Yesterday, 03:15 PM
American football could fall like the gladiators of ancient Rome
When I called my father back home in Oregon on a recent Sunday, he rattled off his thoughts about the election, the health of his two dogs and queries about holiday plans. But, as the child of a sports-loving house (Go, Ducks!), I was most surprised by what my dad wasn’t talking about on Sunday — football.
He’s not alone in his waning interest. This season, ratings for professional football are down 27 percent across all of the major networks: ESPN, Fox, NBC and CBS, according Forbes. The decline in the ratings underscores a bigger truth that no one wants to face: Nothing lasts forever. And that includes the popularity of professional football, which now may be experiencing the slow, inevitable crumble of a Roman-style empire.
This week, the NFL denied a rumor that the league was reconsidering the fate of “Thursday Night Football,” namely that it was looking to revamp or — gasp — cut back on the sacred media property.