I am watching NFL football this season, and I have come to realize there are two major problems with it. First is the penalties being called that kill and momentum in games. The second I came to realize watching wrestling and listening to a couple wrestling podcasts.
Jim Ross, the famous wrestling announcer, said one day on his podcast that what hurts wrestling today, despite its still popular, is the lack of a great "heel" or bad guy. The heel is the guy you as a fan hate and will pay to get beat eventually by the good guy. That's what wrestling was always been: the bad guy did what he had to in order to dominate over everyone until he was eventually vanquished in the end. Football doesn't have a "heel" team anymore, and that is hurting football.
I remember when the Cowboys or the 49ers were THE teams, they dominated in the NFL and everyone hated them when they were on top. You paid to see your team try to topple them. You hated them when they beat your team or won the title. With the current setup of the NFL you don't get that anymore. Parity and free agency makes it had to build a team that will be together and dominate for almost a decade. One can say the Patriots were that, but look how much turnover on their roster happened and each championship was with almost completely different teams. I miss the days when the bad team would rise up and beat a superteam, I miss seeing the superteam wax the floor with a bad team.
Now, one may say "both WWE and NFL are still popular and successful entities, so you are wrong." Am I? Both have seen declines in some form or another, and a rise in critics. Also both are marketing machines so they are able to hide the negatives well.
I still watch the NFL, but i enjoy a college game much more. Hey don't call as many penalties, the play is more open, and you do get "David vs Golliath" games where it's either an upset or a blowout. Also I like when big teams only really meet at the end of the season, after weeks of games to "build them up". It leads to more people eating to watch the "big boys" play.