cash cow it always has been.

    Concussions is a little bit of a different animal. I can’t see football (and NHL) disappearing forever without advancements made in technology or something.

    • Advertising has always been there, but not at the level it is now. Not every info box on screen was “sponsored.” The bottom line is a relatively recent invention, and even when that started there wasn’t advertising, it slowly evolved to the bloated mess it is now. I don’t remember breaks during 2 out of every 3 timeouts. Or commercials for every injury, only the serious, multiple-minute stoppage.

      I can see the sports disappearing if they don’t adapt (and we don’t demand they do). Every year we learn more about concussions, and every year the status quo looks worse. Yet, even deadspin which is normally pretty on top of evolving issues yesterday had a headline poking fun at Welker’s helmet and concussion issues. We as a public don’t want a “lesser” product without violent head injuries. But the public loved gladiators, too. But we eventually realize how barbaric we were forcing people to be for our entertainment.

      • The Philly Drunk January 13, 2014 at 7:56 pm

        Maybe it’s me, but i’ve become immune to all of the sponsorship logos on graphics and what not. The timeouts were always long. I was at the Eagles game and there was an absurd part in the first half where they went to commercial break due to injury at 2:09, then came back and the ref signaled the clock to wind, so it hit the 2 minute warning and another TV timeout. So 2 TV timeouts basically directly back to back. That shit has to be fixed.

        And the NFL will adapt, it always has.

  4. Hard to argue with anything in that post really. The commercialism has gotten out of hand to the point of soulessness. I agree its killing the experience of watching live, which is why I DVR most of the games so I can forward through the HOURS of commericals that make up the broadcast.

    The one thing the NFL has that outpaces the other sports is the actual ANTICIPATION of the games. The actual build-up leading to the games is what helps the sport thrive, the actual games themselves are quite anti-climactic much of the time.

    When half the sport consists of immeasurable HYPE week after week leading up to each new game it will be hard to kill.

  5. couldnt you draw the same conclusion from all sports?

    • It depends on which point(s) you’re talking about. The advertising? Not as much. Yes, there’s more than ever in the other sports, but it doesn’t seemingly interrupt the flow of the game (except basketball in the last two minutes). Baseball, it’s always been between innings and pitching changes. Hockey, 3 per period. Always. The NFL is finding more and more excuses for TV timeouts.

  6. Jeewfery Laurie January 13, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    Keep spending your money stupid goy!! HHAHAAAAAHA

  7. The Swiss Cheese Pervert January 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I can’t stand the pre-game show with 10 ex players on it

  8. This post is spot on. The Eagles-Saints game was a damn travesty with the amount of commercials that were shown. If not for RedZone, I would think the NFL’s ratings sans the playoffs and Super Bowl would see drastic decreases year over year – it’s that absurd.

    Granted, hockey is my #1 sport, but I agree with the some of the guys above – soccer is becoming a go to for me because a 90 minute game takes 2 hours out of my life. Think about that. A 60 minute NFL game takes 3.5 hours out of a person’s day. 30 LESS minutes of actual gameplay takes an extra hour and a half to watch.

    • The Philly Drunk January 13, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      You realize Fox just announced that this years playoffs so far was the highest rated ever for Fox.

    • Football games are about 15 minutes of play and 45 of waiting for the play clock to dwindle down and for fat people to catch their breath/get oxygen.

  9. I’ve been more into college football than NFL recently, for pretty much all these reasons. Not that it is completely void of these issues, but it’s one step behind the NFL in illegal hit g*yness. Also, slightly less commercial breaks/stoppages/delays in College…during the regular season at least. After watching all the BCS Bowls and NFL Playoffs, if I have to watch the friggin’ Nissan Rogue commercial one more time, I might shoot myself.

    Agree that you deal with it for Iggles games, but it’s maddening no matter who’s playing. Also, it’s amazing how with Sunday Ticket, there can be like 8 or more games on at once and every damn game is at commercial at the same time…oh well, I guess the odds are good for that happening with the action to commercial break ratio.

  10. cable’s a scam January 13, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Wo wo wo. He starts out with legitimate complaints about the GAME. Then he turns it into his left wing agenda: “racist” , “homophobe” blah blah

    • Wat.

      So someone doesn’t like racism or homophobia and it makes them have a left wing agenda? Equality is a liberal agenda.

      Colbert really was right when he said that reality has a liberal bias.

  11. Yeah I agree with most of the post. And the popularity will fade a tad (maybe), but it’ll still be huge in the increasingly niche-oriented TV viewing environment. So it will continue to be the safest bet for advertisers with nearly bullet-proof ratings (which may increase even more of the constant ad annoyances on TV unfortunately). I mean seriously if you are a big sports fan what else are you going to watch on Sundays and Monday nights from Sept-Jan, even if the games suck?

    Also the way the league is set up, with the exception of perhaps the NHL, where 7 or 8 seeds routinely make long playoff runs etc, it has the most parity of any league. With the exception of a handful of teams, every August you can make the case that just about any team could potentially make the playoffs. And that will only increase in a few years when the old great QBs retire (kind of like what happened in the late 90s/early 00s when Young, Aikman, etc retired).

    So yeah all that nonsense in the broadcast is annoying and the live game experience is no longer that great compared to home. But would you rather watch the NBA where like 7 teams legitimately can win a title any year and half the league’s teams are dreadful? Or MLB, where in many cases your team is pretty much out of it in June, certainly in most cases by August.

    Also, fantasy football. Tens of millions of people will watch horrendous games just to keep track of their players.

  12. Catch a damned pass January 14, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Football and Hockey baby!

    The meatheads can suck it!

  13. And people still bitch about advertisements on Jerseys? Put 100 advertisement logos on a Eagles jersey if that means no more TV timeouts. and get in shape if you complain players need those breaks.

  14. Last Sundays games both ran over 3 1/2 hours long. That means that besides the 60 minutes of game action there was 2 1/2 hours of commercials, timeouts, replays, halftime analysis. That is absurd. I stopped caring about the nfl years ago bc of the ridiculous analysis and non stop coverage. I remember a few weeks ago counting 8 different pre game shows on at one time. 8! The league is over saturated and now people are starting to realize it.

    Oh and with the NFL now going to 16 Thursday night games the NFL is expecting to make 800 million by selling half the games to another network. Let that number sink in. They won’t stop until the game is on every day. I don’t know about you guys but I was good with the Sunday games with 1 Monday night game

  15. Well, when Vegas with its legions of gamblers and the fantasy geeks drop their interest in the NFL, then, and only then will the sport sink, and not before.

  16. There is a pretty easy solution which has saved the games for me. I simply hit pause on my DVR and let an hour and half go by before starting to watch. By the time I catch up, it’s the 4th quarter and if it’s a blowout you don’t even need to finish watching.

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