The Neilson Company recently reported that 11 percent fewer people are watching NFL football. Why am not surprised? A great number of folks have already tuned out because of football violence. Now, many of the remaining fans are saying no to the mind numbing numbers of commercials that interrupt the flow of the game. Eleven percent actually seems low to me. I would suggest that the NFL should brace itself for a twenty percent dip in viewership. But that leaves a healthy portion of the American public still glued to Sundays and Mondays. And Thursdays? (Are you kidding me! That's a loser night.)
What astounded me about the recent drop in ratings is that some pollsters are blaming it on Colin Kaepernick's take-a-knee protest against the disproportionate police violence toward African-Americans. Here I go again: you gotta be kidding me? This time, notice the question mark. I have a lot of friends who'd tell me not to be naive. They would tell me that there remains a large percentage of Americans harboring prejudice towards people of color. If that is true, you might ask then what percentage of those men and women harboring such prejudice are NFL fans? Gee, I guess if you have a bunch of NFL fans who are haters,then the pollsters may be correct. Now that's pitiful. And as far as I'm concerned anti-The United States Constitution and anti-American.
Let's take it a step further. I'm surprised more African-American players are not following Kap's lead. Their ho-hum reception to their fellow football player's protest should gladden the hearts of NFL exec. The protest is going nowhere.
What should be worrying the NFL is the number of parents who are not excited about sending their boys onto a football field. These days every injury sends a flock of doctors rushing onto the field. It's the NFL's way of telling the public they are concerned about concussions and other injuries. Fine, but I don't see the game getting any less violent, do you?
The NFL should also be gravely concerned about the commercial interruptions that make the game much less pleasant to watch, rather than allow the speculation that it's Kap's fault. I wonder would happen if Kaepernick started to play well, say become a super star like Tom Brady? I can see the Pat vs the 49er game now: The National Anthem is being played, Kap is taking a knee and Brady is standing erect, hand over the Donald Trump button on pinned to his chest.
Where I'm going with this scenario is not a pretty picture. Donald Trump is going to get more votes in this election than people think. (That's pitiful) He won't win, but his numbers will indicate the amount of racial prejudice that still exists in this beloved country of ours. If Trump stops watching the NFL, the NFL should become truly alarmed.
Congratulations Abe Lieberman and VI Warshawski. Your Cubs finally won the National League Pennant. That Abe and VI are fictional characters, Lierberman being a Chicago cop and Warshawske a Chicago PI, is my way as a dedicated detective-fiction reader of saying congrats to the city of Chicago. You've been the most loyal fans ever. You deserve to win the World Series.
Church by Tom Meschery
"It can be a tremendous, soulful experience
to find communion with 18,000 others."
George Karl, coach of the Denver Nuggets
I am tempted to write about communion -
18,000 kneeling at the railing in a Cathedral
or about the word soul as a collective energy
of fans worshiping their heroes, but my wife
says sport as religion has become a cliche,
Since it's probably the truth, I'm stuck,
with soulful and experience, two words
I can't get out of my head like a refrain
without the rest of the song. I'm sitting
in front of my computer remembering
Sunday mass at Saint Dominc's, how empty
the aisles were compared to Kezar Stadium,
standing room only for 49er games.
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.