NFL ratings are down again. Last season, they blamed declining ratings on Trump and the election. They've already blamed Hurricane Irma for the low ratings this season. In anticipation of a continued ratings slump, we put together a list of ready-made excuses for the league - this way they don't have to acknowledge that their product causes brain damage, turning off more and more viewers.
With week 5 of the season coming up, here's why ratings can't be expected to keep up - and why it's not the NFL's fault.
October 8: It's the day before Columbus Day. Everyone's too busy debating whether the statues of Christopher Columbus should be removed to focus on football. It's society's fault, not the NFL's.
October 15: The 26th anniversary of Clarence Thomas' confirmation to the Supreme Court. That's enough time to truly scrutinize his body of work. Fans can't be expected to spend the day scouring judicial opinions and watching football at the same time.
October 22: Come on - it's the 206th anniversary of the birthday of Hungarian composer Franz Liszt. This is the one everyone's been waiting for. Starz is running a Liszt biopic starring Meryl Streep and Andy Samberg. No way the NFL can compete with Liszt. Or Samberg.
October 29: In 1390, the first ever trial of witchcraft took place on this date, in Paris. Tanglewood is re-enacting the trial and it's being streamed live on Hulu. No reasonable person could expect the NFL to compete with witchcraft. Or Hulu.
November 5: Guy Fawkes Day. Obviously. Why even bother playing that day?
November 12: National Health Day in Indonesia. And National Youth Day in East Timor. If it were just one or the other, ratings would probably be fine. But both?
November 19: International Men's Day. Half of the Vikings defensive line and special teams have already put in for a personal day. The league may not even be able to field teams that day. Of course no one's going to watch.
November 26: This would have been fine if the WB hadn't announced they're running A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving that very same day.
December 3: Darryl Hannah's 57th birthday. 57! Fox is pre-empting that day's slate of games to run Splash on continuous loop. Drew Brees can't be expected to compete with a beautiful mermaid.
December 10: Only 15 shopping days left till Christmas. People will be far too busy ordering from Amazon to look up at their tv screens.
December 17: Wright Brothers Day (as we all know). Millions of NFL fans will take to the streets to fly their drones in celebration. They'll be way too distracted to watch football.
December 24: It's Ricky Martin's birthday. Let's move on.
December 31: People will be so amazed and grateful we made it through the year alive, they'll be too lost in contemplation and wonderment to find the remote control. The NFL can't compete with the miracle of human survival.
The Playoffs: We still think fans will tune in for the playoffs. There has to be at least another season or two before they begin tuning out in January too.
So when the blogs start bemoaning low ratings and lost interest in professional football, don't believe them. It's not because people are turned off by the league's refusal to admit the brutal harm their product causes. It's not because people are bored spending 3-4 hours watching tv to see approximately 14 minutes of actual action.
It's because there's just too much competition. Guy Fawkes. Ricky Martin. Franz Liszt. Andy Samberg.
It's not the NFL's fault.
It never is.