Confessions of a Millennial Guy: Why Football is Losing Fans Like Me

Today, we’re continuing our Confessions of a Millennial Guy series with a post from an anonymous Millennial male giving us a glimpse at the changing attitudes towards professional sports, and why some Millennials are losing faith in the NFL and starting to migrate towards soccer as their preferred sports entertainment. 


 A curious feeling arises when a friend texts me mid-football Sunday and makes some remark about “the game”—almost a feeling of bored embarrassment. I don’t have the heart to tell my friend, I really don’t care about the NFL anymore. Like falling out of love, it is hard, but it is happening to many of my friends, for a myriad of reasons.

The predictions of the National Football League’s demise due to the growing and deepening issues surrounding the risk of concussion related injuries have been well-documented. In-depth reports have highlighted the NFL’s complicit role in allowing these risks to be ignored or even covered up, as well as showing the personal impacts of CTE related deaths and mental illness. In the wake of all this, for myself and many like me the NFL has started to resemble the political system that so many of us distrust: continually insisting they have the interests of the people in mind while clearly manipulating our passion for their own financial benefit. For the last few years, the NFL has been evolving and instituting rule changes that are manipulative and only have the bottom line in mind, trying to make us believe they have the players’ and fans’ greater interest at heart when they are in fact only restructuring the game to make more money. Rule changes like the kickoff rule change—changing the kickoffs so there are fewer violent hits—use our desire to protect players from damaging concussions and destroyed knees as a reason to make…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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