Is the NFL really that great? While it’s certainly a popular sport, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of its greatness. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the main criticisms of the NFL and see if they’re warranted.
Despite all of the negative press that the NFL has been getting lately, it is still one of the most popular sports leagues in the world. The reason for this is because the NFL is a very entertaining league. There is a lot of scoring, big plays, and excitement.
The level of competition
The NFL is the highest level of professional football in the United States and is considered one of the four major professional sports leagues, along with Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League. It is made up of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. The NFL has the highest average per game attendance of any professional sports league in the world.
In terms of total revenue, the NFL generated $13 billion in 2016, which was an 8% increase over 2015. The average NFL team is now worth $2.34 billion, which is a 346% increase over the past decade. The level of competition in the NFL is extremely high and it is difficult for any one team to maintain a dominant position for very long.
The entertainment value
When it comes to the NFL, there’s no denying that it’s one of the most popular sports leagues in the world. In fact, it’s often referred to as the most popular sport in America. But why? What is it about the NFL that captivates so many people?
Well, part of it has to do with the entertainment value. The NFL offers a product that is both exciting and easy to follow. There are only 16 games in the regular season, which means every game matters. And with each game lasting just 60 minutes (excluding overtime), it’s easy to find a time slot that works for you.
But the entertainment value goes beyond just the games themselves. There is also an element of fantasy involved. Fans can drafted their own teams of players and compete against friends or strangers in brackets or pick ‘em pools. This adds an extra layer of fun and excitement to following the NFL.
There are a lot of problems with the NFL. For one, the league is extremely competitive. Only a handful of teams have a chance to win the Super Bowl every year, and even then, it’s not a guarantee. The league is also very physical, which can lead to injuries.
The concussion issue
Since the earliest days of the National Football League, the game has been plagued by reports of players sustaining concussions. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another head-injury event. Concussions can range in severity from mild to severe, and can lead to a variety of symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, and difficulty concentrating or remembering. In some cases, concussions can also result in long-term problems such as depression, anxiety, and chronictraumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain condition that has been linked to memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, and even suicide.
Despite the serious nature of concussions and their potential short- and long-term effects, the NFL has long downplayed the risks associated with the injuries. In 2009, for instance, the league adopted new guidelines on how to handle players who sustained concussions during games—but those guidelines were largely ignored by team doctors and trainers. In 2010, amid mounting evidence that concussions were linked to long-term health problems, then-NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged for the first time that there was a connection between football and degenerative brain diseases like CTE. But he downplayed the significance of those findings, saying that “the data is incomplete” and that “concussions have always been part of [the game].”
The issue came to a head in 2015 when a class-action lawsuit against the NFL—filed by more than 4500 former players who claimed they had been mistreated for their concussion-related injuries—resulted in a $1 billion settlement. As part of that settlement, the NFL agreed to fund medical examinations and concussion-related compensation for former players and to set aside $10 million for research on brain injuries.
Despite these steps forward, however, concerns about concussions continue to dog the NFL. In 2016 alone there were 173 reported concussions during regular season games—an increase of 32% from 2015. And in 2017., former NFL player Aaron Hernandez was diagnosed with CTE after committing suicide while serving a life sentence for murder—raising fears that even young players are at risk for the degenerative brain disease.
The domestic violence issue
Since the 2012 season, there have been 103 players arrested on charges of domestic violence. That’s one in every eight active NFL players, and that number doesn’t include the dozens of other players who have been accused but not arrested.
The NFL has a major domestic violence problem, and it’s only getting worse. In the past year alone, there have been three high-profile domestic violence cases involving NFL players: Greg Hardy, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson.
Hardy was found guilty of battering his ex-girlfriend and was suspended for 10 games by the NFL. Rice was infamously caught on camera punching his then-fiancée in an elevator, and was initially suspended for two games by the NFL before public outcry led to him being released by the Baltimore Ravens and banned from the league indefinitely. Peterson pled no contest to a charge of reckless assault after he admitted to spanking his 4-year-old son with a tree branch, or “switch,” as Peterson called it. He was suspended for six games by the NFL.
These are just three of the most high-profile cases, but they are representative of a larger problem in the NFL. A recent study found that one in six women who have dated an NFL player have experienced some form of physical violence from their partner, and that’s not even counting non-physical forms of abuse like emotional or financial manipulation.
The NFL has a responsibility to do better when it comes to addressing domestic violence within its ranks. The current system is clearly not working, and until the league takes action to address this issue head-on, it will continue to be complicit in making domestic violence a part of its culture.
If you ask anyone in America, they’ll tell you that the NFL is the best sport in the country. It’s what we all grow up watching and dreaming of playing in one day. But is it really all that great? Let’s take a look at some of the not-so-great things about the NFL.
The Ray Rice incident
The Ray Rice incident was a domestic violence dispute between former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and then-fiancée Janay Palmer that occurred on February 15, 2014. In the aftermath, two videos surfaced: one showing Rice dragging Palmer’s body out of an elevator in an Atlantic City casino, and another from inside the elevator that showed him punching her.As a result of the public outcry that followed the release of the second video, Rice was released by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. After an appeal led to a re-hearing, he was reinstated in November 2014 but has not been signed by a team since then.
Rice and Palmer married on March 28, 2014, one day after he was indicted for third-degree aggravated assault. On May 23, 2014, a grand jury indicted Rice on one count of third-degree aggravated assault. He entered a pre-trial diversion program that required him to complete anger management counseling and be subject to regular drug testing; upon completion of those requirements – which were completed on November 28 – the charge would be expunged from his record.
The Adrian Peterson incident
This is one of the most high-profile cases of child abuse in recent memory, and it involved one of the most popular athletes in the NFL. In 2014, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges after it was revealed that he had used a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son.
The incident caused a massive rift in public opinion, with many people arguing that Peterson had gone too far and others asserting that he was simply disciplining his son in the way that he had been raised. Ultimately, Peterson pleaded no contest to a lesser charge and was suspended for the remainder of the 2014 NFL season.
This case brought the issue of child abuse into the public consciousness and forced people to ask themselves whether or not they believed that it was ever acceptable to physically discipline a child.