have you heard? NFL football now america’s least favored sport!

Es­ti­mated reading time is 6 min­utes.

NFL NOW AMERICA’S LEAST FAVORED SPORT! What the Fudd!??! Can that be true? Well, it de­pends on who you want to be­lieve and how low your threshold of credulity: “Ac­cording to a poll by the Win­ston Group, 42% of men be­tween the age of 35-54 had a fa­vor­able view of the NFL in Sep­tember, but has since dropped to 31%—making it the least fa­vored major sport on the survey.”

That is a le­git­i­mate quote and re­flects a le­git­i­mate poll. What it doesn’t re­flect is that the Win­ston Group leans heavily to the right. And any group can make any poll re­sults re­flect any bias by asking ques­tions in a manner that pro­vides the de­sired results.

It’s done on both sides of the aisle, just with greater fre­quency and more aplomb on the right side.

I found this quote a few weeks ago when I came across an ar­ticle ti­tled “After Months of An­them Protests, Thanks­giving Day NFL Game Tickets Drop as Low as $10.”

The title reads as though the protests of NFL players during the playing of the Star Span­gled Banner prior to each game has somehow neg­a­tively af­fected ticket sales—at least for the highly prized Thanks­giving Day games. 1


NFL: photo of a plate of fried chicken.

“NFL protests af­fecting chicken wing sales, poultry pro­ducer Sanderson Farms says.” As this ar­ticle is run­ning on both the FoxNews and Bre­it­bart News sites, who am I to ques­tion its accuracy?

A tough one so

Writer Jason How­erton makes this clear and stretches it to mean not only Thanks­giving games but the en­tire season:

“The 2017 season has been a tough one so far for the NFL. Con­tro­ver­sial protests during the na­tional an­them have seem­ingly con­tinued to hurt the league’s popularity—and now, tickets to some games are being sold for as little as $10.”

How­erton fol­lowed this by ac­knowl­edging that the cause for the low ticket prices was not en­tirely clear.

“The NFL has been dealing with the ap­pear­ance of empty sta­dium seats all season. How­ever, both the Red­skins and the Gi­ants are having rough sea­sons as well, which could also be partly re­spon­sible for the at­ten­dance problems.”

Of course, How­erton did not bother to in­form his readers of the pos­sible bias of the Win­ston Group. But then why should he have to—anyone with a few min­utes could look all this up on the Internet!

After all, isn’t that what the In­ternet is for?


Photo of two NFL players kneeling to call attention to the police shootings unarmed black Americans.

“NFL na­tional an­them protests are teaching our chil­dren to NOT be thankful for America.” And our stal­wart jour­nal­ists at FoxNews man­aged to con­flate NFL players protesting po­lice bru­tality with a school that shut down a Bible dis­cus­sion group in Texas.

NFL tickets cheaper than movies!

A quick (and oh so easy) look at Google turned up sim­ilar ar­ti­cles about a sup­posed fall-off in de­mand for NFL tickets. Of course, all of these ar­ti­cles could be found on “right-leaning” sites, such as the no­to­rious rightwingnuts at Bri­et­bart, who claim “the NFL’s rat­ings and at­ten­dance con­tinue to fall.”

But look a little fur­ther and you might find the WUSA9 site. There you can read “Red­skins Thanks­giving tickets cheaper than the movies.” But Sonia Das­gupta writes why and of­fers other ex­am­ples of ticket prices for Thanksgiving:

“Don’t have Thanks­giving plans or not a huge fan of turkey? Well, you may have an­other fun op­tion. You can go to an NFL game on Thanks­giving for as low as $7.21. It’s not so sur­prising that the tickets prices may be lower on Thanks­giving when a lot of season ticket holders may be spending the day with family. But, $7—that’s pretty outrageous.


Does anyone with a func­tioning brain re­ally be­lieve that NFL foot­ball is  Amer­i­ca’s least fa­vored sport?


It may be be­cause the Red­skins are 4-6 and al­most out of the playoff hunt and the Gi­ants are 2-8. Even though that’s a good enough reason for the low ticket prices, we de­cided to look at the other Thanks­giving games. Vikings at Lions tickets are selling for any­where from $99 to nearly $800 and Chargers at Cow­boys are selling for $125 to nearly $600.”

Whoa, Nelly! That’s a very dif­ferent take indeed—and would seem to in­di­cate a ro­bust de­mand for tickets to com­pet­i­tive, watch­able NFL games. Which is of course the com­plete op­po­site of what the head­lines on the right-leaning web­sites want their readers to believe!


NFL: gallery of photos of of Hallmark's 2017 Christmas movies.

Since Bill O’Reilly won’t be around on Fox tele­vi­sion to talk up the non-existent War on Christmas, I thought I’d call a little at­ten­tion to those at FoxNews who are car­rying on the tra­di­tion. In “Hall­mark Christmas movies under fire for spreading ‘Cau­casian cheer’,” Fox man­ages to drag the “un­hinged rant­ings of Rachel Maddow” into the con­ver­sa­tion. This de­spite the fact that Maddow is ar­guably the most level-headed and most self-possessed talking head on Amer­ican tele­vi­sion. (The photo of the twenty-one new movies above was lifted from the ar­ticle “White! Christmas!” on the Slate web­site that pissed off Fox.) 2

Attendance is actually up?

Look even fur­ther on Google and you’re li­able to find ar­ti­cles like “NFL at­ten­dance has not been hurt by protests, but there is a simple reason why people should be skep­tical of that for now” on the Busi­ness In­sider site. Hardly a bas­tion of lib­eral thought, writers Cork Gaines and Mike Nudelman ex­plain that busi­ness at the NFL is up for 2017:

“Through ten weeks of the 2017 season, the av­erage at­ten­dance at NFL games is ac­tu­ally up slightly, from 68,914 per game in 2016 to 69,264 per game this season. In ad­di­tion, while the home sta­diums fluc­tuate each week, there is no ob­vious sign that at­ten­dance has dropped since the start of the season. In fact, the NFL had its highest av­erage at­ten­dance of the season in Week 9.”

This from Busi­ness Week, who then goes on to say that de­spite all these glowing num­bers, things could go south . . . next season.

While this hardly counts as fake news, it is def­i­nitely news slanted to give an im­pres­sion that bol­sters the views/feelings of Amer­i­ca’s (mostly white, mostly male) conservatives—that other Amer­i­cans share their neg­a­tive opinion of black players’ protests.

As these (mostly white, mostly male) con­ser­v­a­tives tend to get all their ‘news’ from out­lets of a sim­ilar ilk, they be­lieve this is so and anyone who tells them oth­er­wise is dis­sem­bling and spreading fake news. 3


NFL: photo of Washington Redskins facing New York Giants.

FEATURED IMAGE: The Wash­ington Red­skins (4-6 at the time of this ar­ticle) face the New York Gi­ants (2-8). Tickets for their Thanks­giving Day game could ap­par­ently be had for less than $10 days prior to the game. Tickets for games with better teams were going for $100 and up! As for the Giants-Redskins game, th­e­As­so­ci­ated Press called it a “turkey of a game”:

“Kirk Cousins threw two touch­down passes to com­pen­sate for a pick-six and the Wash­ington Red­skins beat the New York Gi­ants 20-10 on Thursday night on a drab field in a drab game be­tween two injury-depleted teams that did not look ready for prime time.”



1   If the In­ternet of both rightwing web­sites and mainstream/corporate media is to de­flect at­ten­tion from the reason NFL players are kneeling—protesting the shooting of un­armed civil­ians by po­lice and their rarely being held accountable—then they have done smash­ingly good job!

2   The Slate writer refers to Hall­mark’s hol­iday of­fer­ings as “42 hours of sugary, sexist, pre­pos­ter­ously plotted, plot hole–festooned, bel­liger­ently tra­di­tional, ec­sta­t­i­cally Cau­casian cheer.” As a watcher of Hall­mark Christmas movies (we ac­tu­ally own a stack of older ti­tles on DVD), this is a rea­son­ably ac­cu­rate sum­ma­tion of most of them. Of course, the FoxNews writer edits thats sen­tence and makes it sound bah-humbuggy.

3   Which is why you might not want to argue with your con­ser­v­a­tive uncle on Thanks­giving Day about NFL games.


Notify of
Rate this article:
Please rate this article with your comment.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x