Is The NFL's Problem 'Poor Product', Not 'Disrespect'?

Authored by Doug French via The Mises Institute,

President Trump has lambasted the NFL more than 20 times for players’ “Total Disrespect of Our Great Country.”

Ratings are down for NFL games and Trump figures it’s because some players aren’t standing, hand over heart, and mouthing the words to the national anthem.

Trump may have made some political hay out of all this, but one only has to follow the money to learn the real reason pro football ratings are down - competition from college football.

The fact is, “Their product isn’t very good these days,” Nick Bogdanovich told the Las Vegas Sun. He is the chief oddsmaker for William Hill, which operates 107 sportsbooks in Nevada.

The league that used to claim any team could win on “any given Sunday” has turned into a predictable “If you have a quarterback, you have a chance. If you don’t, you don’t,” as Ben Volin wrote of the Boston Globe at the finish of last year’s regular season. As evidence, he pointed to “the four quarterbacks remaining in the playoffs — Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, and Matt Ryan.”

Jimmy Vaccaro has been running sports books for four decades. He says, it used to be, “Nearly $4 on the NFL for every buck on a college game.” That is no longer the case. Now it is more like 60–40 with the college betting handle gaining.

Joe Drape writes of the sportsbook legend,

And when Vaccaro says he is becoming bearish on the betting health of professional football, you lean in and listen. Last month, for three consecutive weeks, for the first time that he can remember, betting on college football at South Point surpassed betting on the NFL, by as much as $400,000.

The Wall Street Journal did a study back in 2010 and found that of the 174 minutes of an NFL broadcast there was 11 minutes of game action. The WSJ found there was about 60 minutes of commercials and “As many as 75 minutes, or about 60% of the total air time, excluding commercials, is spent on shots of players huddling, standing at the line of scrimmage or just generally milling about between snaps.”

This has only become worse with the advent of constantly replaying questionable calls. Meanwhile, many college teams have gone to the no-huddle offense to squeeze in more plays.

Making accurate point spreads on 16 pro games is much easier than getting 50 college games right.

“There’s more volatility and room for mistakes in the college game,” John Avello, a bookmaker at the Wynn Las Vegas, told the Sun. “You can find an edge there, and that is what gamblers do. We are hard to beat when it comes to the NFL.”

Professional gambler Chris Lawless wagers more on college games not only because there are flawed betting lines to take advantage of, but also because the games are more enjoyable.

“There are more momentum shifts and more exciting plays and more passion,” Lawless said.

Vaccaro believes betting on college football will continue to gain on NFL action. Overall, Nevada sports books are expected to post their eighth consecutive year of record handle, with Las Vegas taking in $5 billion in sports wagers.

September saw Nevada set a new betting handle record of $558.4 million, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board has now revealed that the handle in October came in at $522 million, the best-ever performance by Nevada sportsbooks in the month of October, as well as the third consecutive month of a betting handle in excess of $500 million.


knukles Duane Norman Mon, 12/11/2017 - 18:20 Permalink

One Fucking Last Time.People who watch football (Well, did watch football) did it for entertainment/escape from crap like politics, including their ownIdiotsFucking IdiotsAnd they extended Goodell's contract?YGBFKMI'm looking at this whole amazing decimation of serious wealth and shifting cultural sands upon one stooooopid fucking business decisionTo allow the NFL to in any way shape of form associate with any outside political BS/non-football stuff.   Period EOC   And that would have included flag pulls, flyovers and the likeShoulda been:   "We know football"But turns out:  "This is what you get when you try to fuck a stranger up the ass, Larry"

In reply to by Duane Norman

tyrone vato poco Tue, 12/12/2017 - 01:36 Permalink

listen up gorilla johnson... the public who (used to) watch your brand of football has moved on.  Your kind is not entertaining like college football is.  and yall make way too much money.  SInce you are trying to extort us for more, me and a whole lot of other football fans are sayin, "Uh uuuh, we aren't paying $60-$120 per game for 1 seat".  And we won't be watching on TV either.    Now you are OK for this season since your pay has been allocated.  But next year, when all those fans like me start boycotting the 2018 season ticket sales, and your owners don't have the cash to pay all you dummies, then... you will sstill see empty seats which HAVE NOT BEEN SOLD!  Letsee how long it takes you to go thru all your cash and then change your tune.

In reply to by vato poco

greenskeeper carl cheka Mon, 12/11/2017 - 18:13 Permalink

Thats certainly popular, but I quite watching a while ago. Many, though not all, of the well known players come across as scumbags and thugs. I have kids, and don't care to have them looking up to people that act and talk like that. I, personally, would rather watch a slightly less skilled player that isn't a piece of shit. I have no interest in my son playing football, anyway. I won't disallow him to play, but Im not encouraging it either. I enjoy golf and any shooting sport. Get him started on a single shot bolt action 22, work up from there. Same with the girls. Once big enough, a cheap 20 guage to break some clays.

In reply to by cheka

BandGap greenskeeper carl Mon, 12/11/2017 - 18:37 Permalink

My oldest played college football, it's a lot of fun to be part of. The fans are so much more down to earth about things.I have another son that runs college track. He played football in HS but decided to keep his marbles and do what he does best anyway.Some of the bigger college teams are getting pricky, including my alma Mater. Tiockets in the 75-95 range means I do not go any more. Tv is just fine with me, even more so now that Brent Musfucker retired.

In reply to by greenskeeper carl

vato poco sun tzu Mon, 12/11/2017 - 19:11 Permalink

two thieves nailed it. it's America's great sport, Lawyerball. first both sides have a committe meeting before the play. then the play is run in accordance with arcane rules that don't really make sense, but hey: rules. then, after the play is run, they look to the lawyers in stripes to see if they'll allow it to stand. there IS of course a lengthy appeals process, so .... this might take awhile5 minutes later: time for the next play

In reply to by sun tzu

NumberNone sun tzu Mon, 12/11/2017 - 20:26 Permalink

We are seeing a generation of players that have been given a pass on responsibility since they showed potential in pee-wee league football.  They graduate college as modern day athletic gods.  They get giant paychecks at 22, surrounded themselves with losers, then get bad advice from the people that want them to use their position of priviledge to advance a cause.  The days of just putting on a helmet and going out and doing a job on the field are long gone.  The game is about them and it's not their job any longer to serve the people in the stands...the people in the stands are there to idolize them and the people in the stands need to understand that they are lucky that they get to see them.  And if you have a problem with what they do on and off the field then fuck you.  

In reply to by sun tzu

NoDebt chunga Mon, 12/11/2017 - 20:17 Permalink

We don't even remember who he is any more.Seriously, at first, he was great.  On-siodes kick to start the Dallas game and he was OUR coach after that, not just some Homgren retread kicked up to head coach.  Then you realized, slowly, over a period of years, he was incapable of learning anything.  FFS the guy made just as many stupid clock management mistakes in his last game as he did in his first.  And the entire rest of the NFL had figured out his offense by then, which, like everything else about him, never evolved. 

In reply to by chunga

GoingBig Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 12/11/2017 - 19:15 Permalink

Hey Bucky, so sorry that you feel that your problems are put upon you by some other race. It is so sad to see the amount of time you put into hatred and trying to blame others for your obvious shortcomings. Here is an idea, get off the computer, start your own business, and quit blaming people for your pathetic state. Its all of your own making. Not someone else. Racism is nothing but people that are very afraid. "Reality-embracer", oh come now child, you really are quite funny. Whose reality? Your scared reality? Fear can be quite strong and you see it in every racist.  So get off your ass and make something of yourself. You are an embarassment.

In reply to by Buckaroo Banzai

ThuleNord GoingBig Mon, 12/11/2017 - 22:12 Permalink

It’s called the evolutionary hierarchy. 50,000 years of genetic separation and yes, intelligence is genetically predisposed.

You’re suffering from cognitive dissonance caused by a lifetime of guilt control hammered into you by your Jewish overlords, designed to keep you at a nice submissive 95 IQ slave boy. Now smile and accept the diversity as they rape your children and destroy your ancient culture.

In reply to by GoingBig