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Jay Greeson

This fall has been dominated by protests, politics and pigskin, sadly, in that order.

Today, we're going to clean out the notebook on at least one example of each.

NFL ratings dip

After ratings grew more than 27 percent — despite a TV viewership decline by more than one-third — over the last 15 years, the National Football League is suffering through double-digit decreases on every time slot of its broadcasts this year.

To be sure, the NFL and its live games are still the biggest draw in pop culture and rank as the most watched show on five networks — NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN and the NFL Network.

But the double-digit dip, according to a memo circulated to teams this week, is more about presidential politics than the protests stirred up by San Francisco backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

"Prime-time windows have clearly been affected the most, while declines during the Sunday afternoon window are more modest," the NFL's top media executives, Brian Rolapp and Howard Katz, wrote to the league's media committee in a memo obtained by ESPN.

"In 2000, during the campaign between George W. Bush and Al Gore, all four NFL broadcast partners suffered year-over-year declines — Fox was down 4 percent, CBS was down 10 percent, ABC was down 7 percent and ESPN was down 11 percent."

The reasoning also alluded to different ways to watch — streaming and Red Zone options — but those have not hurt the league in previous years.

The memo also included a statement about the protests, saying, "no evidence that concern over player protests during the national anthem is having any material impact on our ratings. In fact, our own data shows that perception of the NFL and its players is actually up in 2016."

What? Do you have ocean-front acreage outside of the Minnesota Vikings practice facility you are looking to move to?

An independent survey conducted by Yahoo last month said of 1,400 admitted NFL fans, more than 44 percent said they would stop watching the NFL if the protests continued.

That's no "material impact" on the league's ratings?

OK, apparently the head-in-sand approach to crisis management has been adopted by the NFL bigwigs.

We'll see if they bounce back after the first week of November.

Bully for you, coach

Speaking of football, please meet Todd Kennedy, a volunteer coach for the Durham Middlefield Middle School football team in Durham, Conn.

You see, Coach Kennedy was dismissed this week after the parents of a player he made run extra laps for bullying a teammate complained about the "unfair" discipline.

Wow, there are not words for the way some of the spoiled-rotten parents of these spoiled-rotten children have tried to neuter an entire generation of kids and to neutralize an entire support structure that is terrified of lawsuits and negative publicity.

Kennedy, according to The Washington Post, told his team that bullying would not be tolerated. When one player was confronted about bullying his teammates and did not deny it, the player was forced to take a couple of extra laps.

Kennedy then praised the player for taking the punishment without complaining, but according to the story, the parents' complaints led to Kennedy's suspension, then his dismissal.

Pssttttt, Durham Middlefield school officials and administrators, here's a tip: You need to run and hire Kennedy full time and promote him.

We as a community have experienced first-hand what happens when bullies are not challenged.

Shame on you for dismissing the coach, and shame on the bemoaning parents who backed their little bully.

As for the politics

OK, we have heard a lot about how Donald Trump doesn't want to pay taxes.

And for some reason that makes him a really bad guy. (Side note: Of all the things you can really pick on The Donald for, this is where the desperate Clinton campaign has focused its energy? Truth be told, a disdain for taxes may be the most common-man aspect Donald Trump has for most us.)

But who's really surprised by the circus that is this presidential process?

In fact, while Hillary and her cronies are talking about Trump's taxes, did anyone else notice that a non-partisan watchdog group has made claims that Clinton and Trump have violated election reform laws with Super PAC donations?

And the rest of America yawned and said, "What else you got?"

Man, where are we when all expect the two candidates for the top leadership job in the free world to break the rules of the election finance?

Maybe we should protest. Or pray.

And amazingly, the former would be embraced and the latter would be chastised, at least at public gatherings.

And we wonder why we are where we are.

Contact Jay Greeson at and 423-757-6343.