Tag Archives: NFL

NFL rating down, no surpise

The last couple of weeks I have seen stories in which the NFL ratings are down and they are getting worse.I guess I have a few thoughts on this and why the NFL is finally having issues.

  • With all the concussion talk, it was just a matter of time before people stopped watching
  • The product on the field is not as good as it use to be, when you have up’ed the flags for how you hit, how you block, how you line up on special teams you end up with cookie cutter games with no excitement or great team plays. Basically you have teams going out there and passing it for 60 minutes and nothing else.
  • The NFL policy in which each of their teams has to be on national television once every three years (I believe)
  • The NFL lost it unique brand when it put it money ahead of the people. When you have to have extra long commercial breaks, coaches that are required to wear NFL gear, NFL gear for everything, a restrictive social media policy, people can not relate to that and over time you will lose people.
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NASCAR continues to drive in reverse

To off topic of the usual Baseball/Basketball/Football/Soccer discussion, I want to take today’s post and discuss NASCAR racing. And based on the recent TV ratings and attendance numbers this might be a post that is not viewed by many. I caught a little bit of the race on Sunday and noticed the large empty sections of the bleachers of the rain postponed race. It got me thinking that this seems quiet common of all NASCAR races in recent years, and with article recently on low TV ratings, it makes me think how this could have happened to a sport that was considered a top tier sport a mere 20 years ago.

In my thoughts, there are could of reasons NASCAR has fell on hard times:

  1. Single TV Contact – This in my opinion is the biggest miscalculation and gaff for NASCAR, possibly greater than the next five combined. For the 2001 season, NASCAR signed a single network contact with FOX in the hopes people would know which network would have the race each week. Later on, FOX sub-contracted with NBC for the second half of the season. This model/idea had one major flaw, there was no incentive for other network to provide any coverage like it did for the previous 30 year. If you looks at the other major sports, they all have multiple network contacts: NFL (CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN), MLB (Regional, FOX, TBS, ESPN), NBA (ESPN, ABC, TNT, Regional) and NHL (Regional, NBC, NBCSN). NASCAR previously had contracts at the track level with ESPN, TBS, TNT, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, TNN…. That is seven network that did not care to promote NASCAR or provide coverage, that is seven networks that might be promoting the sport during another sport telecast for an upcoming broadcast.
  2. Inconsistent sponsorship – Back when I use to follow NASCAR closer, you knew which driver was in which car because of the sponsorship/color scheme, but this no more. Sponsorship’s change way too much to have any consistence to follow a driver. Though this might be one that really be fixed.
  3. Race for the championship – Back in 2003, NASCAR thought (incorrectly) they had a major crises on their hands…… a driver won with only one win. This championship for Matt Kenneth led to the “Race for the Championship” which would be a playoff system. The problem is, why should other drivers really try (and sponsors pay for cars outside the championship) when will not receive equal focus?
  4. Not everybody can win – When you have 40 (or 43 previously) cars on the track in the 90’s and before, you knew on any given week (and with a little luck) that a driver could win. Those days are gone because the technical gap is too great, there is only 10-15 drivers that can really win each week. It is now too costly to get into the sport, the cars are too different to the fans to relate too and wins too hard (without a 5 car team).
  5. Inconsistent race dates – If you compare the 2015 to the 1996 season, you see that there was 0 Saturday races in 1996 (5 in ’15) and only two races at night (9 in ’15). This not knowing when the sport if on, coupled with issue number one leaves the fans confused when the sport is on.
  6. Same tracks – The tracks are too similar to each other. If you use the 2015 season as reference, you only have a couple  different track types, notice the issue that there are too many of the semi-oval tracks. People want to see a variety and not the same race week after week.
    1. Semi Oval – Atlanta, Las Vegas, Fontana, Texas, Charlotte, Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky, Richmond and Chicagoland.
    2. True Oval – Dover, Loudon, Indy, Darlington, Homestead.
    3. Short Track – Martinsville, Bristol
    4. Super Speedway – Daytona and Talladega
    5. Odd ball/Road Course – Phoenix, Pocono, Watkins Glen

Now I’m not one just to leave the issues on the table and not provide recommended solutions. Below is how I would fix NASCAR.

  1. Bid the races out on the track by track basis, spread the wealth…. get NASCAR’s name out there on multiple networks all the time all year long.
  2. Continue the race to the championship, but also include minor trophies. You could have a season long point trophy, an FA Cup style races where certain races drivers are paired off with the one finishing better moving on until the final two face off, a race for the rest for the drivers outside the top 16. All of these can run concurrently with the Chase, this might give the fans and drivers an extra inventive to race.
  3. Make the cars more like traditional cars since nobody wants to watch racing cars they can not relate too.
  4. Make all races (except 1st Bristol and 1st Charlotte) a day time race on Sunday (no Saturdays). I know the reason the Saturday races were added, but it just does not work. All Sunday races start at 12pm or 3pm CST depending if is a west coast race.
  5. There needs to be a effort into mixing up the tracks, NASCAR needs to add tracks that race different, have different strategy, add some more road courses. Drop some of these semi-ovals races from 2 per track to 1.

 

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Thinking once again….

It’s been over two years and I’m once again going to give this blog thing a try. I’m going to try to post a little less often to avoid burnout(Once every 7-9 days), hopefully on Sunday’s for the most part. Looking back at my last posts, this is what I see that has happened since the last time I posted:

  • Bret is still the coach as Arkansas and it did not turn out to be the disaster I predicted [can’t get them all right I guess :)]
  • Gary Andersen is gone from Wisconsin (Thank God!) and Paul Chryst is the coach. Hey, we are off to a very good start….better than Bret 🙂
  • Bo is gone a Wisconsin for basketball and Gard is in. He seemed to over achieve last year with mid-level players.
  • The Brewers ended up taking since the last post thanks to the incompetence of Doug Melvin and we had to blow the whole thing up. Amazing that the Cardinals never have to go into a rebuilding mode (and it is not because of that larger fan base.
  • Bench clearing brawls still happening in MLB even though the solution is SIMPLE. New GM, same idiotic policy (See prior post)
  • The Bucks got new owners and getting a new stadium.
  • Listening to the Dan Patrick show the other day and they mentioned that the NBA will make it a point of emphasis to enforce traveling. I laughed too.
  • A point that is close to me…. The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters of the Northwood’s League won the championship this year. As a 9-pack holder and was at all the playoff games it was truly great following the team including the walk off home run in game 1 of the championship.
  • The Pro Bowl is still as boring is bad as always….. If they would only change it to a future stars with rookies and second year players
  • Now onto soccer, I have really have started following Sacramento Republic FC
  • Carlisle FC having a good season
  • Big Brother has really gone into the toilet. It basically has become repeat comp after repeat comp. It really lacks in game play in recent seasons, as alliances don’t matter and skating through is the new norm
  • What is this with CBS delaying Amazing Race?
  • I bought a drone to fly in the park. Videos are here.
  • Countdown to Battlefield 1 has started
  • House of Cards was great and the following season was good
  • Other Netflix shows I have been watching:
    • Last Man Standing
    • Poirot
    • Family Guy
    • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 2 is stupid IMO)
    • Narcos
    • Chopped
    • Cutthroat Kitchen (Is awesome!)

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Filed under Baseball, Basketball, Football, Other, Soccer

Let the 24/7 Football Continue…

With another season in the books for the NFL, this will lead tomorrow into the non-stop over-analysis for the 2014 season. What I expect starting tomorrow:

  • Power Ranking every team 1 to 32 for 2014 (if you watch ESPN, it will be in the exact same record finishing order for 2013)
  • Power Ranking Top 10 for every position including a special ranking for free agents
  • Top 10 ranking of every draft position
  • Breakdown of the strengths of each player including how one offensive linemen is better than another because his range of motion is 0.01% better. Each breakdown will finish with the comment that this guy is the best person and will play in NFL for many years for all 200+ picks
  • Breakdown of every Quarterback including how one QB is better than another because his arm slot is 3/8th of an inch higher than another.
  • Projected post draft power ranking
  • The projected teams that Tim Tebow will play for

This is the problem with the NFL today is that there is no “off season” on television, what makes it look like one season goes into another. I don’t feel like I miss football like Baseball, Hockey, Basketball.

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When the Pro Bowl could not be any less interesting

Lets call this blogging… Part 3. After another Siesta from writing on my thoughts, I will give it another try to write on this blog, this time I will blog a little less consistently so that I don’t become so discouraged.

The topic this evening… The NFL Pro Bowl.  It is another week before the Super Bowl which means another meaningless game before the Super Bowl, they call it the “Pro Bowl”, but it is anything but a Pro Bowl. What we have is a game that few top tier players care about with too much to lose that do not want to play in a game that is treated as a joke, there is no incentive too play in the game or in the case of the players too play 100%. I will admit that this season the players did seem to give a better effort and the play itself was somewhere between High School and College – Division 2.

The Pro Bowl is a game that has been muscled out by is own league.  There is football on TV every day for 365 days a year, so another game is no big deal for football fans. The Pro Bowl use to be the last time we would get any football until the Draft in April and Training Camp in August, now the day after the Super Bowl, every network is breaking down teams for next year. Along with every game and every player being analyze from top to bottom, there is no need to see what makes the best players the best.

We do not get to see the best players anymore because most players get paid above normal common blue collar people. The “Pro Bowl” players can go to Hawaii on their own dime and they do not have to put on a show for Commander and Chief Roger Goodell. Back in the day of lower salaries, players would appreciate some paid time in Hawaii since the players generally could not go on their own.

The draft this year was a joke, there was no reason or thought process to extending that over two days. I also thought that the draft would have been better if it would have been a real draft instead of by position.

The problem I’m having watching this years game is I’m unable to identify with the teams this year. While my disinterest in the game was waning in the last decade, this year the bottom fell out for me, who am I suppose to cheer for? Why do care about either team? How does this game relate to me? None of these question are answered with the format of this years game. For me you need to give me a reason to watch, maybe some kind of contest tie-in with the game with a drawing after the game, that might get me to watch for the right price or prize.

The rules for me have always been a joke for me since I have been watching, but that was always going and is the reason that this game is not watched or played like it should be. If this game was played with full rules along with a bonus or incentive for the participating players to fully… participate, the game would be played to its full potential. The rules for this years game have been especially annoying, 4 two minute warnings, switching ends after each quarter, no kickoffs, etc. This more and more sounds like the Roder Goodell experimental rules game.

It is time to end this game and give it a proper send off, the purpose of this game in the end was the ability to see players play each week that you could not see normally. This era of football of 24/7 football takes away that need for this game. Lets one and for all make this years game the series finale for this one great game and allow this game to end with dignity instead of a dong

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Josh Freeman over-hyped career over?

As reported on Sunday, Josh Freeman has played his last game in the Tampa area and maybe in the NFL. For me, this “I don’t care” attitude was something that does not surprise me about this quarterback.

This was a long time coming, Josh Freeman was not NFL caliber quarterback and should not have been in the NFL as long as he was. He lasted in the NFL as long as he did for the sheer fact that he beat the Green Bay Packers in his rookie season back in 2009. People started looking at him different and unfortunately viewed him as a real quarterback based on the caliber of defense that Green Bay was at the time.

But everybody has a bad day, it just was not Green Bay’s just happen to have one that day. Bad start after bad start, year after year were shadowed by the fact that “He beat the Packers back in 2009”. You can not rely on one game as the reason a quarterback should be propped up for this long. If there is no improvement by the end of the next season, get rid of the player.

The pressure and the limelight got to Freeman, he thought he was something because everybody in the media said he was something because of one game. Josh Freeman would have benefited by waiting a year or two like Aaron Rodgers, learn the ropes, learn how to handle himself in the NFL.

I’m guessing when he lost the captain role from the team was the end for him, when the other shoe was going to drop was just a matter of time. To spike that quick in the NFL at that age is just too much for most. Someone will most likely give him another shot at a backup most likely (because someone will remember that ’09 Packers game), but the damage is done.

In the end, this occurs more than it should in the NFL, every game is make or break. The media likes to proclaim the rise to stardom from just one game or sometimes from just one throw. It should not be this way, but once again another victim has been claimed in the form of Josh Freeman.

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Packers Bye Week

What to do during the bye week since I will not have to yell at the TV on this Sunday?

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