Yes as the story goes the NBA and the NFL have successfully eliminated the “Running Back” and the “Power Forward/Center” position. Just think about that for a second. How can you eliminate the grinders of these 2 sports? How can you just discontinue the brand? It’s easy honestly.
No, I don’t mean it by the traditional eye candy. The titillating, fantasy driving, blood pressure raising eye candy. Nope. I’m talking about sports eye candy. The average sports fan. Yes you. The average sports fan is no longer the blue-collar, hard hat wearing, roll in at 9, punch out at 5 kinda dude. The average fan now is a skinny jean wearing, handlebar moustache having, AirBnb using type of dude. Yes it’s true.And why is this?
Money you silly goose. White collar America is here to stay and they have poured billions of dollars into the NBA and NFL. The new fans want to feel inclusive in the growth of these 2 behemoth industries. So why not cater to them if you are the NBA or NFL. You soften the game and make it more relatable to guys who would have got killed in tryouts. You market the guys who looks like they would sit down in your dining room and eat PHO with. You make it so the people who dreamed of having a chiseled physique, can pretend make the game winning 3pt shot. You create an atmosphere where the new aged modern era fan will ask himself: “Gee, what would Tim Tebow do in this situation?” It’s now hurtful or mean when you call a spade a spade. Or when you tell the truth about someone or something. God forbids, you ever have an original thought about something while being a media darling.
You take the less than skilled QB, with millions of Instagram followers, and you brand him as the new cool. You celebrate the shot chucking shooting guards,and play them at a new position and tell them that shooters shoot. That’s how. It’s honestly easy. This is why you have to understand why so many old school legends hate today’s culture of sports. Money, fame, attention, and coverage aside, you still have to win the ball game. You still have to work as a cohesive unit. You still have to do the intangible things to win. Today’s sporting climate is hard to watch sometimes. And I’m only 33, but it’s relatable to today’s hip hop culture. Remember when you actually had to throw the ball to be called a quarterback? Remember when you used to have to Emcee to be called a rap artist? Remember when you had to get banged up a little to be called a tough man in the NBA? If not then you really need to research some of your favorite past times. Everything is watered down and it is for the love of the dollar bills yall.
Speaking of money, we have to factor in fantasy football. In the Forbes magazine August 2013 issue, Contributor Brian Goff quoted and stated that “32 million Americans spend about $11 billion dollars on fantasy football annually.” Just think about this, Batman: They have celebrity endorsed fantasy draft shows. Fantasy insiders. Fantasy experts from previous years, come in and give their opinions. This “Game within the Game” culture, has ruined the sport of football. By glorifying QBR, passing yards, touchdowns, receiving yards, and defense has made running backs the ugly duckling of football. Hell rushing yards and rushing touchdowns are fantasy stats, but they take the back burner to the “Captain American~esq QB.” Just think about this also: The San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks both lost a Superbowl in recent years, because their coaches did not want to run the ball in the red zone. No way don’t they want the hard-nosed, blue-collar, street talking, in the trenches, half backs, to win the game, no they wanted their golden boys to win it.
The wide receiver and the QB relationship, has been promoted heavily in this fantasy era of sports.
Everyone wants to be Odell Beckham Jr because of his amazing catch, or Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, but no one wants to be Doug Martin or Todd Gurley. Who? Not Adrian Peterson?? In the past 5 years in the NFL, the 2015 season had the fewest number of 1000 yard rushers. Some say injuries played a big part of this. True. But going back to 2011, here is the number of 1000 yard rushers:
2015 had 7
2014 and 2013 had 12
2012 had 16
2011 had 15.
Last year only had 7 1000 yard rushers? What the hell? Yea but as usual it was pass mania in the NFL. You know for a league that’s very hypocritical when it comes to integrity and the shield so to say, they sure are very selective on who gets paid. Shit even Tom Brady’s suspension has gained the attention to start a go fund me page.
Now from an evolutionary stand point, of course the modern-day athletes are going to be bigger, stronger, faster, more durable, and more agile than athletes of yesteryears. Even our children are developing at a younger age now. Medicines? Genetics? Processed Foods? Biology? Whatever it is I, I think we can unanimously agree that there is “Something in the water” today. Which brings us to our next topic? Intelligence! Some studies has shown that today’s average person is smarter than the average person 100 years ago. According to livescience.com, some scientists believe that because of technology, we are staganant as a species. Some differ. My point you ask? The modern day athlete is more aware about health, nutrition, finances, stds, wealth management etc. This is all a common trade off from the experience and also the white-collar revenue. Just think how Star athletes no longer need teams to market and promote them. Intelligence? Meh. Twitter? Hell Yea. Hahahaha. Laugh all you want but it is true. It really is. Now the intelligence plays a part because back in the day, most athletes did not have the resources as todays athletes. Does that make them smarter? No. I’m pretty sure if we went back to very primitive lifestyles, we as a species would create the same shit. It would just take more time.
Contrary to popular belief, this new breed of sports fan even watches MMA and UFC fights. (Which just sold for an alleged $4 billion dollars) The thing with MMA is that you know it’s going to be gory. You are paying top dollar to see these men and women beat the shit out of each other. UFC made their sport safer for all and once that happened, look how their stock took off. The thing about this, is everyone is afraid of MMA fighters. As we should be too. No one is scared of Steph Curry. No One is scared of Colin Kaepernick. That’s because when we pay to watch UFC, we are paying to cure our blood lust. When you watch basketball, because it is not marketed as a tough sport, you don’t expect to see a flagrant foul. They replay it over and over to try to convince you, the average sports fan that this foul that they are airing is flagrant. When in actuality, it’s a common foul. With the exception of Shaq, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin, few centers and power forwards have been able to market themselves as a household name. Its hard because (with the exception of Shaq, Dwight, and Blake again) its hard for the average fan to relate to them. 7ft 245lbs with a 7’ft 8″in wing span and a size 17 shoe is not relatable to Mr. White Collar. You know who is relatable though? Mr Klay Thompson or Steph Curry. Hard nosed NBA players in today climate are hard to sell to the Elitist group. I for one will use my powers to promote blue-collar sports. (And BTW LMFAO @ the fact that some people thought that the 2015/16 Warriors would beat the 96 Bulls. Are you fucking serious? See what marketing and promotion and hype can do to people.) Championships are won in the trenches. The Junk Yard dogs. The Enforcers. The Brawlers. These are the MEN and Women who needs to get the baubles and jewels as their pretty boy/girl counterpart. Which is also another thing. Grunt workers are traditional not good looking to American standards. Which is why corporations always want a face to sell their BS products. Just think at how many people love the “Discount Double Check.” Now do you think if Marshawn Lynch was to have a “Discount Double Check” commercial, ole handlebar moustache would buy it?
In conclusion, toughness is an acquired taste by the masses. Hell even in the WNBA when the ladies fight, the mass media outlets, percieve it as being “Unlady Like” PLEASE. Them ladies be balling just as hard as the fellas and the mass media diminishes them as competitor when they say stupid shit like that. I really wish that there were more Black hockey players and that the NHL would promote in inner cities, because hockey is a tough sport and if we are going to be stereotypical, than we all know us blacks are great athletes. Give us some dam skates and we will rock that mutha. Thank You
Born and raised in San Francisco, Ca, I've been a local sports fan for about 26 years now. Have a passion for the 49ers, Giants, Warriors. Have a respect and a disliking (hahaha) for the Raiders and A's. Following Cal and Stanford College hoops, College football, NFL, WNBA, and NBA. Will be giving you perspective from a young black male growing up here in the bay area. Holding no punches. Hope ya'll enjoy