Let me start by saying... I love the NFL. Football season is my favorite time and Sundays are reserved for sitting in front of the TV watching football.
That being said, this season was lackluster at best. When it was first reported in October that NFL TV ratings were down, I didn't want to read into it. I really didn't think there was any way the NFL was in trouble - come on, it's the NFL!
As a Ravens fan, my team was less than impressive. I had little doubt that only one AFC North team would earn a playoff berth, frankly the division isn't what it used to be.
Even after the playoff picture began to form, I was excited to see some of the matchups. The rookie duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott almost made me a Cowboys fan. Derrick Carr's charisma and leadership definitely made me a Raiders fan. Plus, I love what Andy Reid has achieved in Kansas City and the thought of an underdog in the Atlanta Falcons winning their first Super Bowl, well that's what sports stories are made of.
Then the playoffs actually happened. Was that really supposed to be the ten best games of the season?
It certainly wasn't. In my mind, there was really only one truly competitive game - the Giants at the Cowboys. And even that game unraveled in the fourth quarter.
Now, I know there isn't a direct correlation between declining ratings and poor football games, but they have to be related in some way, right? If not, and it's truly just an unfortunate coincidence, then I guess this post is irrelevant. But if they are related, I hope the NFL finds a way to give games meaning.
The good news is there's still hope for the 2016 season. On Super Bowl Sunday, one franchise has the opportunity to win its first ever world championship. And the Falcons' story has all of the elements of a great story in sports.
Then across the field, there's the dynasty of the New England Patriots. The Patriots are heading to their seventh Super Bowl with the Tom Brady Bill Belichick duo. The Pats are looking for their fifth Super Bowl championship since 2001.
Though I'll be rooting for the Falcons on Feb. 5, really I'm just hoping for a good game. I want to see solid offense and defense from both sides and a close game until the end. Is that too much to ask for in this modern era of football?