Controversy usually sells and the NFL has had no shortage of that this season. However, the ratings aren’t what they used to be and that’s a function of a lot of reasons. Fans are losing faith in the league and the officials.
At this point we all saw the call or at least have heard about it. Austn Sefarian-Jenkins hit the pylon in a game the Jets trailed 24-14. It should have been 24-21 with 8:31 to go in the game. The call on the field was a touchdown and CBS went to commercial.
When the game returned, the sponsors live read was going at the same time as the explanation on the field. It was confusing. The call was the Jets fumbled and since the ball was “fumbled” in the end zone, which it wasn’t, the Patriots got the ball back on the 20. This was a game changer. The Jets lost the game 24-17 and the home team had wrestled back some momentum until this call ruined the game. A lot of Patriots fans didn’t like the call.
Referee Tony Corrente showed off the arrogance that now surrounds the NFL, our national pastime. He said the call was ‘pretty obvious’. Dan Fouts was the color commentator and he said it was one of the worst calls he’s ever seen. Two former refs, who now work for networks, didn’t support the call. But this guy said it was obvious.
Here’s a look at the current NFL ratings:
Excuses can be made. But the crux of this problem is people who watch the NFL, without having anything else at stake like a Fantasy league etc., only watch their favorite team. That’s it. They’ve stopped watching the other games being shown.
Rule changes have been going down a dark path for a few years in this league and viewers were putting up with it. Once the NFL had a hard time describing what is or isn’t a touchdown, fans grew tired of it. There are now weekly groans about what happens in games. You no longer have to be in the end zone to score a touchdown. Seems ridiculous to say that but it’s the truth. The rules and referees have now challenged knowledge of the game. That’s what Corrente has done in this case. That won’t increase ratings over time. Maybe for the current week but after that fans will be waiting for this to happen to their team.
When a player hit the pylon with the ball it has been a touchdown. But not this week. The ball was never loose, or on the ground. Nobody can show me that video feed because it doesn’t exist. Fans now must accept these rules and the eventual rule change that will happen based on this play. The NFL has gone to the well too many times tweaking the rules to the point of confusion. If fans don’t understand the game, then a lot of members of the media don’t either, and that’s on the league and that is a reason that ratings are dropping.