[DFO] Hate Week Presents: The State of the NFL – An Open Thread

Beerguyrob

Welcome to another [DFO] recurring tradition: Hate Week – where we examine various aspects of the game which culminate in this year’s Super Bowl.

Tonight’s first installment in the third year of this tradition is all about the state of the NFL itself, brought to you by medicinal marijuana, arbitrary justice, and the Second, Third, Fifth, & Ninth Courts of Appeal.


Now, the League itself has never been stronger financially. After the 2017 season, the league split revenues of $8.1 billion between the 32 teams, working out to $255 million per organization. TV ratings are up 11% over 2017, and per-game ad revenue for the league was up over the course of the season, and TV rights have never been more lucrative, with FOX recently starting their 5-year, $3.3 billion Thursday night contract.

This despite the myriad issues the league dealt with. And it hasn’t gotten much better.

Attendance:

Attendance across the league was down 0.5% from 2017 this year, and at an average of 67,000 fans per game, it’s the lowest average attendance in the league since 2010.

NFL REGULAR-SEASON ATTENDANCE TREND
SEASON
AVERAGE
’18
67,100
’17
67,404
’16
69,487
’15
68,400
’14
68,776
’13
68,401
’12
67,591
’11
67,394
’10
66,960
’09
67,509

Source

Only 9 teams could claim 100% capacity at kickoff; one of those teams was the Jets, who claimed this

was a sellout crowd of 77,982. I was there; that stadium was 3/4 full at best, and half of those fans were Packers fans. Media investigations forced the [Redacteds] to revise their attendance figures, which changed their results from over 95% attendance in 2017 to 77% in 2018. The NFL has had meetings about the Chargers and their viability in the LA market; the Chargers were forced to reduce their anticipated PSL revenue goal from $400 million down to $150 million, based on ticket price reductions and licence-fee reductions in order to attract more purchases. Their players have complained about home games feeling like road games based, and road teams see playing the Chargers as an advantage due to the influx of their visiting fans, with the Chargers tacitly acknowledging the issue by piping in crowd noise during practices. The Bengals finished “last” in attendance, because while they drew more fans on average than the Chargers – 50,783 vs. 25, 383 – stadium size meant the Chargers had a higher percentage of seats sold – 77.5% vs. 96%.

So while the games were “sold out” across the league, and the “announced crowds” were based on tickets sold for those games, turnstile attendance was closer across the league to 90%. With improvements in TV coverage, the influx of legalized gambling, and increases in stadium costs for visiting fans, the trend for attendance is likely to continue downwards.

—————————————-

Ad revenue:

Ad revenue is down 19% over 2017, because prices are set based on the previous season’s numbers. The 2016-17 season had ratings that were down 10%, mostly based on the fallout from the anthem controversy.

To be fair, ratings were up for the 2018 season. The average weekly viewers for NFL broadcasts in 2018 was 15.8 million. While that is up over 2017’s 14.9 million, it’s still far-below the 2015 number of 17.9 million. So while the league can charge more next year, they are only earning more because inflation has raised the base cost of ad space; they are making less money than 2015.

—————————————-

Lawsuits:

They are waist-deep in a collusion case with Colin Kaepernick that they have yet to be able to dismiss. They started the season unable to receive summary judgment in the case, and an arbitrator allowed the case to proceed to trial. Since then, tapes & transcripts have alleged that there has been effort since the start of the 2017 season to keep Kaepernick out of the league, to the detriment of teams attempting to make the playoffs. Most recently, Kaepernick’s lawyers have the example of the [Redacteds] after losing Alex Smith, and the litany of negative options they paraded onto the field, resulting in their two-game division lead turning into a third-place finish within the span of six games. Evidence of retaliation only strengthens his case.

[And now, there are mutterings of possibly either bringing Michael Sam into the case, or him launching his own based on what happens to Kaep. Because there has always been an undercurrent of sentiment around him being “a distraction”, language that has a ring of familiarity due to the Kaep case.]

They are surrounded by concussion lawsuits, and in each one are actively working with their legal counsel to minimize their responsibility for overseeing player safety and reduce the amount they are forced to pay out to individual claimants. In some cases, fraud on behalf of some lawyers and claimants is going unchallenged by the league because it reduces the amount the league has to contribute, because it has provided the agreed-to sum and not one cent more.

Officiating:

It’s Super Bowl week for the NFL, and yet they are in Atlanta having to answer questions about lawsuits filed by New Orleans fans that have been transferred to federal court for expedited hearing. Despite stories saying they admitted such to the Saints, the league has officially refused to admit officiating errors in the Saint-Rams game. Now the conspiracy-minded have latched onto the fact that 4 of the 7 officials on the Saints-Rams crew were from the SoCal area, and MUST HAVE been working on behalf of a Rams victory the whole game.

Never mind that the head referee from the game, Bill Vinovich, is still eating grief two weeks later, in his job as a college basketball referee,

Which then led to this inevitable response:


The NFL, once again, is managing to succeed in spite of itself. Roger Goodell (pictured) is finishing the second year of a five-year, $200 million contract to be the public face of the league. It’s been his job to negotiate the various broadcast & marketing contracts, solely to benefit the owners. Really, I’m amazed people think asking Goodell for anything will result in a positive answer, unless that answer involves giving the league good PR, like hurricane relief or giving old people & “American heroes” tickets to Super Bowls. His official twitter account only had four tweets from the entire 2018 season.

Plus, franchise owners are hardly paragons of virtue. Beyond the ones that top the list as “not evil” – Paul Allen (dead); Pat Bowlen (vegetable); Clark Hunt (believes in Andy Reid) – you have top-tier a-holes like the California Kids (Mark Davis, Jed York, Stan Kroenke & Dean Spanos) who never met a dollar they couldn’t try and siphon out of a community.

  

[The last two jerkoffs are getting their own day on Thursday.]

Don’t forget the “care & concern” for player safety by continuing to maintain Thursday night football, which is paying the league obscene sums to perpetuate the myth that players don’t need a week to recover from playing an average NFL game. Putting more product on display is often alleged to be one of the reasons behind declining ratings & interest, because the majority of games have been bad, proving there’s a fine line between showing enough to attract casual observers & being desperate for attention and driving people away. CTE and concussion protocols have caused people to question their fandom, but not enough have been impacted by that to draw a line. And the league choosing to promote “recovery stories” outside the concussion narrative, like Ryan Shazier, keeps the focus off the actual problems associated with having played football and the future it holds for those players.

I still enjoy going to NFL games, but I admit I’m clearly in the minority. Driving three hours each way to Seattle is a chore, but it helps that the entire time I’ve had my tickets – since 2010 – the team has been entertaining & committed to putting a good product on the field. Ticket prices have stayed relatively modest, and the benefit of a relatively new stadium means I don’t have to put up with the bullshit of personal seat licences. But there are times when I look at the team coming into Seattle and make my attendance decision based upon that. And that is the real problem the league has, because fans can lose interest even if their team is good, or at least “not bad”. I salute folks like Redshirt who are able to stay fans of a team that needs a death in the ownership in order to improve on the field.

The league has plenty of problems, but all of them combined don’t lead up to fan revolt. Instead, the divide & ignore approach to dealing with individual issues has allowed them to sail along. And that’s why that cocksucker is always smiling, because he’s cashing his cheques and laughing all the way to the bank.

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Beerguyrob
Beerguyrob
A Canadian man-child of indeterminate age, he stays young by selling alcohol at sporting events and yelling at the patrons he serves. Their rage nourishes his soul, and their tips pay for his numerous trips to various sporting events.
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Brick Meathook

Anyone who guts out the record low temps wins an award from me.

Brick Meathook

Here’s one of my vintage (and perfectly working) flash bulb units. That’s a 25B “press bulb” which was the mainstay of the newspaper industry. The bulb is full of magnesium wool which ignites instantly when sparked. The reflector is mirror smooth; what looks like scratches is actually a perfect reflection of the wool inside the bulb.
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Unsurprised

Wow. That’s a hell of a reflection.

BrettFavresColonoscopy

Speaking of HATE, a hearty FUCK YOU to my work laptop for being a brick on 50% of my work flights this week and making this week 1000% worse already. I’m back at home and fucking exhausted.

Fronkenshteen

Anyone know if Magary is ok?

Mr. Ayo

He’s still tweeting, so yes.

Unsurprised

Was he ever?

Fronkenshteen

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ALXMAC

I really wish Liz Warren had won the Democratic Nomination in 2016; now she’s biting on AOC’s tax plan?

Fronkenshteen

Got the thumbs up from Krugman, dontcha know?

ALXMAC

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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I am thankful to whomever videoed this. Their sacrifice is noted.

Fronkenshteen

So many questions…

Brick Meathook

What I wonder is why the incoming tracks were plowed right up to the station platform, and then the station was left unplowed. Weird

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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This was joyful until I saw the Audi driver on the cellphone.

Mr. Ayo

As an Audi driver with a cellphone, I’m offended.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

For your boss?

Mr. Ayo

I’m afraid he can’t afford such a luxury. And I would not stoop so low as to be seen behind the wheel of a mere Mercedes.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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It had been quite a while since Edgar’s last successful date.

Fronkenshteen

I understand Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old” will be molto impressive, but how in fuck is he going to get through WWI in 1:39:00? It’s a bit…dense.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Talk REALLY fast?

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Dan Carlin’s hardcore history gets through it in 6 episodes of ~3 hours each and barely scratches the surface; you could do that for each theater, or several of the battles, and it would be depressing as fuck, but good detailed shit. I like that kind of detail, but I’m in the minority. For the “pop” version that would sell two hours probably wouldn’t get past marketing.

Unsurprised

Millions of people died because six inbred cousins hated each other. Nothing was gained, and humanity lost.

There. I saved you 1:38:45

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

I don’t think he’s looking for the simplistic and lazy version.

Unsurprised

But in case he was, I got him covered.

Fronkenshteen

You know, that’s the most confusing part for me. One of the docs I saw mentioned that “industry” wanted the war to suppress the Workers’ Rights movement. The related monarchs all seemed to want to AVOID aggression, including Wilhelm.

Unsurprised

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BrettFavresColonoscopy

[Ray Gillette voice] I said down herd!

Fronkenshteen

Here’s another thing I’ll say about the nfl. It’s the only offseason I suffer.

“Hockey’s back.”

“Already?”

“Basketball is back.”

“It ended?”

“Baseball’s back.”

“I’m sorry, did you say something?”

“Auto-racing is back.”

“$20 on pump 12, please”

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Where I’m at: [young women are wearing jean cut-offs again, must be warm] SWEEEEEET!

Fronkenshteen

I’m literally trying to watch a pot till it boils. Turkey stock. Once it boils, I can drop it to a simmer and hit the rack. Ooh! I see bubbles!!!

Redshirt

NFL is like the WWE. As long as it doesn’t get any competition, they continue to stagnate.

Take Cincinnati sports teams as an example. All my life, the Reds and Bengals have been content to stay in neutral as they have no competition. Reds in the Spring, Bengals in the Fall, UC and XU handle the interregnum until Opening Day.

Now that FC Cincinnati has taken hold and has had on-field success, suddenly Cincinnati sports fans have options. That a good doze of Pure Grade Apathy have freaked out both teams. Reds have changed more than half their roster and are continuing to make moves, but someone without destroying the farm system or losing their prospects. At this point it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they replace the mascot Gapper with Youppi! just to give Mr. Red, Mr. Redlegs and Rosie Red some competition.

And while its early to tell due to RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAM IT!!!!!! having to make the Super Bowl this year as part of a 17 years old Best Served Cold Revenge for Super Bowl XXXVI, if everyone’s reading the Tea Leaves correctly, the Bengals coaching will be the most turned over with outside non-Bengals help since ever. I’ll wait until next week to see where it falls, but its seeming like the Bengals has gotten the message the fans have been screaming for since ’10.

tl;dr If you don’t have competition, you won’t change because you won’t feel a need to change.

Fronkenshteen

I’m optimistic about the Bengals this year. 3rd year mixon me heap excited to see.

Fronkenshteen

Many Canadian bicyclists in Virginia this time of year. Sometimes whole pelotons come thundering down out of our comparatively small mountains. It’s awesome.

Mr. Ayo

A modest proposal:

https://i.imgur.com/d69lKjp.mp4

Also, fuck you Imgur.

Unsurprised

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Mr. Ayo

*fist bump* Thanks for the assist bro.

Unsurprised

It’s the only thing I’m good for.

Unsurprised

Dear National Football League and Roger Goodell Is A National Disgrace /Ppl forget that:
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Unsurprised

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Unsurprised

I’m tired of being a cynical asshole piece of shit.

WCS

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I have a BA in sub-Saharan African history, and an MA in post-Soviet Central Asia. You get past being tired, you just get used to it. Oh, well.

Unsurprised

Unsurprised is back on his bullshit.
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Fronkenshteen

I’m not sure about the state of the game, but the NFL owes a debt to DFO for my personal continued interest. But reading the ENDLESS list of poor bastards who already went under the knife this offseason to fix injuries they’ve been playing through is enough to convince me to keep my boys from getting involved in much more than flag.

Gratliff

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herodotus450

If the next season of True Detective has 342122 separate timelines, then we’ll know the series trend of timelines as a function of season follows an exponential.

Senor Weaselo

They are all the darkest timeline.

WCS

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herodotus450

Cohle needs to go back to fucking kindergarten: all circles are flat.

WCS

Alright, alright, alright!

Mr. Ayo

That’s what I love about these circles, man. I get older, they stay flat.

Unsurprised

INORITE
— M. Sanchez

King Hippo

sheeeeeeeit

Gratliff

King Hippo

I also give mad props…to the Original Recipe Team Big Love students. That’s a pretty clever poster!

/also surprised they is allowed to say screw

Senor Weaselo

Oh hey, Stark Raving Dad is on FXX in a couple minutes.

King Hippo

wha’ that, Senor?

Senor Weaselo

The Michael Jackson Simpsons ep

King Hippo

The numbers make sense. I thought the actual, on-field product was quite good. Sitting in my recliner drooling over RedZone all day has always made me almost-not-unhappy – but this year was a bump up, even with my side sucking hind teat.

I had free tickets to the Panthers/Saints MNF game, and you’d have to pay me $500 (in readily-spendable #HAILGAMBLOR currency) to do that again.

The NFL is quite good, and would be fan-fucking-tastic if it weren’t run by such fuckweasels.

Gratliff

2019 is 100% getting legit mid-game commercials into RedZone and we’re gonna bitch and complain and continue to pay for it.

King Hippo

I might just go on that long-awaited killing spree if that happens. SCOTT MUTHAFUCKIN’ HANSON shall lead us (and bring the blow).

litre_cola

Just like they are starting to sneak into futbol.

Senor Weaselo

I take offense to that!

King Hippo

That Weaselo, Senor? HE FUCKS!

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

I spent much of my free time today firing up the old dating app before hitting 30 knocks me out of a lot of ladies age parameters. It feels like this has just devolved into a numbers game at this point and is like having a second job. Be thankful many of you will never have to deal with this.

King Hippo

Out of parameters. At 30.

I had to re-enroll in the death spiral of online dating when I was thirty-fucking-six.

Gratliff

Man, I met my ex-wife online in 2003 and caught hell for it from friends and family and basically anyone who knew that. Now I’m in my mid-30’s and people just endlessly fuck people from the internet. So much bullshit. I demand reparations.

King Hippo

eh, those that endlessly fuck are the people who just used to go to bars and endlessly fuck. The rest of us…could identify 40+% of the ladyfolk in Balls’ AVN previews.

Gratliff

Show me an awards show that features anything half as good as an Otto & George and Bobby Slayton one-two punch, and I’ll start watching that genre too.

Mr. Ayo

They’re way better after you hit 40. There are very few parameters.

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

It’s cute that all these 20-something year olds all still have so much hope. And also extremely frustrating.

King Hippo

I want you to be the best aspects of my last 10 boyfriends combined. And rich. Ewwwwwww, 31 is SO OLD.

Unsurprised

I’m going to die alone and I can’t make peace with that, but I can drink myself to death.

Gratliff

*Extremely InfoWars voice*
Look at it! It’s shaped like Mexico! They’re coming at us from both sides!
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Senor Weaselo

It’s so cold they don’t even have colors for Chicago and Minneapolis.

Gratliff

Very grateful to only be in the -30 zone

litre_cola

How much snow are you going to get?

Gratliff

We got a foot today, but the drifting makes it so I somehow had to shovel 4 feet at one point

Senor Weaselo

Is that Act 1 or Act 2?
/On phone so shortened link
https://youtu.be/yStMqWTu-lw

ballsofsteelandfury

scotchnaut

With the wind chill it was -44 degrees this morning. Up next? 15-20 centimeters of snow tonight. That’s like 2 1/2 mini-me’s in your country. What I’m trying to say is that the vast majority of your country is incredibly stupid because a minority of stupid people have fooled the hell out of them.

Sharkbait
ballsofsteelandfury

I’m waiting for the Global Warming to kick in so I can buy me some Northern Canadia real estate.

Game Time Decision

Stoooopid Alberta clipper

herodotus450

The MappleThorpe Leafs have broken the seal on NHL Trade Deadline Mania(r) ™ (c) by acquiring a Jack muzzle from some place in Mexico.

scotchnaut

I had no idea that someone else spoke “Hippo”.

herodotus450

Just nascent talent I guess…
/Stuffs bottle of something-profin under the rug

King Hippo

chuh chuh

Sharkbait

It’s going to suck so much when the Ice Giants trade Zuccarello

litre_cola

Not if it is to the Ice Bombers!

Sharkbait

Wheeler and a 2nd?

litre_cola

Hmmmm, an American that actually wants to play in Winnipeg. He is worth more than gold.

Senor Weaselo

We never got the Zucc/Buch/Boo line!

SonOfSpam

He has two championship rings or cups or Prince Alberts or whatever they get.

Because of his time in Los Angeles, that Hockey Mecca (mostly terrorist-free)

Enjoy your one good player, Mapquest Lifes.

Gratliff

For those who didn’t know, WWE is bringing back Halftime Heat for the Super Bowl this year, which knowing nothing else about it is a 300000000% improvement over Maroon 5. Unfortunately, they’re doing a 6 man tag, albeit with some of the best performers, and not my favorite gimmick match of all time, the empty arena match, which featured a finish that involved the Rock being pinned by a wood pallet with a POV camera shot.

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Unsurprised

It’s no puppy/kitten bowl, though

rockingdog

found a funny:

I’m not trying to seduce you, I’m just very bad at eating.

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

As I have received two notifications from ESPN in the last couple of hours inviting me to stream Peyton Manning breaking down the Superb Owl quarterbacks’ performances, I would like to develop an app that prevents push notifications unless certain keyword strings are found.

For example: Nothing containing “Peyton Manning” would come through unless the words “found dead inside of a glory hole barrel” accompanied it in the message.

scotchnaut

“Seriously? That is so gross!” [raises hands, slowly backs away]

-Kenneth Pinyan

BrettFavresColonoscopy

That’s not Roger Goodell
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This is Roger Goodell
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scotchnaut

“Okay! Pizza Hut, do you have a drunken racist as your national spokesman? No? Promise? Whatever, send your check to The Bank of Cyprus-they’ll handle it from there.”

ballsofsteelandfury

I really don’t think the owners make that much money off attendance. They’re just greedy assholes that need to make as much cash as they can. They could have a full house every game if the prices and concessions were more reasonable.

When I can pay for a weeklong vacation in México for the amount it costs 4 people to attend a NFL game I can watch on TV, something’s seriously wrong.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

If the owner could make the exact same amount of money hosting 50 fans as they could hosting 50,000, they would pick 50 every time.

ballsofsteelandfury

Yeah, but how does that compare to the TV deal money? On a per-team basis, I’d say not well. The exception being teams like the Cowboys that own everything and all attendance-based revenue is pure profit.

That’s why Jerrah is so opposed to revenue sharing and why Bengals ownership doesn’t give a shit.

ballsofsteelandfury

ManU has merchandise stores all over the world. I visited one in Macau. I can understand why they wouldn’t want to share that.

Don’t all EPL teams own their stadiums? I thought stadiums built with public funds were only an American thing.

rockingdog

curry is feeling it early….
warriors vs pacers.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

I don’t usually feel curry for about 16 hours or so.

SonOfSpam

+2(runny)

WCS

THE HATERS HAVE ARRIVED!
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Sharkbait

Roger Goodell definitely gives off a smug-bastard aura doesnt he?

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Mmm…that’s good hatin’…

scotchnaut

I hate country music. A. Lot. But Roy Clarke transcended the genre guitar-wise…