Whitlock: The decline of the NFL mirrors the collapse of America

News & Politics

The NFL has the same problem as the rest of America: The main thing is no longer the main thing.

For nearly 200 years, the pursuit of freedom was the main thing for America. We bickered, fought, protested, boycotted, and killed in our quest to provide all citizens with freedom.

Sixty years ago, we pivoted to equality, a standard man and government cannot guarantee, a goal that paves the road to the kind of chaos and division that rule modern America. Only God can deliver equality. Man can create rules that provide individuals with the freedom to pursue it.

Frustration over man’s inability to create equality has inevitably led the opponents of God to seize power under the pretense that they can control and ration equality. They launch affirmative action and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that limit freedom, attack merit, and divvy the spoils produced by the Americans who took advantage of and protected this nation’s unprecedented freedoms.

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America’s collapse is a direct result of failing to keep the main thing the main thing.

It’s happening in football, too.

Earlier this week, I wrote a column explaining that the quality of play, particularly on the offensive side of the NFL, has fallen drastically. Teams can’t score. Not like they used to anyway. And not in the rapid way NFL rule changes have been rigged to promote.

My analysis was mostly anecdotal. Six weeks into the season, the NFL seemed more boring and low-scoring than usual. This past weekend, only two NFL teams scored more than 26 points. Over the course of two weeks, six NFL teams failed to score a single touchdown. A quick perusal of stats showed that scoring and touchdowns were down and field goals were up.

Well, yesterday, Warren Sharp, an NFL expert who analyzes football data for a living, wrote a long essay titled, “Where Has All the Offense Gone this NFL Season?” It’s a great piece. It starts with these sentences:

If the NFL feels different this year, that’s because it is. If it seems less exciting, less competitive, and less entertaining … that’s because it is. No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. What you sense when you are watching these games is what the product is becoming. It’s the direction the game is trending. The product is bland.

From there, Sharp breaks down the data and offers a boatload of theories and conclusions on why scoring and touchdowns are down. I strongly urge everyone to read his piece. I don’t agree with all of his conclusions, but they’re worth considering.

I also want you to ponder my hypothesis. The problem with the NFL is that the main thing is no longer the main thing.

Roger Goodell’s league is mostly concerned with divvying the spoils of football. It’s hyper-focused on creating the appearance of equality. People with no real affinity for football have been given voice over the direction of the league.

This goes way beyond pandering to Taylor Swift fans. This is about transgender cheerleaders, female football coaches, female football players, gay players, female executives, female referees, Black Lives Matter, black head coaches, media criticism of players, breast cancer awareness, LGBTQ pride, rappers attending games and performing at halftime, safety concerns, Donald Trump resistance, vaccinations, and whatever else Big Pharma and the World Economic Forum prioritize.

The people running the NFL don’t care about football. They don’t care about the actual game, the product on the field. That indifference is why the product on the field is the worst it’s ever been. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are the enemies of merit. Football rose to prominence as a symbol of the ultimate meritocracy. It symbolized the freedom, courage, ruggedness, and innovation of the men who made America great.

No more. Football is a platform for special-interest groups, groups with no love for football’s founders or what it used to represent. The NFL is America. The same forces and initiatives tearing down America are undermining football.

Everyone can see it. Most people with a large platform talk around the issue. They don’t want to get kicked off the NFL gravy train. This week, Tom Brady complained about the league’s overemphasis on safety.

“This is football. This isn’t touch football,” Brady said. “This is real football, and I think the physicality — which people really enjoy — I certainly enjoyed. I love the physical element of the sport. I don’t think we should ever lose that. There are so many people that want it less and less physical, it’s more like flag football, which is going to be in the Olympics in 2028. Maybe football goes to flag football over a period of time. I don’t think fans would like that very much.”

The hyper-concern about safety has caused the league to reduce practice time and the number of padded practices. The lack of practice has diminished the quality of play.

“They don’t want to work,” Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp told me on Wednesday. “They don’t want to practice. It’s that simple. You go to an NFL training camp, it’s like an old Wendy’s commercial. ‘Where’s the beef?’ Ain’t nothing going on around here. Where’s the beef? Where’s the work being done? … The different things that we put in during a week of work to go out and showcase our talent. It’s just not being done right now in the National Football League. Across the board they don’t practice no more.”

You can’t innovate if you don’t practice. You can’t add new offensive wrinkles if practice time is limited. It’s much harder to develop a quarterback in this new era.

The concern over safety and the mega player contracts have changed the way the game is played. Every NFL player has a little Franco Harris in him. They all dip out of bounds or slide to the ground before contact. On a scramble, quarterbacks routinely sacrifice two or three yards to slide before getting hit.

NFL officiating is sloppy and uneven. No one should be surprised. The league is far more concerned with what the referees look like than the individual performance of each official. In 2020, during the St. George Floyd national holiday months, the NFL bragged about fielding an all-black referee crew. The NFL keeps putting women in a microwave training program and elevating them to sideline judges.

The NFL is just like America. The league is overrun with people who don’t love the game or know its history. Roger Goodell is in charge of the NFL’s southern border. He’s allowed the Alphabet Mafia, Marxists, and feminists to radically change the focus of the league.

Merit has been eliminated. Once you remove merit, everything suffers. Smash-and-grabs become commonplace. Why not? Goodell just received a new $70-million-a-year contract for being the worst commissioner in sports. He’s a high-priced looter. Why shouldn’t the BLM-LGBTQ Alphabet Mafia loot the NFL?

Politicians and global elites have looted American taxpayers since 1913. They’ve been systematically stealing our money since the inception of the Federal Reserve, and they’ve been stealing our freedom for 60 years.

Freedom and merit used to be the main things in America. Now it’s pronouns and safety. It’s a woman’s world.

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