Feeds RSS

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Changing View On The NFL & Sports In General...

I was sitting and watching the NFL on Sunday, like any other fan. It was about 5 minutes after kickoff of the Cardinals/Bears game... aka before it had turned into a complete blowout. Neither team is a favorite of mine, but the game did have a good view at what Roger Goodell had turned the NFL into... an offensive minded game where defenders can do almost nothing. It's like the Arena Football League was, except while the AFL was family targeted, the NFL is just about taking your money.

They take your money and give it to rich, money-first owners and to players who increasingly are getting paid more and more to whine whenever a call doesn't go there way and in some cases are protected as if they are wearing skirts. (I don't mean to be sexist there, but that's pretty much what the term has become around the league.) It's football... it's about the hard hits and the defense. Yet, it's quickly becoming the 'No Fun League' (what in god's name was wrong with the random TD dances Chad Johnson... at the time... or Steve Smith had? They were... FUN!) where even looking at a QB (only if they're last name is Manning, Romo, Favre or Brady though) is enough to get you penalized. I mean, if they don't wanna get hit, go play flag football. I'm all for preventing injuries, but they're taking it too far. They claim to be making it fan friendly... yet all they're doing is getting rid of the defense to try and attract more fans. Sure, scoring is nice. But as someone who remembers when defenses were even just partially relevant (well, kinda remembers), the degradation of the game has been drastic. And quick. And annoying.

Anyhow, I was watching the game and came to realize 2 things. The first I mentioned above... the game has become a kinda bore to keep up with. Defense has gone to hell. And second... I wanted to watch a game that wasn't going to be on TV. Why? Because I live in Salt Lake, and they've decided that if I'm not a Broncos fan (which they couldn't air this week because the Broncos are on Monday Night Football), then I must be a bandwagon fan. So we got the Patriots. We got the Giants. We got the Cardinals. And that was that.

Sure, you can watch other teams. It just involves paying a ton of money to get DirectTV or the Red-Zone Channel or what-not. And it's annoying as hell. I, as a Panthers fan, have seen maybe 3 non-playoff Panthers games on TV here since their Super Bowl run a couple years back... 1 on Sunday Night Football and a couple that they switch too after the other game on FOX/CBS is over or turns into a major blowout. I don't have the money to pay for the channels. And I'm pretty sure that if I did, they wouldn't be very high up on my "want" list. And yet those are the only choices I have. They refuse to let the games air online for free. They won't even let radio stations broadcast them online, so you can't even listen to them. I guess, as they say, that money is king. And I hate it.

I get it... it's the "in" thing now. The NBA has been moving towards that, and the Jazz recently joined the crowd, meaning I can't watch Jazz games. I have NEVER seen a Pirates game on TV in Utah (there was one this past summer when we were in New York and they were playing the Mets). NEVER. I can follow on MLB.com, but they've started charging if you want to watch highlights that they post after they happen (somewhat live). But still...

I've never spent money on NFL gear. I've never bought a NFL ticket or been to a game (kinda hard in Utah, it is). I have no plans of doing it in the near future. (Same is true of the MLB, and I haven't been to a NBA game in like 6 years.) Charging me money isn't going to make me pay for the TV deal, and it isn't going to make me go buy a ticket. No. Instead, it's making it get to the point where I don't even care anymore.

I mean, sure I follow the Jazz. Via Yahoo! Sports' box-score (highly unreliable/ineffective and a pain in the ass, by the way). I follow the Pirates. Until about July/mid-August, when the lack of a salary cap in the game dooms them and they fall out to the point that following them is a pain. I try to follow the Panthers on Yahoo!'s box-score (see above complaints, they're the same here).

But increasingly, I'm realizing that I just don't care. For the NBA, it's a bit hard. They're my home team, so I still follow them... even as I get sick of the act. For the Pirates, things are looking up and I'm just hoping they'll make it to the playoffs before I give up.

But for the NFL... as I sat and watched the beginning of the game on Sunday, I realized that unlike previous weeks, where I had at least some interest & all that... I just didn't care. The game went on for a bit, I followed for a bit and then turned the TV off. I completely ignored the Panthers game this week (despite how important it was), choosing instead to do homework & take an afternoon nap. And in that span, I came to realize that I just don't care anymore. I'll finish the fantasy teams I have this season (maybe), but after that... I doubt it. Fantasy football is all but dead to me.

Roger Goodell can keep changing TV contracts to screw the current fans. They can keep charging more and more money to see bigger and bigger wimps. They can let the officiating go to hell. They can let cheaters get away with the cheating. They can trade in old fans for money.

I really just don't care anymore.

(Note, in the above... I am not talking about the NFL draft. While I hate the way it's going, it's still on my good side. For now.
Roger Goodell is trying hard to ruin that as well by screwing with the timings. And ESPN's lack of coverage after the 1st round is annoying too.)