The NFL we grew up with and took so seriously is gone, never to return. Games and teams we couldn’t wait to watch have mostly become soap operas. The NFL brand of football is now a sideshow to circus-like distractions.
NFL owners have been running around the shower of unhappy fans without getting wet for a few years now. Fans’ beefs have been ignored because the owners had a pat hand. No matter what the NFL put on the field their fans were always there, watching and spending.
The networks and owners winked at each other while the number of commercials grew to the point they affected the continuity of the game. Bad calls, phantom calls, concussions and a few unhinged savages intentionally injuring opponents without being kicked out of the league were ignored.
Meanwhile adoring fan cynicism was building up over salaries and the perception of players eating oatmeal and staring at a cement wall was no longer hush, hush.