It’s a scary thought, isn’t it? It’s something that seems impossible and very hard to imagine. We have been raised in a world where the NFL is more than a super-power. It is a presence that is in every corner of the nation. Seemingly everybody knows what those three letters mean. N.F.L… National Football League. It is an unbeatable force, an immovable object. And we may be seeing the end of it.
Back in March, Dallas Mavericks (NBA) owner Mark Cuban said that he thinks that the NFL is heading towards the end. He believes that the NFL is getting too big to control. He was alluding to the NFL’s constant attempts to rule the world. The NFL wants football to be the only sport that anyone cares about, and they don’t even try to hide it.
The NFL Draft usually takes place in April, but this past one was from May 8 until May 10. The NFL said that the reason it moved the date was because of a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall, where the draft is every year. That’s where I call their bluff. You’re the NFL. You are by far the biggest and most popular league in professional sports. There are no scheduling conflicts for you. There is absolutely no doubt that if you want a certain venue at a certain time, it’s yours. Not to mention the fact that it is at the same exact place at the same exact time every single year. It’s not like if I came out of the blue and told the people at Radio City that I needed the stage during the Christmas Spectacular. It’s the freaking National Football League scheduling a yearly event that everyone in the country knows is coming.
As if that wasn’t enough proof that the NFL was trying to take over the American sports world, Sports Illustrated recently released an article talking about the NFL’s TV deals in relation to other sports. It talked about how the NFL used to cooperate with Major League Baseball during the World Series and not schedule any games so that the two leagues were not competing for viewers. This year the NFL scheduled multiple games that conflicted with crucial MLB playoff games, including two during the World Series. Not only were the two games during the World Series, they were also in prime time. Not only were they during the World Series and in prime time, but each game also contained at least one team that wasn’t from a baseball market. For example, the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints are both from cities that don’t have baseball teams, and they both played in prime time during the World Series. By putting those teams in their respective games, the NFL was trying to maximize its viewership. If the NFL put the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs (the two teams playing in the World Series) as two of the prime time matchups, it is safe to say that the majority of people would still watch the football games rather than the baseball games, regardless of the fact that the baseball games were far more significant. By choosing to put two non-baseball markets in the games, they made sure that both of those cities would have their focus on the NFL. If the Yankees were in the World Series and the Jets were on Thursday Night Football, many of the people in New York would watch the Yankees game if they coincided. However, if you were a Saints fan and the World Series was on and the Saints were on Monday Night Football, nearly the entire Louisiana market would be watching football.
The NFL has its sights set on more than just America, however. They want to rule the world. Every year, the NFL plays multiple games in Europe, which is the league trying to grow its vast fanbase overseas. The Jacksonville Jaguars are a team that plays at least one game at London’s Wembley Stadium. Coincidentally, the Jaguars have been the subject of discussion about relocation for several years now. By making them play in London, the NFL is entertaining the thought of whether or not an NFL team can thrive in a foreign market. The NFL wants a team in Europe; there is no doubt about that. They also don’t want to take a team out of America.
The NFL has publically commentated on the idea of adding new franchises. They have made it perfectly clear that if there is to be a team in a new market, in the United States or internationally, it is going to be an expansion team, rather than the relocation destination of a current one. The NFL has 32 teams, meaning that if they add another one in (for argument’s sake) London, than they will have to add a 34th to keep balance. But is there ever going to be too much?
Historically, those things that grow too big to control end in a major collapse. When you think of things of historical significance that fell at some point, whether it be the Chinese Dynasties, the Roman Empire, or the British Empire (just to name a few), they all followed this pattern. Make no mistake about it—we are currently what can be deemed the NFL Empire. The National Football League is by far the most profitable league in the entire world, out-earning Major League Baseball by over $1 billion. Four of the top five most profitable leagues are major North American sports (football, basketball, baseball, and hockey), and the NFL reigns supreme in North America.