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 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?
“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!
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
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.