As The NFL Falls; The NHL Rises – Pittsburgh Penguins Thrive


For years now it seems that the quality of entertainment the NFL provides continues to worsen. A few seasons ago the biggest complaint fans had was the changes to the rules of football, most of which have had a negative impact on the game. Whether it is the (basically) removing of the kickoff, changes to where and how you can hit players or the overreaction to injuries, these changes have been tearing down what used to be a great game. 

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Now within the last two seasons it has become apparent that the NFL has done their best at fixing the outcome of games and if they are not trying to change games, their referees are some of the worst in the world. Examples of their attempt to decide the outcomes of games are a plenty with the most blatant coming in the Detroit Lions – Dallas Cowboys playoff game. Yes, I know the Pittsburgh Steelers have had tons of terrible calls their way but nothing as bad as what happened during that game.

Another difference between the NHL and the NFL is the quality of entertainment inside the respective venues. The best part of going to a NHL game, is that there are no bad seats.

These mentioned factors have caused a general apathy for football, which used to be the unquestioned king of entertainment in America. It is no secret that a big reason why NHL revenues continue to rise annually is the decline in the popularity of football.  This website does a great job at showing the increase in revenues annually, with the one exception being the lockout shortened 2012-2013 season.

May 9, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (left) celebrates scoring a goal against the New York Rangers during the second period along with center Sidney Crosby (87) and defenseman Kris Letang (right) in game five of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins are just one team that has benefited greatly from the rise in popularity of hockey. With a core of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury, that is a significant portion of their salary cap annually. In fact this season those four players alone took up more than 40% of the Pittsburgh Penguins total salary space. While this is a great investment, the mentioned players are All-World level talent and rightfully have earned their contracts.

If anything we as Pittsburgh Penguins fans should be thanking the NFL and it’s commissioner Roger Goodell for pushing more fans to hockey. Without their incompetence the Pittsburgh Penguins would not be a competitive team! The only way the Penguins have been able to compete annually and have a star studded lineup is because of the rising salary cap that is greatly helped by the decline of the NFL. So while we might look and hate Goodell for the work he has done, thank him for improving the quality of hockey.

The old phrase “You can’t have it all” is rearing its ugly head once again, as the NFL falls – the NHL Rises.