There were so many commercials, for one thing. The NFL and the networks have crafted a way to squeeze the maximum number of ads into the broadcast of a single game, causing viewers to lose interest even as they watch. According to some studies, the average football game, during which the clock runs for precisely 60 minutes, consists of a mere 11 minutes of action. And this is stretched out over almost four hours of broadcast time. The networks are wearing down the stamina of their viewers. Their most aggravating tactic is to cut to a commercial after a score, return to “the action” for the kickoff that more and more these days is a mere formality. The kicker boots the ball through the end-zone. It is then placed on the 25-yard line, and before the opposing team takes over there, they cut to yet another commercial. If you cared about the game before the first commercial break, the second one will test your commitment as a fan.
This commitment has probably already been strained by the poor quality of the play. The Packers fans did not boo simply because their team was losing. Even good teams get beat. They booed because the Packers were playing consistently sloppy football.
And why was this? It’s hard to say. But it can’t help that the games are too long and that the rhythm of play is disrupted, over and over, by the networks’ need to “take a break from the action.” And then, the team rosters change almost constantly. Players are out for injury, lost to free agency, suspended for one reason or another. Teams do not stick together and operate as a unit the way they once did. A Green Bay fan could name every starter on that 1967 championship team (and many still can to this day). The lineup had not changed very much from the year before or the year before that. Teams today are put together on the fly. Season to season. Game to game. Even within the game. There is no continuity. No real sense of “team.”