DON’T GET ME STARTED had me answering questions from lunch mates on several topics as the Bills got ready to take on the Miami Dolphins.


Art Wander

One of them considered the published report that the NFL ratings are slipping.  They ask what I thought of the ratings not as strong as the NFL would like.  Here’s my take: THERE IS TOO MUCH NFL NOW.  You’ve got Monday; Thursday; Sunday.    On those Sundays, there’s NFL football games on the tube from 1 p.m. till midnight and later.  That’s almost 12 hours.  Add pre and post games and it’s no wonder fans are saying, “Enough is enough.”

When Pete Rozelle was the Commish, he introduced Monday Night Football.  Fans flocked to ABC to see the game for 2 reasons.  The schedule maker always gave ABC top teams to watch.  The announcing crew was outstanding.  It was entertaining to watch Howard Cosell and Don Meredith exchange barbs, information and banter.  Gifford was there but he was no match for Howard and Don.  Forever, Don Meredith’s remark regarding a lonely Houston fan in the bleachers holding up his finger… Don said, “He says we’re #1.”

Add to the fact that the NFL always plays a couple of games in London and sends signals they are considering putting a game in the far east adds to the over- exposure of what once was a one week wait for NFL action with fans counting the days.  Every day of every week, ESPN and other sports blogs keep up the NFL monotony and that’s too much NFL for fans.

Going further, the NFL makes sure that every NFL team will be featured at the night games.  That means there will be mediocrity on many of those nights.  If the ratings keep sliding, Roger Goodell will have a tough time getting bigger bucks for his diminishing product.

To me – it’s time to go back to what was successful.  That means no more Thursday night games; no more Sunday night games.  Stick with a winner, and keep it to one 1 p.m. game and one 4 p.m. game on Sundays and then the Monday night affair.  Naturally, NFL cities will be getting their games no matter if it’s at 1 p.m.; 4 p.m. or Monday night.

Simply put.  There’s too much NFL and it’s time to cut back so that fans will be yearning for Sundays to arrive.  Right now, some of the match-ups on Monday; Thursday; and Sunday nights are ho-hum.

You want more boredom?????? Once December rolls around, the NFL, as they have in the past, will probably schedule Saturday games.  So it’s likely you will get 4 games on Sunday; 1 game each on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

Naturally pre and post games and on those 3 days where there will be no games – TV will be sending highlights; interviews; commentary and much more.

That’s why this over-exposure forces fans to flock to other things to do rather than watch NFL games  In the hey-day of the NFL (under Rozelle) fans looked eagerly for the 3 games TV would carry a week instead of the current set up.  And let’s not forget, the blackout rule was in effect so NFL cities would not see their team play.

Failure to act will see the NFL wondering why the clicker runs wild during NFL games and clicks on other things to watch on the tube on Don’t Get Me Started..

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