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  1. Yes, there are two many football games on that are both too easy to access (on mobile devices) and too difficult (cable, which I have no desire to pay for). But also:

2. Terrible teams playing bad football. Parity is dead https://theringer.com/week-1-nfl-picks-812cde5f583d#.kq53trc4y

This also decreases unpredictability and excitement of following one’s team. Now, not every team has the chance to make the playoffs. Unless you’re a Bears fan. I live in Chicago and somehow, according to the local media, they’re always just a third linebacker away from turning it all around.

3. Those terrible teams also play worse football thanks in part to the CBA: https://theringer.com/the-nfl-has-an-age-problem-7068825845e4#.5p16aekn1

4. Too much politics in an escapist pursuit. If you’re on the right, Kaepernick annoys you, if you’re on the left, you’re appalled by the NFL’s terrible domestic violence policy and the hollow for-profit patriotic displays. No matter your political persuasion, the NFL has something for you to be bothered by!

5. Too much uncomfortable reality in an escapist pursuit. You have to make some sort of peace with a bunch of guys destroying their bodies for your entertainment. I have made that peace because if I had the skill and talent, I would have made that deal with the devil myself, and played football professionally. Maybe I’m kidding myself, but it’s what allows me to watch. But big hits are in no way as fun as they used to be.

6. Waaay too many commercials. I get paid for being the voiceover guy for a couple of them and even I think they’re excessive. (Except mine, they’re played just enough).

7. Roger Goodell. How many fan bases has he screwed over? If you’re a fan of the NFL, chances are that moron has done something arbitrary and unfair to a favorite player or team of yours. I have a bunch of disposable income now (I’m out of my 20’s but currently pre-kid) and would probably buy the streaming packages. But I hate that fucking idiot too much.

And when a sport is as large and successful as the NFL is, you don’t need one reason for ratings to decline. Any of these reasons can add up to millions of people changing their viewing habits. So I don’t buy these articles that give one sweeping reason, but kudos to Kevin Clark for writing about so many of them over the course of the season before anyone else.

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