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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Declining NFL viewership is symptomatic of something larger

Two days ago an article in the Sacramento Bee said that NFL viewership is down 11% this year, and some of that is attributable to the Colin Kaepernick episode. The relevant excerpt:

A Rasmussen poll found 32 percent of the population is less likely to watch a game these days as a direct result of the Kaepernick-led, take-a-knee protests that have taken hold around the league.

There were other possible reasons cited for the drop in viewers, among them the prevalence of advertisements and the attention focused on the Presidential race.

There were other possible reasons cited for the drop in viewers, among them the prevalence of advertisements and the attention focused on the Presidential race.

But it's hard not to wonder if the whole thing isn't also partly due to the growing racial polarization of this country. Whites just seem to be increasingly uninterested in watching pro sports dominated by blacks.

In the past thirty years I've heard a fair number of white guys express sentiments like, "You know, I actually prefer watching college ball these days. Just really not into pro sports as much anymore."

Or they might say, a bit more directly, "I just got tired of all the showboating you see in pro sports."

The subtext of such statements comes through fairly clearly.

The declining interest may also be related to articles like this one, about an incident that took place last night in Philadelphia: Crazed teens viciously attack college kids for no apparent reason.

These days, when you see a headline like that, there's never really much doubt about the color of the attackers, and the color of their victims. There's also very little doubt that "for no apparent reason" is basically a lie, and that a more honest headline would have substituted the words, "because they're white."

Evidently, several groups of roughly 20 to 30 teens, demonstrating the good sportsmanship for which such "teens" are noted, attacked individual whites, getting them down on the ground and then kicking them.

But, in deference to political correctness, all of that must be studiously ignored. Instead we're supposed to pretend to be mystified as to why these "crazed teens" would attack the college students. (Race is mentioned in the article but once, and then only in an excerpt from a Facebook post by one victim's father.)

In the meantime, we're supposed to admire Colin Kaepernick for his solidarity with the BLM movement and their essentially fictitious grievances.

Viewers are voting on that with their remotes. 


mark said...

I am hoping the decline is less political and more a desire of the population to do something more on a Sunday afternoon. Anyway, I will offer a couple of theories.

1. The NFL just got very large and nothing grows forever. A saturation was going to occur and 2016 was the year.
2. Fantasy football is so abstract that it may have created a generation of fans who don't actually care to watch the games. They follow that stats and are oddly knowledgeable about the game but are less interested in the team aspect.
3. Arrogance. Goodell's salary is a joke and the league expects Super Bowl performers to perform for free or pay for the privilege. Many of the commentators seem kind of dumb and the dumber ones tend to drown out the brighter ones.
4. Trump, BLM, NFL ratings slide. Something is in the air. Times are a changing.

John Craig said...

mark --
Those are all possibilities, all reasonable suggestions. But I do think the racial angle weighs too.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Regarding the attack on the Temple University students, I'm sorry that these young people are learning firsthand about feral people. I get agitated reading about blacks attacking whites. They've become very brazen in their attacks and the media doesn't help by not giving the actual facts. Gee, then blacks wonder why other races look down upon them, preferring to separate from them. I feel sorry for the good ones who have to live in the midst of the feral ones.

- R.R.

YIH said...

The only problem with saying ''it's race'' is the NHL. Can't get a Whiter sport than Hockey, and their ratings are down too. I tend to agree it's saturation plus demographics - the average age of sports fans is going up.
In fact the 'aging' of pro sports fans is the most troubling part of it, advertisers don't like older viewers, that plus Carson's declining health were what pushed Johnny out the door, despite his popularity. 20 years later, same with Jay Leno. A viewer over 50 ain't worth much to advertisers, if someone's been drinking Coke for 50 years and driving Fords for 35 years they aren't going to be affected by Pepsi and Chevy ads.

Anonymous said...


Well I said I would see you after the election but you put up something that I couldn't stay away from.

I thought it was all because of Kaepernick till I read this article:

Best article so far. The games are garbage, played by hired thugs. What's not to hate?

So I certainly think that Kaep is a factor, but really more the coup de grace rather than the essential. This is a multi-factorial heart attack, and representative of American culture as a whole.

I found the description of the Packers/Cowboys 1967 game to be very moving, and I say that as a non-fan of either team, and of football in general. Who could not admire the courage and grit of those players? I shed a tear for them.


PS Teen always = black
PPS "non reason" = die, honky, die!
PPS We all know this. The continued functioning of American society depends on us not saying it out loud.

John Craig said...

YIH --
Yes, good point, the aging viewers are definitely part of the equation. Hadn't realized hockey viewership was down too.

John Craig said...

Puzzled --
Glad you didn't disappear. Yes, good article by the Weekly Standard.

Yes, hard not to be sentimental about the older days of sport, pre-steroids and pre-huge contracts. Tellingly, one phrase you never hear anymore is, "A sound mind in a sound body."

Steven said...

did you see this?

'The demonstrators were caught on video blocking Berkeley’s Sather Gate, holding large banners advocating the creation of physical spaces segregated by race and gender identity, including one that read “Fight 4 Spaces of Color.”'

Regressive fucks. They are a actually fighting for segregation.

John Craig said...

Steven --
I had seen that headline, hadn't read the article, though I just did thanks to you. Yes, it's amazing. The wonderful thing is, incidents like this turn most of those white students into Trump voters, and everybody who reads about this is pushed further in that direction as well. Incidents like this need to be publicized more.

The students of color were allowed to go through Sather Gate, whereas the whites are forced to walk around and over a creek.

And you're a perfect example. You're normally a fairly mild-mannered guy, and this incident drove you to describe them with a cuss word.

Steven said...

I found it on reddit. Reddit is full of liberal minded white millennials, and they don't like this at all. eg:

"2697 points 10 hours ago
the punishment for that should be exactly what it would be if the kids were white stopping minorities from going to class. kick them the fuck out"

If you want to peruse: