Is the NFL in Trouble?

by James Darby

Can Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban predict the future? Well two years ago in 2014, Cuban at the time said the NFL was ten years away from “implosion.” Many people at the time thought Cuban’s prediction was crazy especially after the NFL in 2014 saw a 35% increase in football being America’s favorite sport. Fast forward to now a days in 2016 and Cuban’s prediction might be looking more realistic. Viewership for the NFL is down 10% so far this season and, while the NFL has come out and made a statement saying they are aware of the viewership being down, they also said the NFL is not concerned about the decrease in viewership. I believe though, the NFL should be worried and here are some reasons as to why I think viewership is down. 
   So far this season the NFL has not been able to market its big stars. Peyton Manning is retired and even though we still see him on some commercials, it’s still not the same from when Manning was playing and he was more involved with the NFL. For the first month there has also been no Tom Brady as he was suspended the first 4 games for New England. Pittsburg Steelers star running back Le’veon Bell was also suspended for the first three weeks and injuries to Adrian Peterson have made him non-marketable. Injuries and only one catch through two games have made Rob Gronkowski a ghost in football as well. So with none of these big name players making any real big contribution to the NFL, it  has been hard to market the stars of the league to gain more interest. 
   How about the overall safety of the players in the NFL? With so many serious injuries like concussions and torn ACL’s happening in the NFL, I believe it could have some parents not letting their children watch football. Look at how the NFL handled the Cam Newton situation week 1 where after some of the hard hits Newton was taking from the Denver Broncos, it was clearly looking like Cam was dealing with a concussion. Was he pulled from that game at all though? No, and if parents are seeing situations like that handled that way, there’s going to be parents who won’t allow their children to watch football and gain interest in the sport. Football is the most violent sport in America and many parents already wont allow their children to play the sport. One way to keep the interest of wanting to play the game down for children is too not let them watch football. It’s like when your parents wouldn’t let you play the video game “Grand Theft Auto” fearing that the violence in the game may carry over into real life. 
       My last reason as to why I feel the NFL is on a decline is that maybe the games are just not that interesting. Lets take a look at the last couple Sunday night games where viewership is down 13% for NBC Sunday night football. Two weeks ago the match up was the 0-2 Chicago Bears traveling to Dallas to take on the 1-1 Cowboys. The Bears that week looked pathetic on both sides of the ball and everyone knew Dallas was going to win that game. Unless you had Ezekiel Elliott on your fantasy team, you weren’t really paying attention to that game. Last weeks game was even worse. The Pittsburg Steelers put a beat down on the Kansas City Chiefs 43-14. The game was over by the end of the first quarter when the Steelers were up 22-0 and many people probably changed the channel to something a bit more interesting. 
     The NFL has been the most popular sport in America for a while now but, if it does not recognize some of their issues the decline in viewership may keep growing. Now as long as there is fantasy football and now the newest form of fantasy with daily fantasy, people will watch the NFL. Anytime people have money on something they will pay attention to it including football. We all know though, nothing great last forever.

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