Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Stars are supposed to be your most precious commodity.

They carry your brand past its everyday obstacles and reach into the souls of your biggest fans -- and even of the not so big.

The NFL, however, seems to have had a bit of a problem with its stars of late.

Perhaps it's that it once ordered them not to take their helmets off when they scored, so that no star would become too much of a star.

Perhaps it's that it regulated celebration to the point of strangulation.

Or perhaps it's that the NFL's time has come and is tending toward the gone.

This troubling truth should surely be addressed after arguably the biggest NFL-er of them all, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady admitted that he just isn't so into the spectacle anymore.

Asked by famed sportscaster Jim Gray why TV ratings are down, Brady said that there was so much to consume these days.

"I hate to say it, but I don't follow it like I used to because there are so many other things to follow," he said.

And there you were thinking that Brady, of all NFL players, was an obsessive beyond measure. A man whose diet was so strict that he hadn't eaten a strawberry until last March.

Brady explained that "there's a lot more competition than there's ever been, especially with social media."

Of course, he tried to make it look good for the NFL. 

"The NFL has had a great product, people love watching the game. I think it's still doing better than every other program out there. But compared to a time when there was less things to do, it doesn't live up to those standards," he said.

Has had.

I fear it may be worse than that, Tom.

The remarkable feat of the NFL is that it's played for a mere 20 weeks or so and talked about for the other 32. 

There isn't actually that much action to consume.

But what many people are consuming about the NFL is a lot of bad news. 

If people are turning away from it -- as Brady himself admits he's doing -- it may mean less that they're being distracted by other things and more that the game has simply lost its charm.

I confess that I find it very difficult to watch a whole game anymore.

The inundation of commercials makes the product indigestible.

The realization that the ball is in play for a fraction of the whole game hits home when other sports that have marketed themselves better -- the NBA, for example -- offer both more involvement and more modernity.

The NFL's fractured and, at times, ignorant response to social change -- now why do you think former Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick doesn't have a job? -- indicates a belief that people will automatically gravitate to its product because it represents what? The essence of America?

The essence of America is currently in considerable flux and brands have to understand that and react to it.

The NFL hasn't been swift in doing so. 

Brady mentioned that an important component is for the NFL to have a great relationship with the players.

Moreover, demographic change isn't necessarily going to work in the NFL's favor either.

And which parent wants to expose their child to the risk of constant concussion? Not so many, I fancy.

Dear NFL, your biggest star just admitted he's not that into you anymore. 

What are you going to do about it?

Too little, I imagine.

Published on: May 2, 2018