October 31, 2016


The NFL is becoming more disturbing than appealing, and TV viewers are tuning out (Sally Jenkins, October 31, 2016, Washington Post)

[N]one of the explanations make as much sense as the simplest one: The NFL has put less appealing and more disturbing action on the screen, and viewers are turning it off.

Historian Michael Oriard has observed that the great attraction of the league is that it's "the true reality TV," in its most vital form. But the NFL is beginning to seem over-managed and over-staged. Constant commercials and interruptions by refs waving their arms do not produce "appointment viewing;" rather, they produce punts, ties and stasis. Look at the standings: A cluster of 18 teams, indistinguishable save for the colors of their shirts, are at .500 or worse and five more at 4-3. In other words, 23 teams are not must-see-TV to anyone but their most fervent fans. The constant advertisements and hail of yellow flags from overly officious officials make a PBS series seem fast-moving, with a clearer story line.

I actually turned off that Raiders game in overtime because there was a flag on seemingly every play.

Posted by at October 31, 2016 5:41 PM


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