Sunday, 24 September 2017

The NFL Solution

It finally occurred to me....what needs to happen is to get 15,000 fans into a NFL stadium and when the knee-action occurs with the National Anthem....let the song end....then launch the 15,000 fans into a two hour singing event....singing the Anthem over, and over, and over, and over.

The Madonna Story

Back in the late 1970s....I was one of those people who'd buy an album about every two weeks.  I had a particular taste....or style, you could say. In the early 1990s.....I shifted to CDs and continued that habit for a while.

About twelve years ago, I just said....'that's it'.  There's just not that much great music being produced.  The day has ended when you had some group like Fleetwood Mac who'd go and produce a seven-hit album.  These days, you end up with some group who produce one single hit, and mix in two marginal hits.....with eight lousy songs of no value.

I sat this morning and read a piece over a new CD produced for Madonna.  It's a live-concert album that got released about a week ago.  In the old days, this would have sold 200,000 copies in a week..  In this case?  The “Rebel Heart” album sold between 3,800 and 4,000 CDs/downloads total.

You can go and figure the return on this.  Depending on the deal between Madonna and the company.....I doubt if profit off this deal rakes in more than $100,000.

Is Madonna finished?  It would be an interesting question to ask.  Maybe in New York City....she could still draw 15,000 fans into an arena.  In areas like Atlanta or Orlando?  I doubt if she'd pull more than 1,500 folks into an arena.  Even if she was a permanent Vegas act.....it's hard to say if people would regularly show up.

But this goes to what has developed over the past twenty years....that marginal groups and singers just aren't drawing that much interest anymore.  Because of social media....the internet....I don't see people willing to pull $15 for a musical CD.  Nor will you find that many people willing to throw $40 for a concert ticket..  The industry?  It's in a forced state of evolution.

A Dying Product

At some point in the 1990s.....I sat and looked at some news article hyping up the growing salary structure of NFL players.  The league itself was making tons of money.  It came off fans paying $60 for a prime seat, $75 for a jersey, $7 for a beer, $20 to park your car, etc.  Viewers brought in advertising revenue, and the TV networks were willing to pay hundreds of millions per season for the 'product'.  It was an unbeatable profit-machine.

As you started to look around....this 'mania-like' problem had begun to develop (maybe going back to the 1970s).

You had wannabe-professional athletes sitting in high schools and trying to hype their skills to get the right school to hire them for their team.  Upon arrival at college, the hype continued on...to get to great numbers....which meant a chance at the NFL draft.  Then you got the 'real' money.  You were looking at some 22-year old guy getting a million per year.  Some could handle the part of the pressure....but the money made individuals into something they weren't before.  In a sense, because of TV and their money-situation.....they were classifying themselves as Hollywood-elite....playing NFL football.

The same problem was occurring with the NBA and their 300-odd players.  To a lesser degree, the issue was evolving with major-league baseball as well.

Around a decade ago, you could sense that social causes and political fragility were growing across major sports, and there was to be some volcanic-like eruption to occur sooner or later.  Well....with the knee business and commentary via social media....we've reached that stage this weekend.  The President looked at the Stephen Curry comment on the White House invitation....then decided enough....you don't need to think about the invitation....it's rescinded.

The thing is.....this whole thing with Curry and a bunch of Hollywood-pretender elites have hit a point where a fair sum of the American public is fed up.  They are tired of the $75 tickets.  They are tired of paying $25 to park their car for four hours at some stadium.  They are fed up with the league leadership and gimmicks invented in the past decade.  They are tired of the social-cause commentary that goes against their political view.

All of this leads to one simple fact.....people don't understand their 'product'.

If you make one 'product'.....it needs to be simple, pure and attractive.  If you make it unattractive to 40-percent of the public....they won't buy your product.  If you decide that your product has to have politics written into product.....well....it's not pure anymore, or simple.

On the Stephen Curry episode....the Warriors and the NBA have a problem.  The NBA season starts in roughly three weeks, and while game one might already be a sell-out for the Warriors....as you start to get to game six....there will be open seats, and by early December, I would expect some games will have 15-percent of the seats unsold.  Viewership for the NBA?  Likely to be down.  The networks aren't going to make as much and they will huddle with the NBA to discuss some recovery position.

Privately, the NBA and the networks will get around to saying that they really don't need the Warriors to make it into the finals for 2018 because people won't watch the games.

All of the sports folks are sitting now and wondering how they got to this point, and how they can shut down the social media antics of the players.

Some will suggest that by 2021, with President Trump gone....all the bad stuff will disappear and the Hollywood-elite sports stars will return to full power.  There are others who suggest Trump will be around for eight years and both the NFL and NBA might have to downsize to survive this period. The sad thing is....they all had a product and only needed to focus on that product.

McCain and Healthcare

After watching the three GOP attempts to pass some reform to the healthcare system for 2018....I've come to three observations after the massive failures of this year:

1.  You basically have two choices....wait for Senator John McCain to pass away, or wait until the Senate election period of 2018 and the likely arrival after that of two to three additional GOP members...meaning McCain's value is then zero.

2.  You could go and ask McCain to write the draft replacement bill for the GOP....but my guess is that he will grin and say it's not up to him.  He has no idea what it should look like....just that you can't allow a change to occur with President Trump in charge.

3.  You come to this odd situation with the news media.  They all want McCain to come in and give them that beefy 12-minute interview and have some national appeal.  To be honest....the more you hear McCain talk now....the more foolish that he looks.  He's not an asset to Arizona, the Senate, the GOP, or the news media.

What happens in mid-summer 2018....if McCain is still around?  There's another price-increase period, and I suspect a number of folks will wake up in July of 2018.....finding a 25-to-40 percent increase and just say 'enough'.....they can't afford the premium and deductible required.  All of the Senate will be in a harsh position because of McCain's position in 2017 and it'll twist the campaign for Senate seats into a 'throw-the-bums-out' situation. McCain will spend hours and hours on public forum TV situations.....hyping up 'we-need-to-fix-this' and everyone will laughing over his commentary and bogus act.