The NFL Is Terrible And We Keep Watching It

It's Madden season! Which means it's time for Patrick, Rob, and Austin to confront pro football and all its ugly contradictions and compromises.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wjwd4x/the-nfl-is-terrible-and-we-keep-watching-it

I stopped watching! It’s honestly easier than you think. I don’t miss it and I would recommend.

Although I still watched the last two games of the season. I am a Pats fan and my friends are as well so it was a good social event. If you have a habit of watching with friends and it’s a social event for you i understand how it would be hard to give up. Luckily for me I was just giving up watching it alone.

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YOU keep watching it. I haven’t watched a game in at least four years. Probably more. It is shockingly easy to stop. I don’t even like the social aspect of watching football. It’s all garbage to me and my life has tangibly improved since I got the NFL entirely out of my life.

Hit me up when y’all wanna do a waypoints about sport climbing (specifically bouldering).

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I’ll add my name to the list of people who have stopped watching. The NFL’s pathetic response to the Ray Rice attack really soured it and the attempts to bury concussion research sealed it for me. I dropped out of a fantasy league I’d been part of for 20+ years. I don’t even watch The Big Game anymore.

It’s great! It’s easily 10 hours a week to play games, catch up on movies and shows, toss the ball around with my dogs, or just do anything from fulfilling to utterly time wasting.

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I stopped watching the NFL because of the cover-up of concussions and the protection of abusers. The racism and nationalist shit makes it even easier for me to stay away.

It’s one less piece of forever media to fixate on + there’s time to catch up on the billion books or games or shows I’ve been meaning to enjoy.

At least NFL fans have been receiving the Patriots’ Superbowls that they so justly deserve. :innocent:

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I’d stop watching but… I really got nothing else going on most Sundays… Plus the Broncos night finally be watchable again, pls?

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Meh, I still watch and enjoy the NFL. I did actually stop, for a while, for about four yers in high school and college. But I went back because having been raised with it as part of a familial and local culture, it did end up leaving a pretty big hole, and was one of the few ways I felt like I could connect with where I’m from while no longer living there. It’s one of the few things I can really connect with some of my family about. It’s something I enjoy the experience of with most of my older, high school and pre-high school friends. And l don’t really have anything to replace it with that would add any more value to my life. Even in following other major sports for the same kinds of narratives and stories, I just find the actual game of it so much more engaging than baseball or basketball. I’ve just made my peace with it in the same way I’ve made my peace with consuming work from the other regressive, exploitative, hellishly conservative industry we’re all here to talk about.

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i for one am excited to see a competitor to pro football in the XFL. now time to take a big sip of sports juice and read vince mcmahons wikipedia page

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This is pretty much where I’m at. I find myself more engaged with American Football than other sports, but more than that, it’s literally the one thing my dad and I can bond over beyond a surface level. He’s a super conservative, ex-military, hegemonic masculinity-touting boomer and I’m a sociology major who’s active on the Waypoint forums – him and I don’t have a lot of overlap. And yet of all things, the little bit of crossover we do have is cheering for our team when they manage to make the Packers look bad.

The NFL is a garbage organization – even compared to similarly garbage organizations like MLB and FIFA – and I’m extremely aware of its myriad faults, yet watching NFL games is more than just something fun to occupy my time with. Like, if it was just that I’d probably have given up on hoping the Lions don’t disappoint me again a while ago. But when it serves as a means to have something resembling a normal relationship with someone I’ve never had that with, and probably never will otherwise, then yeah, I’m still going to watch this season.

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Yo huge shout out to Cado for the CW about spiders at the end. I’m not about to listen to that, and I appreciate the warning.

I think there’s a lot to be said for the player personalities shining in the NBA vs NFL. While I don’t watch a ton of football, I do watch basketball. It’s one of the things my wife isn’t into, but she does like the players a lot, particularly ones from the Jazz. She follows Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio (still sad we lost him) on Instagram. My brother and I have a running joke that Joe Ingles is the most handsome man in the NBA because we love that he always looks like he just rolled out of bed for the games. That kind of endearment to players doesn’t exist in the NFL, and is part of the reason why I like the NBA.

I see this treated as common knowledge in enough places that I’m sure there’s a lot of validity to it, but I kind of disagree? By volume maybe, because football teams have 53 players and even the best are only on the field half the time, vs. 15 for a basketball team and really only 7-8 that get significant time. But there are definitely players my fandom (I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan) that fans have had or currently have that kind of relationship with, even beyond quarterbacks like (easy example) Nick Foles. Heck, we signed a cornerback halfway through last year (a slot corner, Cre’Von LeBlanc) who’d been cut by the Bears and basically became a folk hero on Eagles twitter/reddit in a couple of weeks.

On a more national level, I think it’s more true. Comparably good football players don’t have the same cross-league recognition as even a top 40-ish played like Donovan Mitchell does. But within a particular fandom I think that appeal still exists.

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As someone living in Australia I find discussions of the NFL fascinating as it’s by far the most corrupt and vile sporting promotion going and people’s wavering conviction to stop/keep watching is an exercise in armchair psychology for the observer.

That is not to say Australia’s sporting culture is above reproach, it’s just a less interesting kind of bad.

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Whoa whoa whoa, boxing isn’t dead just yet

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Oh it’s sure bad, but I’m not sure it holds a candle to either the Olympics, which routinely bleed their host cities dry, or FIFA, which *gestures over at the slave labor being used to prepare for the Qatar world cup.

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I only need one reason to not watch the NFL. (Un)Fortunately there’s so many reasons you shouldn’t watch it.

Ditto on the not watching. It’s easier to avoid living in the UK, but I only really follow the Packers via the subreddit these days. Even that place can get a little too unpleasant to deal with at times.

Politics and player welfare aside, I honestly just started to find it too boring to sit through.

Some sports owners give donations… vince? He gets his wife to be a member of trump’s cabinet until like 6 months ago. I’m calling here and now. Trump is going to do the equivalent of throwing the first pitch at the first xfl game… hell he’ll probably get paid somehow

Both are definitely worse. It’s just from an outsider’s perspective the NFL is so nakedly about money and exploitation that it seems bizarre that anyone can talk seriously about it. The Olympics and FIFA maintain this veneer of nationalistic yet utopian fair competition that while disengenuous, doesn’t assault the senses like the NFL broadcast model.

@Ryguy I forgot about boxing. Fuck boxing.

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A weird tidbit about the tattoo thing - the league is actually really afraid of getting drawn into a legal battle w/ tattoo artists (which I’ve never understood, because there’s no way they would lose, it’s bizarre) and so mandates that teams do their best not to feature player tattoos. Many players don’t bother to get releases signed by their artists to allow the tats to show up in photos and so have parts of their body that someone else essentially owns the copyright on as far as legal at the league level is concerned. AFAIK there’s a legal precedent for tattoo artists winning suits when their tattoo specifically is used in an ad campaign, but that gets blown up into being skittish about featuring inked player skin at all.

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Pretty much this - the organizations behind the World Cup and the Olympics are horrible… but if they went away, I would like something to take their place (especially the Paraolympics). I like that utopian ideal of fair competition and think it’s something to strive for - even if the current form does not achieve it.