First and foremost, I LOVE Football. It’s by far my favorite sport to watch. I watch games that I have zero interest in who wins, and don’t care about the teams. I just love watching football!
Regardless of where you stand politically, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to watch football or the NFL network and not feel at least a tinge of annoyance every time a sports caster starts discussing politics. I know I get greatly annoyed and this year I watched far less NFL football than I have since I was serving in the Army and couldn’t watch every game.
With each passing season the NFL, and most other sports too, seem to become more and more political. From the NBA moving their All Star game because of a local law, to an owner having his team forcibly removed because of his private opinions and what he’s said outside the public eye. Then there’s the Fox Sports show Undisputed with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe where the two attempted to back a rap artist into a corner verbally to say that there is still systemic racism in America. Thankfully Lil Wayne held his ground and wouldn’t be bullied by these sports commentators turned social justice news anchors.
However I digress, back to the NFL. This weekend is the Super Bowl, the biggest football game of the year. So big in fact that every year there are calls across the nation to make the following Monday a national holiday, mostly because of hangover induced sick calls for work. But the game hasn’t been the story at all. I have seen almost no coverage of the actual game outside the sports channels. Typically we are inundated with promo ads, Super Bowl sales commercials, and news story after news story about the players who made it to the big game. Not this year. All the talk is about the NFL reportedly allowing their halftime show artist Lady Gaga free reign to say whatever she wants during the show. Now I’m not saying Lady Gaga can’t have her opinions, and can’t voice them, she absolutely can. But why is she even the halftime show artist to begin with? This is Football, the overwhelming majority of football fans don’t even know a single Lady Gaga song, and even if they’ve heard her music it was because of their kids, not their own interest. Football is an American pastime, they really should stick with Country artists who have a much wider appeal. So a Country artist can sing our National Anthem but can’t entertain people for 20 minutes? Really?
The biggest issue for me, and millions like me is that sports, especially football, are an escape from the rest of the world’s stresses. It’s 3 hours where we can shut off our minds to the woes and troubles of the world, and just enjoy a game. We don’t need or want to be force fed even more political dribble. We just want to watch the game and be happy for a while.
On the other side the biggest problem for the NFL is the fact that the political views they are allowing to be expressed alienates half the country, and quite likely more than half of the die hard NFL audience. This played out during the regular season when the ratings for NFL games nose dived following the Colin Kaepernick refusing the stand for the Nation Anthem “protest” that did nothing but turn off patriotic Americans, especially Veterans, across this nation. The very people who love and watch football.
This kind of action by the NFL and the sports media world as a whole will do nothing to grow the brands or increase viewership of the sports. There simply aren’t enough people on the Left who like the kind of political pontificating we are being besieged by to make up for the loss of fans from the Center and Right who will tune out games, and not buy tickets just to avoid having even more political ideology hammered at them when they are the least receptive to it.
The NFL, and by extension the entirety of the professional sports world and media would be wise to take a step back, realize the damage they are causing these games we all love to watch so much, and stop trying to force feed any political ideology down the throats of anyone watching a game. Most Americans are “center minded,” a-political, and frankly don’t care about politics most of the time, heck they barely care until the election is 30-45 days away. It’s professional sports we are tuning in to see, not political theater. Just do your job and tell us the down and distance, that’s all we want to hear from you.
-The Mid Merican