Why the NFL is Dying.

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The NFL has been in decline for several years – from tickets sold to viewership at home. I’m going to lay out a handful of reasons why I think the NFL is dying a slow death. Well, death may be a little too bold. I don’t think the NFL will ever die out completely, but I do believe they’ll eventually lose their crown as America’s top sport.

Concussions. Players are retiring at an earlier age (on average) and young people aren’t lining up to play like they once did. I believe this is largely due to the risk of concussions, but also due to the fact that our society has become heavily dependent on the internet for entertainment. Therefore, spending hours each day becoming a “super athlete” just isn’t appealing to most kids today.

Politics. This is a divided nation. I think that point is unarguable.  You can blame NFL players for kneeling or you can blame the U.S. President – either way, the NFL loses. If they scold their players, they lose the politically correct left and if they continue to leave things as they are, they lose half of their fans via the right. This is an absolute nightmare for the NFL.

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The Football. These are the best football players in the world, yet most sports pages are no longer talking about the game. Tebow is praying. Michael Sam is gay. Players are kneeling. In fact, ESPN’s top FIVE stories this morning deal with the political side of football, not the game itself. Purists are leaving the fan base in droves.

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The Competition. There’s a lot of competition out there, and most of it is fantastic. I actually turned away from the NFL and discovered the English Premiere League. It’s awesome! And, it’s a sport that I wouldn’t have found, had it not been for the mess that is now the NFL. In today’s modern world of fast internet and cord cutting options, it’s just too easy to follow the other major sports from around the world. Most of them care 0 for American politics, which is what fans are looking for when they sit on the couch to relax.

Greed. NFL players get paid, son. To offset the cost of paying a guy $20 million dollars a year to play a game, your ticket prices have been jacked up (explaining the failing attendance rates). You shouldn’t have to sell a kidney to buy tickets to a sporting event.

In closing I don’t believe the NFL is going to completely die out, but it is beginning to fall from the lead and shuffle back in with the pack. I’m leaving you with a list of alternatives that are easy to find/watch, and cheap (or free) to get. Enjoy!

http://www.lflus.com/ – Yes, it’s women’s football but the focus is on the game. Plus, these women can play!

https://www.premierleague.com/ – I’ve discovered why soccer (er, football) is the world’s #1 sport.

https://www.nhl.com/ – These guys play for a tenth of NFL salaries and the focus is on the game.

https://www.nascar.com/ – It’s more exciting than you might think.

https://www.cfl.ca/ – Very good football. Give it a try.

My Honest Review of Sling TV

We’ve been thinking of making the switch for a while. Now that Netflix refuses to add decent content and Hulu’s interface is a mess, my wife and I finally dropped both and signed up for Sling TV. Here’s what we found.

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The Good: We found the interface on Sling TV to be great (especially the guide). It basically works the same way Dish Network does, and it’s fast. Much faster than either Netflix or Hulu. So far we’ve had 0 problems streaming live TV. The setup was ultra simple, and they offer the NHL Network, which makes me happy! Sling TV offers 2 packages (Orange, Blue) and we signed up for Blue, as Orange only streams to 1 TV at a time. Blue streams to 3, and is just $5 extra per month (it’s $25).

The Bad: My biggest complaint with Sling TV is their website. Honestly, it’s a mess. As we were signing up, we still weren’t 100% sure as to which channels were included in the Blue package (without adding additional packages). Our top 3 most-wanted channels were the NHL Network, The Hallmark Channel, and Teen Nick. None of which were in the Blue (or Orange) package. The NHL Network cost me $10 (via a sports package), the Hallmark Channel cost an additional $5, and Teen Nick cost yet another $5. In other words, our TV bill jumped from $25 to $45 within minutes.

The Verdict: We’ll most likely end up keeping Sling TV (unless unexpected problems or costs pop up). $45 for a decent offering of live TV isn’t bad, but again, I wish their website was a little more helpful. They promote themselves as “a la carte”, but that implies you have the ability to add only the channels you want. You don’t. Instead (much like cable or Dish/Direct), you add a base package which includes a bunch of channels you don’t care about and then purchase additional packages in order to get what you want. Both the Orange and Blue packages are essentially toll booths that you must pay in order to get to the content you truly want. Still, if you’re looking for live TV, I’d suggest this option over the more conventional options out there.

The 8-Bit Nintendo (NES)

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There are two types of people in this world. People who understand that the NES is the greatest video game system of all time, and people who are wrong. Sure, the Atari 2600 is a close second, followed by the Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx 16, and Super Nintendo, but those are all debatable. The NES is not!

Folks, I grew up poor. You guys have no idea. I was finally able to afford my NES in November 1990, and I remember the date because I bought Double Dragon 3 to go along with it. You want dedication? I used to walk three miles (each way) to a friend’s house to borrow the original Zelda. That gold case still gives me chills.

Kids of the 2000s, you have no idea. You have your online gaming and your headsets, and I suppose that’s OK. We had pizza parties, paper maps packed into our NES boxes and social interaction. You have Madden #209878373873 and we had Tecmo Superbowl. You’ve got Destiny and we had Operation Wolf. And show me a hard game in 2017. I’ll show you Ghost and Goblins, at which point you will shit yourself, cry for your mommy, and then require therapy.

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So, for all you Mike Tyson Punchout fans: 007-373-5963. Prepare to have your ass knocked out. It’s 2017, and I still can’t beat Mike.

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Headed back to college.

This old man is heading back to college!

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OK, so I don’t have that much hair, but you get the idea. I never thought I’d be heading back at age 41. And when I tell people I’m heading back for a bachelor’s in history, they pretty much replicate the look in the above picture. Apparently there’s not a huge demand for history buffs in my area. Apparently I’m OK with that. It’s history, folks! Who knows, maybe one day I’ll use it to land a steady job at one of the local newspapers. I mean, it’s not like print is dying or anything. Right?

Right?

Sling TV

In case you didn’t know, this is a cord-cutting house. We’ve been on-again, off-again with Netflix, as they rarely add any content worth watching. We’re fans of Pluto TV, the WWE Network and Hulu Plus, too. That might be changing. My wife, who treats the Hallmark Channel like her version of NFL Sunday Ticket, has discovered that Sling TV offers a boatload of Hallmark channels, Lifetime channels, etc.

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Needless to say, it looks like we’re getting Sling TV. Now, you may think us full-time authors have fistfuls of cash to spend, but we don’t. Meaning we’ll likely be dropping everything else in favor of Sling TV.

Does anyone out there already have it? Is it worth the price of admission?

I’m sure I’ll get around to posting a Sling TV Vlog in the near future.

Until We Die

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Readers have fallen in love with Wicked, and I’m pleased to announce that there’s plenty more gut-munching action on the way! Our survivors will now continue their journey as the zombie apocalypse does what it can to consume them. I’m also going to introduce some new faces, and trust me when I say that you don’t want to miss Until We Die (Wicked #2). In the meantime, I encourage you to check out The Journal of Emma Wilson, which follows a teenage girl and her journal during the same zombie apocalypse.

I’ve also been busy editing all of my previous work, and I’m over halfway finished! Some of the new covers look outstanding as well. Finally, if you haven’t put your name down for The Coffee Club yet, what are you waiting for?

Is there something wrong with me?

So, my friends are scooping up Destiny 2 and the new Madden football game. I’ve got no problem with games, I play ’em too (original Zelda!). But here’s the thing: they’re playing these games a lot, and I’m over here reading books by Plato. Seriously, is there something wrong with me?

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I legitimately am more interested in studying what the smartest minds of each era had to say, instead of just gaming or wasting away on social media. You know, all of the typical 2017 stuff. So how about it internet land, does anyone out there get where I’m coming from?