The Great NFL Boycott Dividend

I remember reading an account of the effort that went into the Apollo 11 moon landing.  This counted all the effort into the space program including the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions up to that time including all the work done by both government workers and contractors during this series of projects.  The estimate was 1.5 million man-years.  Breaking this into man-hours (~ 2,000 hours per year) gives us a figure of 3 billion man-hours for this colossal and remarkable achievement.

How many hours a week are expended watching football?  Well, let’s say twenty million fans watch one game every Sunday and Monday.  And let’s say they devote 4 hours to each game.  That’s 160 million man-hours per week.  And let’s say that there are twenty weeks of football a year.  That comes to 3.2 billion man-hours each year.  Hmmm.

Now of course, I’m comparing apples and oranges.  There’s a big difference between a military project motivated by a space race with an existential foe on the one hand and on the other hand twenty million guys trying to forget the grind of the rat race for a few hours every week.

But considering that if you’re not watching the NFL because they’re unpatriotic, that sort of makes it a patriotic act.  Damn, I’m an American Hero!  I always thought I’d make it.

But seriously, it seems there’s a lot of time being freed up by an NFL boycott.  Now granted, not all of these viewers are steely-eyed missile men so we’re not talking about moon landing or Manhattan Project results.  But if these hours were devoted to nothing more constructive than helping their kids with their homework we’d be looking at a significant improvement to America’s trajectory.

And even if they just used the time to do something else recreational like reading a book or surfing the net, that would be a good chunk of change taken out of the pockets of ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and especially ESPN.  These people are the ones who have created this social justice monster and they are the ones who should reap the results.

What would be fun to do would be to consciously gather up those hours for yourself and use them for some specific purpose or project.  Even better, people could band together and reclaim that time (or the equivalent) to accomplish something useful and hopefully rewarding.  Imagine if you had a group of buddies who typically watched the Sunday and Monday night games and instead started a bowling team.  They could even have the wives come along and play.  Or if it’s just the guys put together a poker night.  Is there any way to call that less useful than staring at the tube?

So, is this a permanent change or just a blip?  Well, the NFL boycott is looking more and more like a popular idea.  The drop in viewing is so significant that the media has stopped pretending it’s just due to baseball or weather or whatever.  Now they’re just hoping that the owners can paper over all the anger and everyone will forget and go back to loving football.  Well, I think that ship has sailed.  I think a lot of guys have discovered just how much time they get back for other good stuff if they turn off the NFL.  I think, short of a groveling apology by the Kneelers, that a lot of the fans won’t be coming back.  Hell, for some of them, even that won’t do.  We know how they really feel.  They hate this country and by extension they hate us.  Good.  Right back at them.  Think what you can do with an extra four or five hours on your weekend and a good night’s sleep on Monday night.  Multiply that by a few million men and to paraphrase Apollo 13, “Goodell we have a problem.”  Call that a mission that won’t be controlled.

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