The blessings of western civilization are many. When a society no longer has to worry about mere survival, about putting something to eat on the table on a daily basis, only then can real advancement take place. Not having such worries is real advancement. The leisure available to the beneficiaries of industrialization, the easy and cheap access to labor saving devices and consumer goods enables all manner of more–and sometimes less–intellectual pursuits.
And then laziness and complacency set in. Those that need not labor to eat begin to take things for granted, things those that came before them worked long and hard to establish. Institutions lose their purpose, their reason for being. Schools no longer focus on holding school, on educating children. They become social laboratories, and profit centers for educational corporations and their tests and fads. Our military no longer focuses on deterring aggression through its demonstrated and fearsome ability to kill our enemies and destroy their economies. Instead, it becomes a social laboratory, fighting global warming and various vague environmental ills, and establishing rights for confused souls to pretend to be some nebulous gender or other at taxpayer expense.
Even in entertainment our largess allows us to lose sight of the very reasons why we consume entertainment, and of the needs of the audience. Hollywood finds itself bewildered at a lack of movie-going attendance when its products actively insult a large portion, if not most, of its prospective audience. Americans want well made and inspiring stories, but leftist “artists” want to tell Americans how stupid, evil and racist/sexist/genderist/ist/ist/ist they are, for their own good, and find themselves confused when “normal” Americans stubbornly refuse to take their medicine.
Most recently, the NFL struggles to understand its empty stadiums and dramatically declining revenues, as The Washington Times reports:
The NFL is approaching the playoffs looking for a ratings turnaround after a year of record-low television numbers.
Outcry over players protesting by taking a knee during the national anthem isn’t helping, but it’s only one of several reasons fans are turning away from professional football, media analysts say.
Perhaps so, but what do “media analysts” think to be the problem?
The protests are the weirdest thing to measure,” Mr. Billings said. “There are a whole lot of people who say the protests keep them from watching, yet it is hard to fathom people are not watching their favorite sport because of something that is not even televised.”
Tumbling ratings are reflected at the national and local levels, where 25 teams are coming in lower than last year, according to Nielsen. In New York, the nation’s largest media market, ratings for the Giants are down 7 percent and Jets ratings have plummeted 37 percent. Viewership of the Dallas Cowboys has declined by 7 percent.
All three teams have struggled on the field this year. The Giants and Jets both occupy last place in their respective divisions, and the Cowboys, after having gone 13-3 in 2016, lost Sunday at home to the Seattle Seahawks, snuffing out their last playoff hopes.
The article also asserts the football market is saturated, with far too many games. There is certainly something to this assertion. The old show biz axiom teaching to always leave them wanting more has been largely ignored in favor of giving them so much they just don’t care anymore. Younger viewers are also watching far less TV. Even so, “analysts” still can’t see the forest for the trees:
I see it stabilizing’… ‘In 10 years from now, it will survive the ratings issue and adjust to a new level of normal and their new normal is rosier than any other sport.
It’s a classic case of lost focus. Americans watch sports to watch sports. More rabid fans have an interest in the personal lives of some of the players only to the extent those personal lives are admirable, and have a direct connection to the player’s performance on the field. No one tunes in to a football game to be lectured about their supposed social shortcomings. That’s why the protestations of NFL executives, players, ESPN nitwits and “media analysts” ring so hollow. They proceed from the position that football is as essential as bread, as necessary as oxygen, as fundamental as love of family and country. They can’t imagine normals doing anything but gladly and stupidly lapping up whatever they dish out, and when they don’t, think the solution is more social justice, more kneeling and more virtue signaling.
It’s ridiculously simple. When athletes are no longer admirable, people won’t admire them. When too many are stupid, violent, wife abusing, drug using thugs, they make poor role models, and people don’t want their autographs, nor do they care to buy their merchandise. When people Americans don’t admire label them racists, they’re not amused. And when people that have greatly angered them spit on their cherished symbols, Americans are liable to be really angry, angry enough to say “to hell with those commie asshats,” and mean it.
“It’s not about the national anthem or the flag,” vacuous players whine. But Americans notice their idiotic kneeling protests take place only on game days during the playing of the national anthem and feel their intelligence insulted. They feel no less insulted when players hide in their plush locker rooms during the anthem; that only magnifies the insult.
Americans are tolerant people. They don’t envy others their success. But they expect a certain degree of humility and gratitude from those whose outrageous financial success–for playing a children’s game–is dependent on their continuing interest and patronage. Arrogant entitlement is not becoming. Just ask Hillary Clinton about that.
Football fans tend not to be progressive, social justice warriors. In fact, those sorts of people very much despise football fans, thinking them toothless, redneck, God and gun clinging idiots, and pathetic, socially unaware denizens of flyover country. Those simple people tend to want simple things. They want athletes, particularly ridiculously highly paid athletes, to focus on sports. They can be social justice warriors on their own time and their own dime, not that fans will appreciate that much either.
“…their new normal is rosier than any other sport”? Considering the sheer amount of money necessary to finance professional football at its current levels, that’s likely to be a wilted rose, at best.