If the National Football League was any other business, its customers would have abandoned it by now. Their obfuscation and denial of the dangers of head injuries comes right out of the playbook of the tobacco companies. They have a long history of hiring scabs. They care more about their #brand than domestic violence. But the NFL is not like any other business; football is really fun to watch.
So here’s my proposal: keep watching football, but don’t give any of your money to the NFL. Don’t go to games. The viewing experience is better on TV, and you don’t have to pay $10 for a hot dog. Don’t buy new jerseys. They’re overpriced, and your favorite player probably won’t be on the team for long, so you’ll barely get a chance to wear it. If you feel the need to buy merchandise, make sure it’s not officially licensed by the NFL, so you can be confident it’s a knock-off.
I’ve been doing this for a while as a Washington fan – Dan Snyder is a uniquely loathsome person – and it’s not hard. FedEx Field is a terrible place, and I don’t know why anyone would choose to go there. I can get just as angry at our terrible football team by watching the games on TV with my friends.
Let’s be honest, we’re not going to stop watching football. I’m planning to watch today, and after I write this I’m going to set my two fantasy lineups. The NFL will still get TV revenue, but they’ll worry if merchandise sales and attendance start to slip. As long as fans keep buying what the NFL is selling, they will keep selling it with only token changes. No football fan can possibly like what they see from the NFL, and the NFL is not going to change until fans demand it.