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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Quote of the Day: "I want to be able to have, and provide for, a family in the next 3-4 years.” –Male, 20, NC

The gambling industry is (still) trying to figure out Millennials. While young travellers do seem to like Vegas, they’re not interested in playing slots, and more of their money and attention is going to technically non-gambling activities like fantasy sports. Some casinos are trying out skill-based machines that feel more like video games. According to the CEO of the Global Gaming Association “It's going to be a lot about throwing things up on the wall and seeing what sticks." (CNBC)

Digital natives have naturally integrated tech into their relationships, and teens are using texting and online flirting as a way of “dipping a toe in the ocean of romantic possibility.” But at the same time, in-person interactions remain important: 50% have flirted by friending someone on social media, while 55% have flirted by talking to their romantic interest in person. (The Atlantic)

Evidence that food is the new status symbol continues to mount. New research from Good Food magazine found that 16-24-year-olds in the UK spend more on food than any other age group, with much of that splurging spent on takeout. These young consumers are also spending more on brunch and other restaurant visits than older diners. (Vice Munchies)

Television has traditionally been relatively isolating, especially as an influx of content has made it less likely that everyone is watching the same show at the same time and time shifting has threatened the water cooler moment. But social media is making TV a communal experience again, as actors, writers, and the audience react to episodes in real time together. Social media activity is also an indication of a show’s popularity: Twitter and Nielsen have found that there is a connection between tweet volume and the size of the viewing audience. (NYTimes)

Exercise might seriously improve the mental health of bullied teens. A study from the University of Vermont found a 23% decrease in suicidal thoughts and attempts among bullied students who exercised four or more days a week. While the study doesn’t necessarily prove that exercise reduces sadness and suicidal tendencies, it is “an important first step” in connecting the two. (Common Health)

Quote of the Day: “I don't have kids, so my financial goal is to save the money I need to take the trips I want to take.” –Female, 25, FL

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