I used to love watching sports! It was something I looked forward to everyday. Either the game that was going to be on TV that night, or the one I was going to next week. The games were talked about excitedly all week by friends or co-workers and that contributed to the anticipation. The TV coverage wasn't what it is today, but in some cases that even made it better. I wish I had known then, that as a kid I was witnessing the slow and painful decline of professional sports to what they are today.
Anybody watch the NFL this weekend? Are you getting excited for the Bruins again? Currently both those leagues are involved in Lockouts, just in case you weren't aware. For the NFL its the second consecutive year, and for Hockey its the third time in the last 19 years. (Lets not forget to mention the NBA, locked out last year. Or Baseball ,oddly enough the picture of stability since 1994, which lost a whole season and the World Series.) In all these cases the underlying reason is of course MONEY. They go on strike or lockout their employees and expect the fans to swoon when they return to work. More often then not, we do.
Inexplicably the NFL is trying to use replacement referees to officiate the professional players on the field. The results have been met with violence, injuries and outcomes that leave many scratching their heads. I wont even get into calls that have affected the local team, or even last night's game between Green Bay and Seattle. The league knows we will watch! In fact ratings are expected to rise this weekend, on the belief that we will all tune in to see what happens next!
Professional sports is a billion dollar (Trillion?) industry with world wide appeal. They seem to forget, and we do as well, that without us it would all fail. What if nobody watched? Television rights is where the streams of money come from that support all these leagues. This year alone, 4 networks are paying over 20 billion combined to broadcast the NFL. And what the NFL is putting out there as a game is laughable. They know that we Americans will sit in front of the television and watch!
Not me, I'm drawing my line in the sand. I am shaking my fist at the building on Park Ave in New York, and promising not to watch! (At least until I see the regular referees back at work) It got me to thinking what would happen if none of us watched? Imagine the horror of all those big industries that all of us swear we hate come election time! Forget the people in the stands. By all means, go if you have tickets. I'm sure you paid enough for them. But I'm proposing that nobody watch the NFL this weekend. No Budweiser or Coors Light commercials will be seen. No Ford or Chevy ads would have any impact. Who needs Doritos if nobody knows they should have them? In effect we will have our own lockout! So maybe a weekend won't bring down the Empire that is the NFL. But it would sure send a message that the real power lies with the people they rely on to watch!
Now I know ladies and gentlemen, that what I am proposing sounds utterly ridiculous. I mean what would we do on a beautiful Fall Sunday, without watching football? I for one am going to work on my "Honey Do" list and walk my dogs. Then maybe read a good book and enjoy a peaceful day! I thought about starting a movement online...(something like nobodywatch.org) But organizing others isnt a strong suit of mine. Instead I would ask that you use the comments section to suggest things to do, or let us know what you did do this weekend besides watch football. I know it's tough....but we can do it!
I hear there's a pretty good show on TLC called "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and they have a marathon on Sunday! Oh boy!