A few weeks back I wrote an article about what life would be like without the NFL and how other sports would emerge and take away some of the pain. The truth is the NFL is too profitable, the players and the owners all make too much money and we were never really in any danger of losing the entire 2011 season. The lone casualty of this whole lockout situation was the August 7th “Hall of Fame Weekend” game at soldier field featuring the Bears vs the Rams. Without the possibility of a Kristin Cavallari sighting in Chitown I don’t think anyone gave a shit. It’s August 11th and Football is back, baby!
I’ve immersed myself in football in the past week or so. I’ve completed over 10 fantasy mock drafts. I watched as much as possible of the 4 pre-season games this evening, from Michael Vick looking like an early MVP candidate to Tim Tebow making major strides towards that starting QB spot. Then it hit me. The “lockout” prior to the 2011 NFL season may have been the best marketing ploy in the history of professional sports.
Think about it. We all love football. Even your girlfriend watches the Super Bowl every year, cheering mindlessly for the “team with the nicest outfit”. How could the NFL possibly make America’s most popular sport even more popular? By threatening to take it away.
Try and tell me you weren’t worried what would happen to your fantasy league this year if there was no football. Once that 10 year CBA was signed, how many emails and league invites have filled your inbox?
How many preseason football games have you watched in your lifetime? How many did you watch today, and why is Sportscenter dominated by the highlights?
This whole lockout thing was viral marketing in it’s finest, purest form… and we fell for it hook, line and sinker.
Yet I couldn’t be more happy.