Football is Turning Into an Oprah Show

posted by Steve Bortstein -

Because the NFL clearly isn't enough, and the so-called magnificent return of the XFL is still more than 2 years away, there's news that another new football league is coming soon to a likely half-filled stadium nowhere near you.

The Alliance of American Football, the brainchild apparently of Charlie Ebersol and former NFL GM Bill Polian (pictured above), is scheduled to debut immediately after next year's Super Bowl. 

The details of the league and the style of play really don't matter much to me, and in reality, they shouldn't matter much to you.

It's an inferior brand of football, and you're going to be sold a bill of goods that it's innovative and edgy, which are just more buzzwords for inferior and sketchy.

The game, the sport of football is being watered down too much to begin with. We're inundated with constantly updated turns of the calendar, sucked into a black hole of free agency storylines immediately after the conclusion of the season, we're drawn to the Scouting Combines, we're fascinated by the appeal of the NFL Draft all leading up to.... you guessed it, my favorite day of the offseason, the nationally televised announcement of next season's NFL schedule. 

Because nothing catches my attention more than analysis and breakdowns of games being played in November, particularly when said analysis and breakdown occurs on the first week of May.

Football now has two sub-standard leagues which are about to begin operation.

The XFL is set to come back in the spring of 2020, and while I have no doubt whatsoever that this is going to be used as a primary source of propaganda and nationalistic appeasement for supposedly disenfranchised NFL fans, the newly announced AAF is, I suppose going to be billed as a minor league for the NFL.

Call it the imminent arrival of the NFL's annoying little brother who can't sit with the adults at the holiday dinner table.

And it'll have all the bells and whistles to go with it, including new rules to make the game more palatable for those who are turned off by the kickoff, the extra point and the exclusion of TV timeouts, because THAT'S killing the NFL experience for me and apparently millions of other viewers.

"Damn it Steve, if there's one thing I can't stand about this football thing every Sunday afternoon is the ability to run to the bathroom during a commercial. I've been watching this thing every weekend my entire life and I'm sick and tired of being given an opportunity to pee on a pretty regular basis."    

Call me a conspiracy theorist (there's a really good chance that I really am one), but this AAF thing seems like a direct hit to attack the so-called revival project of the XFL. Not that it needed to be attacked, because that'll go away purely on its own lack of merit.

More than anything, I'm perturbed by the idea that we needed more football. 

One of the things I enjoy about sports is the anticipation of it. The sadness of the end of a sports season is slowly withered away into a gentle calm knowing the next season, along with its hopes and expectations is just a few months away.

Football does a more than adequate job reminding us of its constant presence. I'll be honest, it's a benefit for my occupation that football has a pretty consistent running clock for pretty much 10 months of the calendar year.

Baseball has its busy time during the offseason. We refer to it as the "hot stove" season, when free agent deals get done and players are maximizing their contracts and the Hall of Fame debate gets riled up once again.

You know who struggles with the whole "offseason" thing? Sports that don't have a defined season. 

Horse racing, golf, tennis.... be it for either short periods of time or no time at all, there's no buildup, no sense of excitement for the start of another season in these sports because there's no defined season in which athletes in these sports aren't constantly competing.

Or worse yet, when these sports are going on and the top participants in the sport aren't actively involved, the everyday fan runs away and hides because of general lack of interest. 

If I want more football, I'd have bought a video game system. I'd have long since succumbed to the idea of playing a video game or watch a movie based on football.

I don't think people really want more football. I think people are being told that an inferior football product is going to satiate you in the months between the end of the NFL season and the unfathomable amount of time before the start of the next NFL season.

And guess who's telling you that? People directly involved in the promotion and marketing hubs of the NFL.

Down time isn't a bad thing. Anticipation is a good thing. Stop ruining my Sundays in the fall.

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