The game of football has turned into America’s past time lately. NFL fanatics make sure that all of their plans are around the games being played on Sunday. The NFL brings in the most revenue out of the four major sports leagues (NBA, MLB, and NHL), though despite the success, its ratings have steadily declined over the years. Some sports fans, in general, are becoming less interested in the sport. With that being said, here are the 10 reasons why people hate the NFL.
10. Stars Retiring Too Early
The NFL is built on on-field violence. It’s no surprise why players are suffering from concussions at an alarming rate. Because of this, the average length for an NFL star is three years. Additionally, a player’s prime years are lesser compared to other sports league. Recent examples of this have been wide-out Calvin Johnson and tailback Marshawn Lynch, who both retired at their peak. Lynch might be an outlier, though, since he became a shell of his former self after coming out of retirement last year.
9. Primetime Games Aren’t What They Used To Be
Monday Night Football used to dominate the weeknight spectrum. Sunday Night Football used to bring the week’s best matchup, and Thursday Night Football provided football fans with top-level competition earlier than expected. However, these days, they aren’t as great. With very little variety, teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers dominate the ratings. Thursday night’s product has watered down with players suffering more significant injuries due to the short rest. This doesn’t help the league grow in popularity and it’s time to make an adjustment.
8. Individualism Doesn’t Exist
NFL players don’t get the opportunity to express themselves as much as they want to nowadays. Players can’t wear the cheats they want, they can’t wear the socks Roethlisberger want, and they sure as heck can’t celebrate a touchdown freely. One recent example of the NFL micro-managing a player’s on-field individuality is Deangelo Hall. Following the death of his mother from breast cancer, Hall wanted to pay tribute to his mother, as well as show support to victims affected by the heinous disease by wearing pink for the whole season. To no avail, the NFL rejected his request.
It’s not right to restrict players from doing what they want to on the field as long as it’s conducted appropriately. Players should have the right whatever they feel and celebrate the way they feel, and the NFL should instill more “fun” into the game.
7. Lack of Parity
The definition of parity is simple: it means the state or condition of being equal. As it stands, the NFL is struggling in this regard. Although the Philadelphia Eagles took home their first Super Bowl in franchise history this past season, they beat the New England Patriots who have won the AFC three of the last four years, and have won the Super Bowl five times since 2001.
Furthermore, the conference has been dominated by just three quarterbacks since the span of the century: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger, all of whom have participated in 15 of the last 18 Super Bowls. How’s that for redundancy? The majority of football fans want to see different representatives and winners each year, but instead, they’ve witnessed a same group of the same teams year after year, which becomes old quickly.
6. How Teams Manage Players
NFL teams don’t care about a player’s character most of the team. If a star player does something awful, they throw it under the rug. But, if you’re a third stringer or a player with a lesser role, they will automatically cut you.
For instance, Lucky Whitehead was cut after being charged with a shoplifting crime that he didn’t commit. Ezekiel Elliot, on the other hand, gets a pass for domestic violence because of his superstar status. This doesn’t send a good message at all throughout the league and tells us that if a player’s popularity is superior to another, then they can do whatever they want and not receive harsh repercussions.
5. Teams Relocations and City Demands
The last two years we have seen the city of Los Angeles gain two NFL franchise: first, the Rams from St. Louis, and second, the Chargers from San Diego. Not to mention, the Oakland Raiders will be heading to Las Vegas once the 2018 season is over.
In his 21-page document, Jesse Stephenson, professor of the University of Kentucky’s School of Public Policy and Administration, details the economic impact a professional sports franchise can have on a city after relocating. Low attendance is also a contributing factor to economic impact. The then San Diego Chargers’ attendance gravely suffered during their last final game in Qualcomm Stadium in Week 17 of the 2016 season. Another fact to consider is that league owners demand a new stadium to be built just to fit NFL standards. This has angered the public because it means an increase in taxes when funds are due for the stadium. This shows that the loyalty to a city isn’t what it used to be.
4. National Anthem Protests
Protests during the national anthem have taken the league by storm the past two years. And unfortunately, the NFL has yet to find a solution to the issue. Many people, including President Donald Trump, believe players should all stand for the national anthem before the game. In his mind, when players don’t stand, it creates more anger between the organization and the public. Unfortunately, this has caused even more friction between the players and owners, becoming an issue in which the NFL has yet to resolve.
3. The NFL Looks to Rip People Off Anyway Possible
The prices for NFL games are ridiculous. Preseason games cost as much as a regular season game. The cheapest ticket is usually in the $70 range. Further, parking now costs as much as the ticket itself, sometimes the price is higher, like in the case with the Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys, who charge upwards to $100 and $80, respectively, to park for a preseason game. And that’s not counting $20 beers and $10 hot dogs. In total, an individual can likely spend upwards to $200 for one single game.
2. The Rules are Too Complex
In today’s NFL, there are a set of rules that no one has a clear understanding of. One, what is a catch, and second, what is a personal foul? This year, the NFL is making it harder for a defensive player to issue a big hit on a ball carrier. With the way the rule is set up, a player’s helmet rule must not be lowered towards the crown of an opponent. If so, the result is a 15-yard penalty. The problem is, however, there have already been numerous instances where a player’s body makes hard contact with an opponent’s head unintentionally, like so.
The bottom line is that the NFL’s rules are too complex, and thus making the game harder to follow.
1. Roger Goodell
Roger Goodell has easily been the worst commissioner in the league’s history. His discipline of players has been very ridiculous. Recent examples, such as Dallas Cowboys DE Greg Hardy receiving a four-game suspension for his involvement in domestic violence equaled that of New England Patriots’ QB Tom Brady for deflating footballs. While both lengths are indeed subjective, Goodell has proven to have no validation when handling these suspensions.
Further, Goodell’s stance with the national anthem controversies and other unnecessary issues has caused negligence on his part to the long-standing CTE problems faced by current and former players.