A major industry that is having troubled times is the National Football League (NFL). Attendance is down for some of the teams and interest overall in pro football seems for many to be waning.
The fact that a number of players displayed disrespect for the national anthem and American flag by kneeling during the traditional pre-game ceremonies has angered many people, especially veterans and their families.
There are reports that fewer people are watching the countless games on television. You hear that the attention given to the game is less due to overkill — too much, too often. Then there are some teams that are performing poorly and interest in those teams is fading.
The money paid to players is upsetting to some people. Many are overpaid for the caliber of their performance. Yes, they do risk having short careers due to injuries. Many players are sidelined early in their pro careers and they want to make all they can while healthy. Those players who have long careers, if they invest their money wisely, are financially comfortable for the rest of their lives.
The wealthy owners can leave a city if the turf is better elsewhere and are welcome in another city. The games are economic drivers for a city. They draw people to the stadium and if it is located in the downtown area, the bars, restaurants and hotels reap the benefits. That was true in St. Louis. But incentives given by cities to obtain a pro team may not match the income spent by fans who attend the games. Cities have invested heavily in stadiums only to see the teams bid goodbye because the lights are brighter somewhere else.
When the Rams departed St. Louis for Los Angeles, we know of many season ticket buyers who turned away from pro football for good. They may watch an occasional game on TV when nothing is on that captures their interest. Some are bitter and the divorce from pro football is permanent.
It was interesting to read on the internet about Roger Goodell, the NFL’s top executive, who has asked for a contract for $50 million a year plus a private jet for life. According to sources who talked to ESPN, Goodell submitted his request to the six-man NFL Compensation Committee. We haven’t heard what he will get in a new contract. Earlier this year all 32 NFL team owners voted to renew his contract, which runs until 2019, and nominated a committee to negotiate on their behalf. We don’t know how accurate Goodell’s request is since anybody can put anything on the internet.
We don’t know what all Goodell does in the NFL office, but he’s not worth $50 million a year and a jet aircraft for life. Maybe he’s influenced by the money thrown at players and he feels he might as well join them in soaking the NFL.
We don’t believe the NFL is in a nosedive as far as fan interest is concerned, but there are warning signs that all is not halcyon days — carefree times of calm, peace and prosperity.