As the general population of the country continues growing vaginas at a startling pace, ‘manly’ testosterone fueled sports are under assault. It is actually rather frightening. The NFL, for example, is threatened by fear of serious long term injury, particularly head injuries. One look at a 70 year old legend from Super Bowl weekend, Joe Namath, provides compelling circumstantial evidence. The guy has problems expressing coherent sentences, and he screwed up the coin toss. Combine that with the increase of soccer as the population tans and as child rearing couples increasingly forbid their kids from playing tackle football, and the NFL should be worried.
Today ratings and revenue are not a problem for the NFL, but the chick-ization of society has definitely affected all of auto racing. NASCAR’s ‘chase’ has not worked out as they had hoped so not they have added reality-like eliminations in an attempt to increase eyeballs. Ratings are flat and seats are being removed from tracks at a fast clip. Formula One experienced a 10% decrease in ratings, purportedly because fans became tired of seeing Vettel win most of the time.
IndyCar has been under assault for over a decade. The most ignorant of the screechers continue stupidly blaming Tony George and 1996, but a combination of horrible, revolving management bent on self-destruction has plagued the genre more than anything else over the years. The critics are very fond of pointing out ratings challenges for IndyCar.
As a subscriber to the Hemingway definition of sports (bullfighting, motor racing and mountain climbing, presumably because all three can lead to literal sudden death) the wussification of society is troubling because meddlesome people who believe they have a right to tell others what they can or can’t watch have gained a foothold, and sports that can kill participants greatly trouble such folks.
Hopefully I am wrong. My tendency to be, as my critics point out, full of crap may be indicative of some irrational fear. But look at the numbers and look at the trends, then try to look forward fifteen years. Pretty scary.