I’ve committed myself to watching enough NFL football shows that I might come to like it. Fantasy Football? — that’s another can o’ worms entirely and I’m not interested — for the time being, anyway. I know it’s increasingly popular and I’ve noticed plenty of ads during NFL broadcasts for various for-profit Fantasy leagues. For example, the first NFL show of the regular season (Pittsburgh@New England) featured eleven separate commercials for Fantasy Football businesses. Here’s a full roster of all the commercials from that game.
I also was struck by a feature news item that concluded my favorite TV show this morning: CBS This Morning. It was an amusing little piece highlighting the increase in the number of women who play Fantasy Football (you can watch the video here). Several women were interviewed, some clips were included of women playing the game, enjoying one another’s company, and having a blast with their Fantasy picks.
Now I’m not suggesting that CBS This Morning produced this piece as a subtle way of encouraging women to get involved in Fantasy Football because more women playing fantasy football would lead to more NFL viewers which would lead to higher ratings for CBS/NFL telecasts and thereby increase revenue at CBS. That would seem harshly judgmental on my part — especially since I’m on record for being a big fan of CBS This Morning. No, I’m sure the editorial staff at CBS This Morning is committed to covering trends in entertainment and pop culture and it’s only a coincidence that they broadcast lots of NFL games and will host Superbowl 50 in 2016.
I couldn’t help but notice, however, that overall glowing tone of the piece. All the women were happy — make that thrilled — that they are participating in these virtual competitions. They get to play with all women if they choose and enjoy delicious wine and cheese (so much more pleasant than watching the game with those vulgar smelly boys and their chicken wings). And these women take it seriously; one bragged about how well researched they are: “People have binders here — no joke.” But this time it’s not binders full of women, it’s FOR women. One woman even shared how Fantasy Football brought her closer to her husband and family; truly a miracle. Missing from the piece was any mention of the cost of Fantasy Football, the gambling aspect of the game, or the general pointlessness of the activity. But that may be included in an upcoming broadcast. The important message: gals — if you want to be with it, you’ve gotta get on a Fantasy Football League. Reporter Elaine Quijano (who was, incidentally, the only non-white woman I noticed in the piece) closed the segment by reminding us “It’s not too late to start a league of your own,” pointing out that they’d find one waiting for them at CBS.com. What could be more convenient?
Nobody at CBS has asked for my advice, but if they did, I’d suggest that if the News Division is going to carry water for the Sports Division, they should do it a little more discreetly so as to appear objective to the viewers.
I still love you, CBS This Morning!