Back when the NFL decided that it would take the side of the national anthem protesters by paying them off with an $89 million bribe late last year, it seemed to be the idea within league headquarters that angry fans would quickly forgive and forget once the playoffs began.
Now that the second round has been completed, that does not appear to be the case and it may be an appropriate time for Roger Goodell to start worrying.
In what would normally be events that are huge ratings hits, Sunday’s divisional round games were down considerably over last year with one game in the early Sunday time slot seeing the lowest viewership in fifteen years.
The stinko ratings likely won’t improve with what look to be two crummy matchups in the conference championship games on Sunday either so it looks like Goodell’s big gamble has failed miserably as Americans turned off by the saturation of racial politics on gameday are still tuning out in droves.
Like any decent dope peddler, the NFL depends on junkies to sell its product (especially the watered-down version under Goodell) but lots and lots of fans seem to have broken their addiction having gone cold turkey thanks to Colin Kaepernick.
Ratings down for divisional round https://t.co/RLTx72874X
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 15, 2018
Via NBC Sports “Ratings down for divisional round”:
Continuing a season-long trend, the ratings sank for the divisional round games.
Via SportsBusiness Daily, the ratings for the four games fell to the lowest level in nearly a decade, with each game dropping in comparison to the comparable game from a year ago.
The good news, if there is any, comes from the fact that the 21.8 rating generated by the Saints-Vikings in the late afternoon/early evening slot was only 0.1 lower than the 21.9 for Steelers-Chiefs last January, even though that game was played in prime time. The bad news is that the apples-to-apples comparison — the late-afternoon Sunday game between the Packers and Cowboys — churned a 28.2.
The Jaguars-Steelers game played at 1:05 p.m. ET posted a 20.4, the lowest overnight rating in that window in 15 years.
For the Saturday games, the 17.4 rating coming from Falcons-Eagles was down from last year’s 18.3 from the Seahawks-Falcons contest; that’s the lowest since Ravens-Titans in that same spot drew a 17.0 in early 2009. The 16.6 overnight for the Titans-Patriots game on Saturday night was the lowest since Cardinals-Panthers in early 2009.
This could be an ominous sign considering that three of the games were close including a shootout in Pittsburgh and a thriller between New Orleans and Minnesota that culminated in a last-second 61-yard touchdown pass for the Vikings.
Other than the customary prime-time blowout in Foxborough, there was little reason to tune out – except the one that despite denial by the NFL’s shills in the media – is the proverbial elephant in the living room.
Quite simply, the anti-Americanism that the league adopted as a part of its brand by refusing to do anything to require multimillionaire malcontents to stand for the national anthem will have Goodell going down in history as the man who killed the goose that laid the golden egg.
The Super Bowl is only three weeks away and the networks and advertisers will be keeping a very close eye on the ratings.