This year Fox Sports 1 is running a series of commercials that show a guy sitting on the couch watching football, and we are shown that he does not move for an extended period of time; he does not shower or shave or clean up the mess surrounding him. In another room, we a shown a picture of the man’s wife, she has a depressed look on her face, and is glaring at the camera. The commercial ends with the phrase ‘Sorry for all the football.’
The commercials are meant to tell the viewer that Fox Sports 1 has a lot of football on the weekends; and that men can literally sit on the couch all weekend long and watch one game right after another. Wives and children are left to fend for themselves, as the husband/father is going to ignore anything and everything else that goes on around him.
The irony of the commercial, is that I really do not think Fox Sports 1 (or any other station) is really all that sorry for all the football (or all of the other sports) that is on TV. In an age where everything can be recorded and watched at a time of personal convenience, sports is one of the few things that people still want to watch live, and will even endure the incessant interruption of commercials to watch; ergo, sports means money. And TV channels are all about making money.
But let’s take the commercial out 5 months; what is left out of the commercial, and for good reason, is what may happen next. How long before that depressed and neglected woman files for divorce, or has an affair with someone else? Women who are neglected by their husbands, are just as likely to turn to pornography as men who are neglected by their wives. What does the future of this marriage look like by the end of the January, when football is over?
And how long before those ignored children find other ways to amuse themselves? Fathers are the backbone of the family, and when fathers are absent, or when fathers neglect their roles, that void is filled with other things: men who will pay attention, but will abuse the child; or the child will look for structure and attention, which may very well mean joining a gang, and becoming involved in criminal acts.
Fox Sports 1 is about making money, just like ESPN and NBC and CBS and the NFL Network, and the MLB Network are all about making money. And with that in mind, I doubt any of them are truly sorry for the amount of live games they air over the course of a year, because live games mean money, whether it is the Super Bowl, or a little league baseball game, or a pick-up basketball game in a city park.
I do not begrudge them their right to make money; but let’s not pretend they are sorry either. And let’s not pretend that the ever increasing amount of access to live games is not negligible. It would be near impossible to determine what the effect is on the divorce rate, but nor would it be wrong to believe that it does not have any effect at all.
Fox Sports 1 should pull those commercials, and the entire advertisement campaign. They are not sorry, for if they, or anyone else were sorry, they would not work countless hours, drawing up numerous diagrams, dividing the country into regions, and then making sure that each region had one outlet to watch the local games and 10 other outlets to watch all of the other games in the country.
How much is too much? Probably the amount that it takes for a wife to file for divorce; or for one’s children to join the neighborhood street gang and start terrorizing cats.
If you watch it, they will air it; but that doesn’t mean you have to watch it all day long.