The league deserves its ratings losses from dumb scheduling decisions
I’m trying to figure out who the hell runs the NFL. Is it Rob Manfred or Roger Goodell? It’s hard to tell these days given both are as popular as a bag of brussels sprouts.
But I imagine the league – who decided to plow through the regular season during a ranging pandemic, having to postpone games to odd hours and Covid forcing all Denver Broncos quarterbacks to sit out Sunday, has absolutely no idea what it’s doing. The NFL has completely mishandled the pandemic as a few teams aren’t following Covid protocols and decided to punish teams by fining the hell out of them and taking away draft picks, but nothing more.
But as long as the almighty dollar is king, the show must go on because we can’t live without dumb Applebee’s ads set to awful rock music, sportsbook ads with James Harrison tackling people who look like Big Bang Theory cast members, and some lady in a Xfinity commercial screaming into her overpriced pillow she bought from a former dopehead from Minnesota because some dork in an AT&T shirt is in her house annoying the living bejesus out of her – similar to what Bears management has done to fans, like forever.
Which brings us to Sunday’s shitshow bears the Bears and Packers on Sunday Night Football, which used to feature the best matchups of the week – something I said in 2016 when the Bears were pounded by the Dallas Cowboys. The Bears lost 41-25 to their hatred Green Bay counterparts listed as yet another prime-time embarrassment – one of many in the last decade.
Back in 2014 when the Bears were blown out by the Packers on the same stage, I said this… The [Chicago] Lakefront’s NFL Team performance was the worst programming to air on NBC since Pink Lady and Jeff, Emeril, and Joe Namath’s The Waverly Wonders. Hell, even Namath’s inept basketball team from this short-lived 1978 embarrassment would’ve beaten the Bears on Sunday night.
Then again, what actually passes for primetime television on the broadcast networks today is actually worse than watching the Bears. Maybe the team can hire Sheriff Lobo or any Goldbergs cast member as their next coach.
On this blog over the years, I’ve complained how bad Bears teams always wind up in prime-time, even with the opportunity to flex games out. Last year after another Bears blowout, I said it’s unlikely Chicago’s NFL Lakefront Team wouldn’t get many prime-time games this season. Well somehow, they got four because the NFL holds on to this outdated notion that big-market teams draw big ratings as evidenced by the number of Philadelphia Eagles and Cowboys games this year. This is the 15th straight year – yes, 15th – the Bears have played the Packers in primetime with the NFL thinking this “rivalry” is on the same level as the Yankees and Red Sox – two teams with nine championships combined in the last 35 years as opposed to the Bears’ one.
And the hapless home viewers were steamed at another Bears prime-time appearance, if Twitter was any indication:
Is corona making it hard to flex these games? Please stop putting the bears in prime time— Matt (@Matts_BadTweets) November 30, 2020
The bears don't deserve NO type of prime tv time. Let they ass play on Tuesdays at noon or some shit.— Dodda 🕊 (@iAmDon_Don) November 30, 2020
Some idiot in the NFL is getting paid millions to make the schedule and thinks to themselves, “Bears vs Packers will be a good prime time game”— Neemosa (@SuperCoolNeemz) November 30, 2020
Does the rest of the country bitch when the #Bears play on prime-time? They have every right to. This is such an embarrassment. We complain about the #NFCEast, yet the #Bears are on prime often and continuously get rolled. #SNF #BearDown #CHIvsGB #Embarassing— The Chicago Crossover (@chicrossover1) November 30, 2020
Part of the problem is people still watch – even a trash Bears game would still draw more viewers than even the strongest entertainment show on network schedules and that’s been the way for at least the last decade as ratings have decimated by delayed viewing and streaming.
Of course, Chicago’s NFL Lakefront Team is managed and coached by total idiots, year after year after year. No wonder they haven’t won anything in 35 years, and it will be twice as long before they win another championship. The team needs a complete rebuild from top to bottom, but as we know, there’s no rebuilding in the NFL – this isn’t the White Sox. It’s amazing the imbeciles at the NFL still think the Bears can draw viewers as bad as they have been for so long because of some nostalgia bullshit.
The league deserves their declining ratings this season, because the NFL does not give a damn about its fanbase and takes them for granted. But as long as they rule the ratings world with no challengers in sight, you’ll see shitty Bears games in prime-time for years to come. Chicagoans are used to watching losing teams (mainly the Cubs until 2015 or so), but the rest of the nation is not.
Speaking of which, here’s the ratings from Sunday – nationally, the game drew 16.48 viewers in final numbers, down 22 percent from last year’s comparable Week 12 SNF game. Of note the Kansas City Chiefs-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game featuring Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady as the lone late afternoon game on CBS drew 23.12 million. Demo ratings were not available.
In Chicago, the game drew a 23.7 household overnight rating, the third lowest of the year. Compared to the Bears’ 2014 shellacking, that game drew a 26.3 local rating. Nationally, the 2014 contest drew 18.13 million viewers, was beaten in the ratings by The Walking Dead in the 18-49 demo and was also outdrawn by a late afternoon game, this time on Fox.
Of course, the game dominated the ratings Sunday night. Of note a rerun of 32 year old-movie on CBS (Coming to America) drew more viewers than Fox’s Sunday night animation shows and ABC’s retread game show lineup.
Next week, the Broncos play Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs and starting at quarterback for Denver could be the kid who plays Young Sheldon.
And even he would perform better than Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles.