Does the National Football League bore you like it does me?
I used to love the games. Thanksgiving was the day I would gorge myself on football and turkey. But last Thursday I watched a little of the Lions (who did they play?) and ignored the games that followed.
The NFL has a lot of problems. The players die young or damage their brains. It still attracts the gladiators, but a lot of parents are pushing their boys toward other sports because of the apparent dangers.
There are few good teams in the NFL these days. It’s the Patriots, the Eagles, maybe Minnesota and New Orleans. And who cares? Green Bay used to be fun to watch because of Aaron Rogers, but then he busted his clavicle and they are now just another awful team to watch with a pathetic quarterback who is afraid to throw the ball more than 10 yards.
The coaches of most teams play a boring, risk averse, strategic game of field goals, with most games decided by turnovers rather than brilliant offense.
There are virtually no great running backs in the game. Name one after Ezekiel Elliot of Dallas, who is suspended for six games now. Teams do not even draft running backs much because they are rarely good for more than two years after being chewed up by injury.
I watch football mainly to see the quarterbacks do their magic. Without Aaron Rogers playing, you have the great Tom Brady at 40, the magician, Russell Wilson, in Seattle, and a few interesting young guys like Carson Wentz and Jared Goff. Andrew Luck used to be the equal of Brady and Rogers, but injuries have really diminished him. He hasn’t played a down this season and is consulting everybody west of Tibet for a hopeful answer on his damaged throwing shoulder.
It is a crazy sport that devours its stars like they were s’mores.
TV ratings are down for the NFL, and the League cannot fill the stadiums. Even teams like Pittsburgh are having trouble because they are so predictable and cannot seem to find a successor for Ben Roethlisberger who is looking more like a statue each year.
The Colin Kaepernick kneeling act is not really the League’s big problem. It was a diversion from the boredom of the game as the season began, yet it did reflect the alienation of many African American players who see themselves as powerless pawns of the owners.
One of the advantages of Major League Baseball and the NBA over the NFL is that the players see themselves as partners of the owners to some degree, while the players have virtually no power in the NFL under Roger Goodell, who is paid a $50 million salary with use of a private jet for life.
Also, baseball and basketball are developing an international following with international players on every team. Football is strictly a U.S. game, and the experiment of playing one game a week in London has been a failure. Players hate it. Fans don’t show.
A good Super Bowl can still be a fun occasion, but week-to-week pro football has lost its pizzazz and lost me as a regular viewer.
Question 1: Have you lost interest in the NFL?
Question 2: Who is your favorite running back ever?