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No Fun League: The NFL in Review

John Schubel, Staff Writer

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The National Football League is not what it used to be ten years ago. There is an important ingredient missing from the National Football League in 2016 and that ingredient is fun. This year the National Football League has been on a witch hunt against players celebrating. The commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell, wants the players to “be professional” in a press conference. Americans don’t watch games religiously to see players miserably going through the motions. National Football League [RK5] fans have taken action by not watching football this 2016 season. The National Football League [RK6] Ratings have been in a huge decline this season and many think it is because the players are not having as much fun. It’s become apparent that NFL fans have grown tired of the now emotionless and impersonal game. By the time the 2016 season rolled around, fans began steadily tuning out, leading to a massive decline in viewership.

Many notable National Football League players, such as Seattle Seahawk cornerback, Richard Sherman and Steelers’ running back, Le’Veon Bell, have spoken out against Commissioner Goodell. The most interesting of the statements came from the always outspoken Sherman, where he states that the drop in ratings has a direct correlation with the crackdown on celebrations in the National Football League. As he stated in a press conference “this is entertainment, and they’re no longer allowing the players to entertain…to show any kind of personality, any kind of uniqueness, any individuality.” His statements warrant truth, players like Odell Beckham Jr. commented “I’m not having fun anymore.” With a resounding agreement from other players in the league, they are waiting for a response from Goodell but one has yet to come.

The question of the drop in ratings is still very much a mystery. While there is much that points to the players love for the game being drained from the National Football League  being the defining reason, there many other factors to consider. The election had a huge impact on the ratings as numerous of marquee matchups had to go head-to-head with the record breaking debates. Another factor is the terrible and uneven matchups of the prime time games. No one wants to see the Cleveland Browns get obliterated by the Baltimore Ravens. The quality of teams has shown to be somewhat spotty this season as there are only a few genuinely impressive teams and many that fall under categories such as “mediocre” and “poor”.  At this point in the year, there has not been a Thursday night football game where both teams were above .500 (excluding the Thanksgiving games.This poses the question of whether the National Football League will switch the mediocre teams out of the night games and put the premiere teams in their place.

Celebrations in the National Football League  are mostly fun and passionate while others are ridiculous. An example of a great celebration is Cam Newton giving a football to a child in the crowd. It perfectly shows what type of person Cam Newton is and simultaneously shows his passion. On the other hand the ridiculous celebrations come from Antonio Brown. On Sunday September 11 Antonio Brown twerked in the End zone and was subsequently fined 9,115 dollars. There is a line dividing excessive celebrations and respectful celebrations. Getting rid of them all together would be ridiculously idiotic. In today’s National Football League  there are no more players like Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson who would captivate audiences with their crazy antics as they did in the early 2000’s. According to ESPN, there have only been about sixteen interesting penalties this year which some may consider to be shocking due to the fact that the season is just passed halfway over. Merely shooting the football like a basketball through the goal posts will negate a flag in the National Football League which leaves the players to just merely hand the ball to the referee like the Philadelphia Eagles have been demonstrating every Sunday.

The National Football League dominance is fading quite fast. To attract new viewership the National Football League has to let these athletes show their personalities. Things like Cam Newton’s dab are healthy for the NFL as it brings excitement and freshness to a game that is getting dull and repetitive.

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No Fun League: The NFL in Review