8:09 pm Update: Smylie Wins; Lanny Knows Golf (endofmessage)
This stuff gets funnier and funnier. These articles are all short, so those with limited attention spans can read them, too.
Look at that shit! Seven out of the 10 most popular stories on ESPN.com last month were run-of-the-mill fantasy football takes. Seven million people were like, “I gotta find out what’s good with Dion Lewis and Matt Jones this week.” This is also a reminder that the continued explosion of the NFL’s popularity has almost everything to do with fantasy football.
Another from Deadspin. Does this sound like the golf media or what?
The issue here isn’t really whether Berry is violating some clause buried 40 pages into his employment contract or even some abstract ethical precept that solemn journalism professors treat as if it was handed down on Mount Sinai to Moses himself, but that he is shamelessly advertising to readers in the middle of his ostensibly independent editorial copy, and that he and his editors didn’t think they needed to mention it to his readers. It’s not only fundamentally dishonest, it’s something no one with any sense would ever do. Once it’s been revealed that some of your opinions are your own and some are ones you’re paid to hold, you’ve permanently forfeited your credibility.
This isn’t just a problem with one individual writer, either. DraftKings and FanDuel are all over every single sports website not just because they’re spending advertising money as if someone will burn it if they don’t, but because they’re not just engaged in normal, arms-length relationships. ESPN is in bed with DraftKings; CBS has a “media partnership” with FanDuel; and Yahoo is pimping their own product. Fantasy sports writing has always been awful, but it’s rapidly becoming a hellscape of sponsored and pseudo-sponsored content, advertising in name and in everything but and in all shades in between.
It can’t be overstated how much fantasy football is driving the league’s popularity, even in spite of recent controversies surrounding daily fantasy. Without this tailwind, Yahoo’s Bills-Jags game is lacking a draw.
But as Sunday’s game in London lays bare, the underlying product — games of 11-on-11, American-style professional football — is not that compelling.
I have the Yahoo stream of the London NFL game playing as I write this morning. I just heard an Old Navy ad as I typed. The punch line of the commercial jumped out at me, “Who are we kidding? Nobody watches golf.”
Mr. Finchem, perhaps your “Tiger makes golf cool” bullshit failed, eh? You got Old Navy out there trying to convince young people their clothes are cool because, hey, they’re the kind of people who ridicule uncool golf.
Too funny. All the “edgy” commercials the PGA Tour runs to convince kids that golf is cool is undone in one Old Navy commercial. Maybe it’s time the PGA Tour realized who is buttering their bread. Those nasty ol’ Wall Street-investing one-percenters. Or, more inclusively, conscientious people who, you know, have jobs and responsibilities and whatnot. Don’t run from that. Wear it as a badge of honor. There’s nothing wrong with appealing to smart, successful, self-reliant people, is there?
By the way, how come this Yahoo NFL stream runs flawlessly on my computer but the PGA Tour’s streams cause crashes every five or ten minutes?