Football’s Fantasy

Back in the day, Monday Night Football used to kick off with the song, Are You Ready for Some Football? That question has been answered, over and over, for years. Americans are always ready for some football. The Washington Commanders, a bad team made worse by years of terrible ownership, just sold for more than $6 billion. “The $163B aggregate value of the league’s 32 teams nearly tops the combined value of every NBA and MLB team.” And, in the dying world of broadcast television, the NFL is still punt, pass, and kicking some serious ass. Consider this: “The NFL commanded 82 of 2022’s 100 most-watched TV programs.” Even Tom Brady doesn’t have a win streak like that. With a new season underway this weekend, let’s review with some help from The Hustle: The NFL is back, bigger than ever, and seriously, wow, it’s huge.

+ Deep Pocketed Passer: Joe Burrow just became the NFL’s highest paid player, ever. It’s not Messi money, but it’s not bad at 5-years for $275 million.

+ From DraftKings to Disney (both of which are now in the sports gambling business), the return of the NFL could move the market. Meanwhile, fantasy football is so huge that even baseball players fight over it.

+ The NFL is even popular when your team is bad. And sometimes, getting good presents a dilemma… “There is a reason the Lions—not the Red Wings, or the Pistons, or the Tigers, all of whom have been winners in my lifetime—are the favorite sons of Detroit. In a city that can’t seem to catch a break, people find common cause in rallying around the team that best reflects their own story.” Tim Alberta in The Atlantic: The Thrill of Defeat. “My life has been shaped by watching the Detroit Lions lose. Who will I be if they start winning?” (Bad news for Alberta. The question just got a lot more real. The Lions beat the defending champion Chiefs in the first game of the 2023 season last night.)

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