Count Mark Cuban among those who think the NFL is pushing it in the greed department by attempting to hijack at third day of the week from the nation’s television menu.
Referring to the league’s new Thursday night TV deal with CBS, here’s what the Dallas Mavericks owner and business tycoon told ESPNDallas.com this weekend. “I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion. I’m just telling you, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy. Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way.
“I’m just telling you, when you’ve got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That’s rule number one of business.”
When Mark Cuban offers you business advice, you’d be smart to listen. The potential problem here, of course, is that Cuban is deeply invested in one of the NFL’s biggest competitors. And if he’s as savvy as we all believe he is, there could be ulterior motives to statements such as these.
What incentive does Cuban have to warn the NFL of its potential demise? Then again, I’m sure he also figures the league and its 32 owners are far too self-assured to heed advice from anyone, let alone a relative whippersnapper like Cuban.
All that matters is he has a point. We don’t know exactly where overexposure limits are with regard to football in the United States, but it does feel as though the NFL has begun to push them. Pro football is special for many reasons, but a huge component in that special formula is that we only really see real NFL action 21 weekends per year. As the league expands its broadcast package and considers adding games in general, you have to wonder if that magic feeling will fade for some viewers.
I think we have to keep in mind that baseball used to kick football’s ass. And before that, boxing reigned supreme in the United States. Nobody is immune. Not only does football have a concussion problem on its hands that could impact the game dramatically from the grassroots, but it also might be pushing the brink in terms of its allotted time at the top of the North American sports totem pole.
Greed, real or perceived, won’t help.