Well, the least political sport on the planet just got some depressing ratings news. This weekend's Masters on CBS generated its lowest viewership numbers in 28 years.
I don't follow golf closely, but to my knowledge, there have not been any golfers who have kneeled during a playing of the national anthem. There have not been many golfers who have protested anything. Courses have not featured political messages.
Yet the biggest tournament of them all just pulled its worst numbers since 1993.
Have a few people here and there stopped watching sports in some ridiculous protest because of politics? Yes. Is it a significant, game-changing number? No.
The obvious and most significant reason for any and all sports TV ratings loss is cord-cutting. People are saying goodbye to cable at a rapid rate. From 2014 to 2020, 23% of households cut the cord. Approximately 6.6 million households cut the cord in 2020 after 6.3 million households cut the cord in 2019.
While we have data on cord-cutting, we don’t have numbers for how the pandemic has changed the viewing habits of sports fans. But it’s obvious people’s lives are different, their schedules have changed and their priorities have shifted. We can’t quantify any of these things, but they are absolutely a factor in sports across the board losing viewers.
2. Kevin Durant was not happy "drunk uncle" Shannon Sharpe went on TV and attributed a fake quote to the Nets star. Of course, more people will see the quote via Durant's tweets than Sharpe's FS1 show, but I don't think Durant cares.
3. I normally only feature Scott Van Pelt's "Bad Beats" segment during the college football season, but his latest offering was especially good. Those NHL empty-net goals are a special kind of dagger for bettors.
4. Luka Dončić pulled a Steph Curry on Monday night and drained a ridiculous shot during pregame warmups.
5. The most beautiful thing about baseball is that you are constantly seeing things on the field that you have never seen before. Case in point: This throw by Cubs shortstop Javy Báez on Monday.
6. The latest Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, hosted by yours truly, features an interview with New York Post sports media columnist Andrew Marchand. Some of the topics discussed include whether Ian Eagle or Jim Nantz should call the Final Four for CBS/Turner, how he went with CBS and how both sides feel about his new deal, ESPN's decision to fire NBA analyst Paul Pierce after he posted an Instagram Live video of himself partying with strippers, Kirk Herbstreit's blasting ESPN colleague Dan Orlovsky over Orlovsky's comments about Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, how Jim Rome's career stacks up against other radio hosts and much more.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: We don't talk enough about how good Shaq was on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.