The Philadelphia Eagles 41-33 thriller against the New England Patriotswas exactly what the doctor ordered to save one of the most criticized football seasons since the sport become America’s number 1, but it didn’t cure it.
Much like every other portion of the 2017-2018 season, the ratings of the Super Bowl saw a significant dip from a year ago. It is important to note, the ratings were down last year as well.
Super Bowl LII saw a 7% reduction from LI, with the worst rating since 2009 with under 100 million viewers. The 7% fall is not as bad as the nearly 10% decline the regular season.
It would be exhausting to speculate on all the reasons why, and at this point, an annoying activity to put it kindly. However, what is worth speculating are the two major reasons why the ratings are sure to bounce back next season.
The Stars Will Be Back
This seems like the most underreported reason for the declines, yet it should stop the blood pressure of NFL executives from rising. The list of players injured this past season may have beaten both the Patriots and Eagles if they were to assemble a team. Injuries happen every year but the number to elite stars on big market teams was immense. After Aaron Rodgers went down this year the Packers were still forced on national television displaying their pathetic offense, once Rodgers returns the Packers will return to must-see TV weekly. It is 100% a guarantee that if Rodgers is on it will attract many more viewers than that of Brett Hundley. Joining Rodgers will be the most NBA-esque player in the largest market of the country Odell Beckham Jr. who could end up becoming the biggest star in the sport by the time next year concludes. Weren’t happy with the quarterback play last year? Two of the youngest and most exciting signal-callers in Andrew Luck (this one is less certain) and Deshaun Watsonare expected to resume their duties. When last seen healthy, Luck looked on track to become a candidate for the future face of the league. Meanwhile, Watson was having the best rookie season a quarterback has ever had. The Eagles were able to overcome the injury to Carson Wentz, but he was a young, emerging MVP candidate this year. Also coming back will be some of the best at their respected positions in David Johnson, Julian Edelman, and J.J. Watt. (Not to mention Ezekiel Elliott serving a lengthy suspension late in the season). We didn’t know what we had until they were gone, now we do…
Why does the NBA continue to be on fire? Drama. Fans can not get enough. The trades, the tweets, the rumors, the pettiness, the movement is all that has turned the NBA into the most talked about sport in the media. What this has done has essentially turned sports media into free promotion for the NBA. Fans are constantly hearing about the players, moves, quotes, and rumors of the NBA, therefore, they are more intrigued to turn on a game come game time. The NFL is en route to doing just that. This NFL Free Agent class features numerous impact players that could shop around, including quarterbacks, Drew Brees, Case Keenum, Jimmy Garoppolo, and most likely to be on the move, Kirk Cousins. Oh, and the reason Cousins is expected to change addresses is due to a TRADE. The Redskins pulled the trigger on bringing in Alex Smith. These situations will keep the NFL relevant all offseason, coming off a season they struggled to create any headlines past Tuesday. The increased discussion will certainly generate hype by September. To go along with the all the possible player movement, this past Super Bowl has already produced an unlimited amount of storylines leading up to next year. It really began back with Seth Wickersham’s report, but has now been followed up by … wait for it… Rob Gronkowski possibly retiring, Bill Belichick possibly retiring, Josh McDaniels’ spurning of the Colts, and outside the Patriots, the Eagles possible quarterback controversy. Get the headlines ready!
Oh, NFL, where is September 6, 2018? Keep the storylines off political issues and off-the-field issues and on intrigue with the stars and fans will be attracted.