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Evaluating fan interest during a lockout

The first PFT Live interview with one of our favorite national columnists Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com started appropriately.

“It’s just another day in lockout hell,” Freeman said.

By the end of the day, things felt artificially better because of the release of the NFL schedule.   Florio captured the mood last night on our PFT Twitter account:

“Even with no end in sight for the lockout, the release of the schedule has made me very happy, at least for one night,” he wrote.

So will the good feeling last?  Are most fans truly turned off by the lockout, creating less interest than usual in the draft?

Freeman and Florio discussed that topic and a lot more in on Tuesday.   Watch the segment, and let us know in the comments if you have followed the draft any differently this year.

Of course, this may not be the most representative sample of the country.  The wise folks that check PFT every day are not your average fans.

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37 Responses to “Evaluating fan interest during a lockout”
  1. krow101 says: Apr 20, 2011 9:47 AM

    I’ll say it again…

    BOYCOTT

    Don’t buy the gear… the jerseys… the hats. Don’t attend any events with NFL players… no autographs… if you go to the games buy as little as possible… the fewest $10 Bud Lights… the fewest $8 hot dogs… that you can.

    You don’t have to be perfect… just spend less money on anything NFL.

    Hit back the only way they understand.

  2. jw731 says: Apr 20, 2011 9:48 AM

    It might make some people happy as they have something to write about. But as a fan, it pisses me off. The NFL acts as it’s just another off season, and par for the course, the draft,schedule release, etc. when everyone knows it isn’t….

  3. tehowdruid says: Apr 20, 2011 9:52 AM

    I’m going to be honest, I still follow the draft process religiously regardless of the lockout and I don’t think that’s gonna change. I could come on here and say I changed my approach and put up a front, but the reality is I still can’t get enough of the draft process and the draft.

    I just hope they get it settled soon, enough is enough

  4. promin1 says: Apr 20, 2011 9:56 AM

    every day that this lockout lasts I loose more interest. The whole thing is ridiculous.

  5. promin1 says: Apr 20, 2011 9:56 AM

    lose

  6. MichaelEdits says: Apr 20, 2011 10:01 AM

    The fans have all switched to Arena Football, the CFL, the UFL, and playing their own games in the backyard. It is over, NFL. Over. Are ya happy pappy?

  7. vikescry1 says: Apr 20, 2011 10:05 AM

    i’m boycotting the draft this year, just gonna buy a paper on monday.

  8. Davo says: Apr 20, 2011 10:12 AM

    I’d say I’ve gone from a level of “Anticipation” to one of “passing interest” due to the lockout. It’s kind of hard to get excited for something that might happen, eventually.

  9. pack93z says: Apr 20, 2011 10:16 AM

    Fan Interest?

    How is this for fan interest… instead of checking in at least once to four or five times a day for NFL news or latest.. I have reverted to maybe checking once ever couple weeks..

    I want to thank the greed shown by both sides in this nonsense.. they have freed me from my lifelong football addiction to the highest level of the sport.

    I am sure that I will watch games again.. but I can assure you that the passion I once held for this NFL version of the game has dissipated.

    The hours consumed that I once spent in prep for the draft has freed me to spend my small slice of free time in other directions..

    So I wish to thank both the players and the owners for flashing their outright greed for all to see, a shining example of the world we live in today.. I am sure there are others that have reinvested our time in other directions than the NFL product.

  10. chatham10 says: Apr 20, 2011 10:20 AM

    I read all the posts about how stupid Goodell and Smith are and all the lawyers are when in fact it is us the fans who are stupid. We still buy NFL gear, support ESPN and NFL Networks and will buy tickets again when they are done with this CBA. The more black outs the teams have the less the sponsors will pay and the less the players will make as well as the owners. I get a kick out of the CEO of Wal Mart getting paid millions in bonus money and stock and his employees must not consider him a partner because they still work for what they were told they would get paid.

  11. tehowdruid says: Apr 20, 2011 10:22 AM

    These people saying they’re boycotting the draft make me laugh, we all know you’re gonna watch it like you do every year. Stop acting like the lockout is gonna make you quit caring about football. You don’t come on this site at 8 in the morning if you don’t care about football.

  12. jonscoit says: Apr 20, 2011 10:27 AM

    Who would have guessed that several months over arguing about the issues fans dislike/care least about might lead to fan unrest? The next time there’s NFL we will all forget about all this crap…

  13. farmmbig says: Apr 20, 2011 10:56 AM

    Although I understand the complexity of the issues they’re debating, I absolutely hate the greed that’s being demonstrated. At this point, I’m evaluating my own spending toward anything associated with NFL football and will adjust THAT part of my control.

    I’ll tune in because of my former passion, but my money WILL NOT be following any longer. I’ve bought my last NFL product and I can no longer see myself forking-out the price they’re demanding for tickets.

    I used to consider football an escape from everyday struggles— like people needing to decide on spending money on food OR medicine. Due to this process (lockout), I find NFL football to be added frustration to life’s struggle.

  14. tresmang says: Apr 20, 2011 11:03 AM

    please go to facebook and search for ” NFL Fans that wont support a lockout”..click on like..we need disgruntled fans everywhere to band together and show solidarity in that enough is enough!…please go to fb and tell all your friends as well!

  15. bunjy96 says: Apr 20, 2011 11:11 AM

    I find the draft more interesting because there was no FA. Will teams gamble about covering their possible openings?

  16. dolphin80 says: Apr 20, 2011 11:15 AM

    I have to be honest…I don’t really know the issues that are up for debate and I really don’t care. All I know is that both sides are gambling and they are now entering a very dangerous zone. MLB & NHL took YEARS to recover from their strike seasons…I’d say they never fully recovered. I know this isn’t a strike, but if they miss regular season games, this is going to impact the game and it will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many fans, including myself. They are impacting the livelihoods of a LOT of people here. Training camp staff, stadium staff, vendors, parking attendants, fantasy football websites, etc. There is an economy that relies on football and both sides are spitting in the face of those depending on them by playing this very dangerous lockout game.

    For the NFL to release a schedule in such a nonchalant manner without acknowledging there’s a lockout is extremely arrogant. It’s tough for me to get excited about words on paper that say my team is going to play another team on any given Sunday when I know that this may very well NOT be the case.

    GET IT RESOLVED ALREADY!!!!

  17. 6kings says: Apr 20, 2011 11:28 AM

    I owned 4 lower level Vikings season tickets on the 30 yard line for 15 years. I gave them up over this. I look forward to spending my Sunday afternoons with others who are frustrated over the cost of being an NFL fan. I think I will take the THOUSANDS of dollars I will save and take a nice long summer vacation to NORWAY and meet some real VIKINGS.

  18. tunescribe says: Apr 20, 2011 11:31 AM

    As a season ticket holder since 1994, I can say that the NFL is my hobby. I am passionate about it, but don’t take it seriously enough to get bent out of shape over this labor nonsense. I can’t relate to the greed on both sides and just tune it out. If my hobby goes away for a while I will find other things to do and save money in the process. When it comes back, I will enjoy it as before because I have an abiding passion for the game played at its highest level. If this mindset is what the owners/players take for granted, they’re right. I stopped caring about MLB after their strike years ago but that’s because I didn’t feel passion for baseball. Can’t say that about the NFL, as much as I’d like to think my displeasure with what’s going on would make a difference.

  19. harleyrider1973 says: Apr 20, 2011 11:44 AM

    krow101 says:
    Apr 20, 2011 9:47 AM
    I’ll say it again…

    BOYCOTT

    Don’t buy the gear… the jerseys… the hats. Don’t attend any events with NFL players… no autographs… if you go to the games buy as little as possible… the fewest $10 Bud Lights… the fewest $8 hot dogs… that you can.

    You don’t have to be perfect… just spend less money on anything NFL.

    Hit back the only way they understand.

    473 iRate This

    _______________________________
    i’ve been saying this for awhile but I always get hate replies when I say it.

  20. dlew2191 says: Apr 20, 2011 11:51 AM

    I was a super die-hard football fan, but the lack of FA, etc has made me less enthusiastic about football. Now, I’m focusing my time on basketball. Screw you NFL.

  21. nineroutsider says: Apr 20, 2011 12:14 PM

    To be honest, the lockout has angered me, but I won’t reach my boiling point unless this thing goes deep. If it goes deep I know the Niners have very little chance of fielding a good team and after last year I cannot give them season ticket money for yet another horrible year of unwatchable football. Plus, I really enjoy Free Agency, so not having a normal off season is a turnoff. Regarding the draft, I haven’t been following the NFL Network coverage like I typically do. I always feel like a loser if I watch the draft, so I will do what I always do and Monday morning QB the draft.

    Even before the lockout, with the way the NFL handled the Super Bowl in JerryWorld and how they carelessly stiffed those fans, I was turned off by their insatiable greed. The lockout is an extension of that in my mind. I may never buy season tickets again just because of that, but I must admit that I am addicted to tailgating and haven’t been able to replace it at home even with the RedZone and a giant TV.

  22. nineroutsider says: Apr 20, 2011 12:19 PM

    BTW…I stopped watching baseball for 4 solid years after the MLB strike and I was only 14. I never collected another baseball card.

    If the NFL misses this season, or most of it, I may do the same for football and do the unthinkable…spend Sundays with my wife. Well, the lockout has at least one fan!

  23. dryheaveone says: Apr 20, 2011 12:20 PM

    krow101 says:
    Apr 20, 2011 9:47 AM
    I’ll say it again…

    BOYCOTT

    Don’t buy the gear… the jerseys… the hats. Don’t attend any events with NFL players… no autographs… if you go to the games buy as little as possible… the fewest $10 Bud Lights… the fewest $8 hot dogs… that you can.

    You don’t have to be perfect… just spend less money on anything NFL.

    Hit back the only way they understand

    ————————————————-

    Even though I agree with your idea, let me SAY IT AGAIN…….NEVER GONNA HAPPEN, save your breath. When this thing ends the fans will flock back in droves……you must be living in a fantasy world. Do you still believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy??

  24. hank10 says: Apr 20, 2011 12:32 PM

    ‘The more black outs the teams have the less the sponsors will pay and the less the players will make as well as the owners. ‘

    The big problem with this line of attack is that in the major markets with the highest ratings, blackouts are rare, if ever. When was the last time there was a TV blackout in Philly, NY, Chicago or Boston? With the waiting lists for seasons tickets, with only 8 home games, with the fear that season tix holders have that if they do not renew someone else will take their place, the owners have little to fear with losing ratings and sponsorship money. If the tix are sold and no one shows up, what do the owners care? Seats are sold, money is in the till, and the games are on TV. If fans want to make a big stand, then do not renew your tickets, or buy the incredibly over-priced tix from after-market outlets. Do not buy apparel and such that has official merchandise branding.

  25. ggeden says: Apr 20, 2011 12:36 PM

    If fans had any gumption they’d boycott everything NFL for season 2011/12. Force the NFL and NFLPA to understand the fans are their masters, not the other way around – on-field rules, pricing, everything.

  26. dgrenard says: Apr 20, 2011 12:37 PM

    As a defense attorney and mediator, I’m not surprised at the current pace of “negotiations” but very disappointed. I have followed the current off season but not with the same fervor as in past years. It’s really weird not to have free agency prior to the draft. Even weirder is the inability to trade draft picks for current players.

    This dispute will have to be decided in the courts as neither side is willing to give in right now because they really don’t have to–not until there is a ruling on the injunction. At that point, one side will believe it has all of the leverage and will not budge from their current position. This will lead to more time in court on appeals with the very distinct possibility of no NFL until sometime in late August or early September.

    I often tell litigants in mediation that we Americans don’t know how to negotiate because we believe that to compromise on an issue is a sign of weakness.

    I’m really thankful for my Xbox 360 and Madden. Even the Vikings can’t screw up on Madden.

  27. bronco1st says: Apr 20, 2011 1:06 PM

    I’m a big fan, always followed the draft. Not this year. I feel I owe it to myself and my love of the game to send the greedy owners and players a strong message that fans have had enough. I’ll read about the draft – AFTER – the fact. The small time span I lose in finding out how my team did, will help dot the exclamation point behind two words – NO MORE! Do these people believe they have unlimited access to my wallet without one iota of responsibility towards respecting my desires? Just take my money like a pimp slapping his ho? No draft watching for me this weekend and if this crap goes on much longer, this ho may just stop putting out for good.

  28. melikefootball says: Apr 20, 2011 1:08 PM

    No fan really believes the owners or players are giving one thought to or about the fans. This is about the players wanting more and more money and owners wanting the same. The players want more pie and with no responability on the quality of the pie. Myself they both make me sick although I’m seeing the ownwers side more each day. The players have been tooooo petty with wanting everything from compensated for training to loans to live on. Gee wouln’t many in the work world like that.

  29. jamie54 says: Apr 20, 2011 1:22 PM

    Every story here, YAWNNNNNNN. Every last sentence in every story……,”…when the lockout ends, we hope soon.” YAWNNNNNN. Don’t care no mo’. Watching MLB, NHL, NBA, don’t care about NFL, stories regarding NFL, comments about NFL, NFL draft, NFLPA* having their own draft day ‘dinner’ (huge GUFFAW). Just complete apathy regarding NFL. Other things to do in our lives, get on with it.

  30. TurdSandwich says: Apr 20, 2011 1:22 PM

    F The NFL. Seriously. This is such a poke in the eye to football fans. The ONLY NFL related thing I have indulged in is this site – making comments. Boycott – absolutely. Hope the players and owners both lose money over this.

  31. hsatpft says: Apr 20, 2011 2:15 PM

    Depends on how you define “average fan”. The lockout is a big deal for people who have to make a decision on season tickets, but they’re a small minority of the fan base. An avid fan like myself, sure I miss news about free agents moving around & the rare trade, but it’s no big deal. The NBA playoffs are on and, for heaven’s sake, I have a life. The average fan is going to worry if it’s August & there’s no games & they’re going to care if it’s Sept 11 & there’s no games.

  32. oldpftusernewname says: Apr 20, 2011 2:45 PM

    I check PFT multiple times a day but I don’t care a lot about the draft. I certainly won’t waste a weekend watching it. (And I will get tons of thumbs down for saying so…) I recognize the draft is an infusion of hope, but it takes so long for most of them to have an impact, why bother getting excited? If they start playing well in the pre-season, that is when I start to care. So I don’t watch the draft, I just read the write ups the week after.

  33. biggerballz says: Apr 20, 2011 2:51 PM

    i don’t watch the draft anyways but this year i’m not in a hurry to find out who got who since you can’t sign the picks anyways.

  34. krugjr says: Apr 20, 2011 2:53 PM

    Like most here I’m in the “wait & see” mode…but unlike most, I’m not just waiting to see if and when “the season” will return or how the money gets divided…..I’m waiting to see if the NFL loses it’s competitiveness, which is the main reason we’re all fans….the NFL has become the “biggest and best” because they have kept all teams somewhat equal, with a great shot at winning it all every year….no other pro sport can sat that, and IF that goes away, so will I….just like MLB…..I’m surprised more fans aren’t discussing this angle!

  35. macjacmccoy says: Apr 20, 2011 5:33 PM

    Personally in years past it seemed like it took for ever for the end of February to come around and free agency to start and the draft would felt like it was still a year away. I would be searching on the internet constantly for mock drafts or any story related to the Eagles just to get a hint of what they might do. I would be on the message boards talking about what there needs are and what they should do. And I would be on pft 10 times a day waiting impatiently for the next story to be posted.

    But this year is seems like the season just ended. I havent been on message boards talking about the team or on google looking for mock drafts. My visits to pft went from mulitple times daily to about 3 times per week. I haven purposely ignored it I just havent felt the urgue like in years past. I dunno if its bc how annoyed I am with the whole thing or if its just bc I know nothing is really happening or changing right now so doing all that would be pointless. What I do know however is my interest in it all is considerably less then what it was.

  36. rocketman2010 says: Apr 21, 2011 12:32 PM

    Fans United Completely Knowing You Owe Us NFL

    Join the fans ‘union’

  37. rocketman2010 says: Apr 21, 2011 12:36 PM

    I’m not boycotting the draft because the college players are not the ones involved in is greed fest.

    Here are the commitments from the above fans ‘union’

    1) do not attend games in 2011
    2) do not purchase merchandise in 2011
    3) do not purchase nfl package
    4) do not click NFL website or any team website to give the the coveted ‘clicks’… We will continue to get our info from pft and local media outlets
    5) do not play fantasy football in 2011 to show a significant drop in fan interest to advertisers of FF.

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