Sunday, October 24, 2010

NFL Scandal du Jour

"Excuse me, Flo? What's the soup du jour?"
"It's our soup of the day."
"That sounds good. I'll have that."

The NFL's soup du jour is the ongoing Brett Favre sexting scandal, but it just as easily could have been the controversial stance on helmet-to-helmet hits or the impending 2011 lockout.

The scandal du jour could also have been the countless blackouts plaguing the landscape of the league. Columnist Joe Henderson writes a great column this weekend in The Tampa Tribune arguing the archaic blackout policy is bad business for the increasingly-embattled league:
The only one hurt by this is the NFL. Beyond being a minor annoyance, this sure doesn't hurt you.

The NFL policy is designed to coerce fans into buying tickets. When you end up in a situation like the Bucs and Tampa Bay are in, though, keeping the games off local TV just reminds fans they really can live without football. The NFL is a ritual for so many people, but that habit has been interrupted now and it might not be easy to change it back.
Henderson doesn't mention next year's possible (probable?) lockout, but if he's right about the NFL losing its luster, the league is making a huge mistake.

Because the once-comparable NFL, whose owners think they can walk away from fans for a year and pick right back up in 2012 where they left off, could suffer for years much like baseball did after the 1994 strike.

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