The last two years have had their fair share of controversy and fading popularity for the NFL.
The games were as entertaining as ever and the last two Super Bowls were amazing, but peripheral issues have left a sour taste in viewer’s mouths.
Many players, most notably Colin Kaepernick two years ago, protested police shootings by taking a knee during national anthems — a stance that spread around the league among other players and became a movement, costing Kaepernick his NFL career and frustrating owners and even the US President, who took it upon himself to demonise those involved.
The issue split fanbases, politicised teams and players involved and led to boycotts from the sport itself.
NFL TV ratings tanked — perhaps proving that NFL fans don’t like politics to be mixed in with their sports.
Currently, the 2018 NFL regular season is still several weeks away. However, the preseason is actually almost upon us.
The Chicago Bears are scheduled to play the Baltimore Ravens on August 2nd. The games that count will start on the first Thursday in September, when the Atlanta Falcons face the Philadelphia Eagles.
What the ratings will be like this upcoming season is an open question. But one major change with sports in America since last season is that single-game betting is now an option for Americans in places other than Nevada.
That creates an opportunity for all sports leagues in the United States to market their product differently. For the NFL in particular, the change might be just what’s needed as many fans eager to back their team for the first time will certainly be tuning back into the games if there are some greenbacks on the line for them.
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