2017 NFL Pick ‘Em Week 8 and Fantasy Football Week 7

Mom was this week’s big winner with 11! Lindsey was close behind at 10, while I was pretty terrible with only 6.

I guess the 49ers were bound to disappoint me at some point. But seriously, the same week where I talk about how smart I have been for picking them? And they could have at least lost by like two touchdowns, not 40-10. Made me look foolish!
Underdog Special: There are a bunch of teams you could take here, but I went with the Chargers. I am still not sold on the Patriots defense, so I think they will win the game, but only by a touchdown, it will be 28-21.

A little shakeup in the standings (mostly due to Rob forgetting his picks this week): Sean, Mom, Josh, Jason, Gideon, Lindsey, Ryan, Rob, and Adam. Ryan has not missed a week and my wife is doing better than him and she did forget to make picks one week.

Yeah, that went about as expected. Even if you give Gideon normal points for Cooper and Wentz, he still crushes me.

Unfortunately, Yahoo is having a malfunction and who knows when it will be back online. So in the meantime, allow me to talk about football.

I recently saw a story where the CEO of FOX blames oversaturation for why NFL ratings are down the past two seasons. He thinks having Thursday night games, Sunday morning London games, Sunday 1:00, 4:00, and Sunday night, plus Monday night (two on the opening night) is killing the ratings. It is weird coming from that guy, since his competitors are the ones that have Thursday, Sunday night, and Monday. Immediately there are people who said that the reason ratings are down is because of the protests, which then many other people tried to dispute. Naturally, I have my own theory: it is not just one thing, but instead a mixture.

Yes, oversaturation is a big part of the decline. Not in the way people think though. There have been Thursday games for more than two seasons, it never caused people to stop watching. However, ESPN and the rest of sports media may have helped oversaturate the market a bit. The NFL fed off of it. They made the Combine an event, the Draft an event, mini-camps are discussed, then training camp is dissected. How many times have you turned on SportsCenter to see highlights of the Stanley Cup and the lead story was something about a player not performing well at the Combine.

But I know what you are going to say: that has been around for awhile now, never hurt the ratings before…

You are right, when football was king, the on-field product was amazing to watch. And then something happened. The games became boring. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment it happened, but I can tell you that watching NFL games is kind of a slog. Something I feel like I should do because I am a football fan. I fell asleep during the Steelers/Bengals game on Sunday. It was boring. It seems like there is a penalty every, single, play (especially any big play, you can almost guarantee a holding penalty will bring it back). Every pass that is dropped, you look for the flag (hell, the receivers do too).

You then couple that with players not wanting to get hurt during preseason, so they barely play, and for some weird reason refs do not call penalties as much during the preseason, then you get the first few weeks of the season that are incredibly hard to watch. Penalties, rust, and conditioning lead to a crappy on-field product. Who wants to watch it? Not this guy. Recently during our vacation, Lindsey asked if I wanted to do something Saturday or Sunday. Would I rather miss the Penn State game or Steelers? I chose to watch Penn State. I can follow the Steelers on an app and witness all of those great field goals.

The other part of mediocrity is the parity in the league. The NFL wants it all to be even, they want every team to be competitive, hence the salary cap. And it has worked. The worst teams in the league can still have a chance to win against the best. I feel like they envisioned a league where every team plays like a 10-6 team, but what they got was a league filled with 8-8s.

But why did this decline start two years ago…

It has had an effect on the ratings. You are crazy if you do not think that is the case. I do not think it is tons of people saying “I ain’t never watchin’ a game again!” Although I am sure there are a few people out there with that reaction. I think people who agree that the NFL should not be a political statement for players, may just find something else to do on Sundays. They go out to pumpkin patches, Fall Festivals, and whatever else it is people do if they are not watching football. When you combine it with the other stuff, people may just say “eh, you know what, I can live without watching the game today.”

And be honest, if you are out at Fall Festival, do you really miss much? You check any of the sports apps and they alert you to a score by your team, then you can watch the highlight a few seconds later. You barely missed anything. Going back to the first point, you actually skipped over the five holding penalties, the seven punts, and the missed field goal and got to see an actual touchdown. And trust me, this is not just young people who get their sports this way. We were at the Bedford Fall Festival and I saw numerous guys in their fifties standing around, watching a highlight on their phone. Sports are just not must watch television anymore.

What do you guys think? Am I way off base here?