Converged collapse

Case Study: NBA

The NBA took another L Wednesday. This time, in the NBA Finals on ABC with the Lakers and LeBron James. Only 7.41 million viewers watched the industry-hyped matchup. Per Sports Media Watch, this is the least-watched Finals opener since … on record.

Game 1 is down an unheard of 44{5274a41d3bd2aa3d5829764fe19e8a7ecbc79c108731aad5f1ff2d292e60e2b4} from last year’s matchup, which featured a team from Canada. During last year’s Finals tank-job, media members yelled “one team is from Canada,” and “there is no LeBron.”

The NBA is taking tanking to never-before-seen depths. If LeBron and the Lakers in the Finals can’t save this collapse — nothing will. This is the best-case scenario. Imagine these numbers when the Nuggets finally win the West and the media has to push that over the NFL.

Compared to 2018, the last Finals with LeBron, Game 1 is down 58{5274a41d3bd2aa3d5829764fe19e8a7ecbc79c108731aad5f1ff2d292e60e2b4}. That kind of slide is what gets TV shows canceled and showrunners chased out of the business.

Usually it takes ten years for a converged company to lose 50 percent of its audience. The NBA has managed to do it in two.

The thought police hit pro cycling

This is why it’s time to bring back the blasphemy laws. Free speech was always a false flag flown by the Jesus-hating Children of the Lie:

Team Trek-Segafredo has suspended 19-year-old Quinn Simmons for what it’s calling “divisive” comments. There were apparently two tweets that sent Team Trek-Segafredo over the edge, including a tweet where Simmons wrote “bye” and included a dark-skinned waving emoji on a tweet from Dutch journalist Jose Been that read “If you follow me and support Trump, you can go.”

In another tweet, Quinn responded, “that’s right [American flag icon]” to a guy who determined Quinn to be a “Trumper.” 

And it is officially ON in the world of cycling. People are picking their sides and the woke cycling community is full of rage towards Quinn, who won the 2019 world junior road race championships.

“Trek-Segafredo is an organization that values inclusivity and supports a more diverse and equitable sport for all athletes,” the team said in a statement. “While we support the right to free speech, we will hold people accountable for their words and actions.

“Regrettably, team rider Quinn Simmons made statements online that we feel are divisive, incendiary, and detrimental to the team, professional cycling, its fans, and the positive future we hope to help create for the sport.

“In response, he will not be racing for Trek-Segafredo until further notice.

If someone supports Biden or BLM or the ADL or any other Promethean project, eject them without hesitation. Don’t think twice, just do it. They have made it perfectly clear that there is no place in their society for us, which means there is no place in our society for them. 

Think about it: all this young man did was support the current President of the United States of America. If that is beyond the pale, what isn’t?

A lesson in failed leadership

I haven’t watched a single minute of the NFL this season, but I’m moderately well-informed because I read Outkick. Jason Whitlock, who has been on a roll lately, astutely observes why the Saints are unexpectedly underperforming this season:

Brees has never been the most talented NFL QB. His intangibles, particularly his leadership, are what made him great. The guy’s reputation was impeccable. 

He was the guy New Orleans and the Saints rallied around. Jenkins and Thomas ruined that when they publicly criticized Brees because Brees had the audacity to defend standing for the national anthem. 

Brees is no longer the leader of the Saints, who fell to 1-2 Sunday night. He’s a player on the team. It’s a tragedy what Jenkins and Thomas did to Brees, the NFL’s modern-day Walter Payton. If the Saints miss the playoffs, blame Jenkins, Thomas and the media race hustlers.

Leaders have to lead. Leaders have to face down challenges to their authority. Leaders who back down and submit to the demands of their followers also give up their leadership. Once a leader abdicates his position, especially if he does so under duress or out of cowardice, he is very unlikely to ever get it back, even if his leadership is in everyone’s best interest.

Drew Brees had an obligation to the team to stand his ground and stare down his critics. Because he failed in his responsibility to do so, his teammates no longer have confidence in him or his leadership.

God loves Big Sexy

 For He has made his enemies ridiculous:

The Katie Nolan vs. Jason Whitlock Thunderdome took a wild twist Monday night when Talcum X took time out of his busy schedule to chime in on the Twitter rager that has blue checkmarks up in arms. “Disgusting that this outlet is bragging about a black woman having to lock her account from online harassment,” Talcum, aka Shaun King tweeted before someone let him in on Katie being white. Really, really white.

In fairness, Shaun King has yet to realize that he isn’t black, so it is understandable that his ability to distinguish black people from white people might not be highly developed. 

America’s race wars have officially gone meta when a white man who thinks he’s black attacks a black man for criticizing a white woman the white man thinks is black. All that we’re missing is the white man who thinks he’s black thinking the black man is white and attempting to play the race card on him.

NFL ratings plummet

The early results are in and they do not bode well for the NFL:

Despite two teams with big national followings, SNF snared a 4.7 in early ratings among adults 18-49 and 14.81 million viewers last night. In numbers certain to change, that’s a fall of 28{5274a41d3bd2aa3d5829764fe19e8a7ecbc79c108731aad5f1ff2d292e60e2b4} in the demo and a hard decline of 23{5274a41d3bd2aa3d5829764fe19e8a7ecbc79c108731aad5f1ff2d292e60e2b4} in sets of eyeballs from the early numbers of the the September 8, 2019 SNF season debut. 

More precisely, the decline was from a 7.5 rating among 18-49 and 22.21 million viewers… of a game that New England beat Pittsburgh 33-3. That’s a loss of up to 7.4 million viewers. 

And so it begins

 The NFL opener was reported to be “down about 12 percent” last night:

In the latest TV ratings, NBC Sunday Night Football‘s Thursday-night NFL kickoff game between the Chiefs and Titans Texans averaged 17.1 million total viewers and a 5.5 demo rating in fast nationals, down about 12 percent from the preliminary numbers for last year’s season opener.

They’ve also changed the rating system this year, so it’s entirely possible that the 4.9 million decline in viewers from last year is worse than reported.

Despite an ugly, penalty-filled game, the Green Bay Packers’ 10-3 win over the Chicago Bears averaged 22 million viewers in the finals, a 16 percent boost over the 18.98 million who tuned in last year. Streaming on NBC and NFL digital properties averaged 627,000 viewers, an all-time high for NBC’s primetime NFL package. NBC’s telecast scored a preliminary 15.3 household rating in overnight metered markets. That’s up 14 percent from a 13.4 in the overnights for the 2018 season opener, and also bests the 14.6 for the first game of the 2017 season.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t a drop from 22 million to 17.1 be a 22.3 percent decline? Perhaps they’ll find another 2.26 million viewers in time for the final ratings. Outkick claims the decline is more like 16 percent.

In early numbers, the Chiefs win scored a 5.2 among adults 18-49 and 16.4 million viewers between 8-11 p.m. ET. While the number will adjust some upward later to 11:30 p.m., right now it’s a 16.1{fb585635b9f6189e33442b25caac15ec2544d7054f182b4f92840c6cee65accd} drop. In fast affiliates, last night fell the same 16.1{fb585635b9f6189e33442b25caac15ec2544d7054f182b4f92840c6cee65accd}.

A 12 percent decline would be massive. Remember, this is a league with economics built on the assumption of revenues increasing by $2.3 billion every year. The very real possibility of losing one-quarter of the fans would be a nightmare.

The players have power

But Mike Florio and the rest of the sports media is ignoring the fact that the fans have even more:

The next test comes when millions of fans who haven’t been paying attention to every twist and turn of NFL news witness for the first time the renewed anthem protests, the messages in the end zone, the names on the helmet bumpers, and react negatively to these gestures with insults and worse. The league needs to be ready to show the players that the league truly has their backs when the inevitable blowback comes.

The league can’t and won’t make everyone happy. It needs to be very concerned about making the players happy, because the players’ power includes boycotting games.

Technically, it would be an illegal wildcat strike. As a practical matter, the league would risk horrible P.R. and employee relations by taking the union to court to force players back to work and/or to recover compensation for money lost by scrapped games. Indeed, NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent already has said that the players have the “right” to skip games over social justice matters.

And so the challenge for the league will be to convince teams like the Dolphins that it’s not just talk, and that the league and the owners are truly on board with them. There’s no middle ground, no fence to ride, no needle to thread. If the league isn’t with the players on this, the league necessarily is against them. Unlike ever before, the players realize that they do something about it far more tangible than protest during the anthem.

They can walk out.

Sure they can. But the fans can walk out too. Tens of millions already have. And unlike the players, when a fan walks out, his exit is infinitely sustainable. And no feeble attempts to shame the fans who are rejecting the convergence of the league is going to put one single dollar back in the NFL’s coffers.

It made no sense to boo. It wasn’t political in any way. But even an expression of unity has become political in this upside-down era of ours, because apparently everything must be viewed through a political lens, in the eyes of those who tolerate political viewpoints that mesh with their own but chafe in the face of any political viewpoints different than theirs as an invasion on their “escape” from having to deal with things that make them uncomfortable. So what about a plea for unity makes someone uncomfortable? And if someone is made uncomfortable by an expression of unity, doesn’t that say more about them than about the people striving for something so basic and fundamental? 

Of course it made sense. The players’ action was political. The fans understand perfectly well that the “expression of unity” was just another lie, just another thinly disguised assault on America, Western civilization and White people. And what that very public rejection by the fans who haven’t walked away from the NFL already says is that they are beginning to understand they are in a war on their culture, their society, and their civilization. Even shameless SJWs like Florio know they are in the minority; it’s not an accident that PFT is keeping the comments closed on every post that touches upon the social justice convergence of the NFL.

I didn’t watch one single moment of the Chiefs-Texans game. I didn’t watch a single moment of NFL-related opinion and analysis. I haven’t even read the box score or a single article on the actual game itself. It’s the first time in 45 seasons that is the case. And given what I have read about the game and the importance the media is placing on the crowd’s reaction to the political demonstration by the two teams, I’m very glad to have turned my back on the NFL. 

I am very far from the only one. And the sports media knows it, which is why at least one Sports Illustrated writer is worried about what the backlash they know perfectly well is coming will do to the league:

Today is when the blowback starts. Today is when owners tune in to their morning opinion channel of choice and ingest the inevitable and ridiculous response to Thursday night and how it is somehow, unquestionably un-American. What happens now? What happens if the boos persist? What happens if the polls shift? What happens when the wind changes? 

What happens is the league will eventually submit to its angry fans and ban all political expression by the players. The only question is whether it happens soon enough to prevent the 50 percent decline in TV ratings that is already underway.

It is good to hate the Packers

 Even Packers fans now have cause to hate the Green Bay Packers.

I am very proud of our players and support their right to peacefully protest as they try to bring about meaningful change in our society. When players kneel, they are not disrespecting the flag or the country, but bringing attention to systemic racism and police brutality. Black Lives Matter is not a terrorist or Marxist organization, and I know that they are trying to bring an end to racial inequality. The NFL has decided to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (commonly referred to as the Black national anthem) as part of the broadcasts for all games in the first weekend.

– Mark Murphy, President and CEO, Green Bay Packers

As it turns out, BLM is, quite literally, an overtly Marxist organization founded by two Marxists.

The first thing, I think, is that we actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk.

– Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors

And even if you try to tune it all out, the sports media has no intention of letting you pretend it’s just a game or escape the social justice propaganda.

Stephanie Druley, executive vice president for event and studio production, said ESPN’s policy is to cover the anthem when it is newsworthy, and that the crew will not shy away from covering protests about social justice. “We don’t see the social justice movement as political; it’s social justice,” Druley said.

That’s all right, you say. I’ll just watch college football instead, you say. Yeah, so, about that:

The Big 12 is set to debut its 2020 fall football social justice campaign and commissioner Bob Bowlsby says that campaign will consist of players possibly on the field for the national anthem, public service announcements to run on stadium scoreboards and a social justice message on jerseys. According to ESPN, Big 12 players “will be wearing a social justice message on the front left of their uniforms, as well as a black Big 12-branded unity sticker on the back of their helmets.” 

They know you hate what they’re doing. Making you accept what they’re doing is the whole point. 

Officially out

Yesterday, for the first time in 30 years, my fantasy football league drafted without me. They also drafted without the reigning league champion. 20 percent of the fantasy league left because we simply aren’t watching enough NFL football or paying enough attention to the rosters to be able to reasonably compete in the league anymore. Last year, I dropped my NFL GamePass subscription. This year, I don’t even know if I will watch a single game from start to finish because the politics have finally gotten too much for me to stand. And I am very, very far from alone in this regard.

The BLM cheerleaders in the sports media are talking bravely, as they usually do before the reports of declining ratings begin to appear. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk in particular is trying to talk himself into the idea that the NFL and BLM can stand up to President Trump and the widespread disapproval on the part of white football fans.

The NFL can’t simply wander into this crowded minefield without a plan for handling the inevitable explosions. Frankly, the plan needs to be to fight back. Supporting the players means more than simply saying, “We support the players.” Supporting the players means standing up to anyone and everyone who will try to bully or attack them.

At a time when some owners are trying to thread the needle regarding support for player protests while also hoping that they choose to stand for the anthem, the more awkward needle to be threaded with a big, fat camel relates to the broader notion of having their players’ backs while simultaneously cramming money into the President’s front pockets. The latest Trump (son) tweet reconfirms that support for players and support for the President cannot be reconciled.

If the NFL once again stands silent in the fact of a torrent of tweets and other attacks, the disconnect will become even more glaring.

Of course, despite the posturing, Florio appears to have a pretty good idea that NFL Week One is going to be a catastrophe. He shut down his comments on that post after only six had been posted. The NBA’s TV ratings are currently down 40 percent from just two years ago, so it’s not at all impossible that the NFL will soon find itself on a similar downward trajectory. In Corporate Cancer I noted that 2/20 and 10/50 appear to be the year/percent ratio pattern once an organization becomes fully converged.

Now, I have no sympathies for, and nothing in common with, the clumsy gammas who hate all “sportsball” because it reminds them of their low social status. It’s not at all good that America’s sports have been stolen from the very nation that created them; this is a sign of cultural defeat. But submission to and acceptance of that defeat is even worse, which is why it will be encouraging to see more and more NFL fans refusing to accept the SJW-NFL wearing the skinsuit of the sport that it once was.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I didn’t leave the NFL, the NFL left me.

UPDATE: It could be worse than anyone imagines, as this letter to Outkick indicates:

I’ve been part of a fantasy football league for the past 20 years with the same 9 guys. Fantasy Draft Day is the most fun day of the year – we all get together, away from the wives, drink, eat, and re-live the glory days. Needless to say, we’re all huge NFL fans. I recently sent an email, like I do each year, alerting the guys to the date and time of the upcoming fantasy draft. Much to my surprise, 7 of the guys are dropping out of the league and all of them cited the SAME reason – they’re tired of the NFL’s embrace of politics.

If you’re driving away 70 percent of your most hardcore fans, you’re in serious trouble. 

Seppuku, NFL-style

“A player, if he chooses, can have the name of a Black person wronged in a confrontation with police emblazoned on the back of his helmet. End zones will have “It Takes All Of Us” on one end line, “End Racism” on the other. Coaches and game officials will be able to wear patches on their cap with the name of a Black victim, or with one of four messages: “It takes all of us,” “Black lives matter,” “End racism,” “Stop hate.” As for the helmets, players can choose either a Black name or one of the four preferred phrases offered: “Stop hate,” “It takes all of us,” “End racism,” “Black lives matter.”
– Peter King

Embracing this social justice cause should totally help with all those soon-to-be-former fans who were infuriated by the league and the teams kowtowing before the anthem kneelers. Or should that be Anthem Kneelers?

“We’re in a different sporting world, and for all those who want people in the NFL to stick to sports, you’re going to have to watch—and listen to—a different game this year.”

They’re going to have to watch? Wanna bet? I can only speak for myself, but I’m out.