The NFL can spin it anyway they want with numbers and trends that suit their narrative. But if they were honest with themselves and with all of us, they’d admit that their game isn’t well. If not for gambling and fantasy football, both of which have become the league’s best friends, the National Football League and their sponsors would be screwed.
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Last night’s opener featuring two 2017 playoff teams, including the Super Bowl Champion Eagles, finished with a total of 30 points and 26 accepted penalties totaling 236 yards. Only fantasy owners of Jay Ajayi went to bed happy. Most fans probably dozed off before halftime.
The NBC broadcast is tired, superficial and about as exciting as the game. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth are predictable and bland and Tony Dungy is about as stimulating as a rerun of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.
You know it’s funny, many recently, myself included, frowned upon the 4-game preseason schedule as if it wasn’t necessary. And maybe that argument is still relevant. But after watching last night’s game in its entirety while desperately fighting off the Sandman, I couldn’t help to think that I was watching another summer “classic” courtesy of the NFL.
And what should we expect, really. NFL starters probably play the equivalent of one full game during the preseason – maybe. And then they’re asked to turn it on when the regular season starts. The players looked gassed. Some went to the locker room seeking intravenous relief for cramps. And then there were those 26 penalties, perfectly annunciated by referee John Hussey like a prickly teacher who seemed happy to announce failing grades to impressionable students.
I’m sure we’ll hear about how great the ratings were last night and if they’ve fallen off a bit from years past, there will be excuses about the game delayed by lightning and fan consternation over the Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick. But we know otherwise.
It wasn’t a good start for the NFL.
Unless of course you’ve been suffering from insomnia.
Watch the rest of Week 1 and suffer no more.