“Monday Night Football Ratings Crash,” ratings “way down,” “NFL ratings take a huge hit.” It sounds like, if it weren’t for Tom Brady’s inaugural game with Tampa Bay, it would’ve been a catastrophic opening weekend for the NFL. With Brady, it was just a bad opening, not catastrophic.
We also know the NBA is doing poorly, which is a very good thing. If there were new McCarthy hearings, the entire League would be under assault from Tail Gunner Joe.
Due to COVID, other reasons could be–and are–driving the downward spike, but polling and other anecdotal evidence suggest politics is playing a role: the more political the sport, the worse the ratings.
Timely: Hillsdale College’s Imprimis released a lecture by Jason Whitlock: American Sports are Letting Down America. It’s worth checking out.
Nearly 30 years ago, in a 1993 Nike commercial, professional basketball legend Charles Barkley fired the first shot at the “role model” concept popularized by Columbia University sociologist Robert K. Merton in the aftermath of the 1960s counterculture movement. “I am not a role model,” Barkley proclaimed in the half-minute spot. “I’m not paid to be a role model. I’m paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court. Parents should be role models. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”
Barkley’s words landed with a force every bit the equal of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem knee 23 years later. Former Vice President Dan Quayle defended Barkley, while Barkley’s fellow NBA superstar Karl Malone criticized him in Sports Illustrated. Leading news magazines, including Time and Newsweek, published articles exploring the controversy. Newspaper columnists from coast to coast—on and off the sports pages—also weighed in. The topic still sparks debate today.