The only way to hurt the NFL is through their wallet and it seems that New England Patriots fans that were displeased with the entirety of DeflateGate made their opinion heard. The NFL stripped the Patriots of their first round pick in 2016 and their 4th round pick in 2017, and suspended quarterback Tom Brady for four games based on an unproven whim.
According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, Patriots fans tuned out and ignored the opening round of the NFL Draft at an incredible rate.
For ESPN's coverage of Day 1 of the NFL draft, the Boston market did a 1.5 rating, last among 56 metered markets.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 29, 2016
Additional ratings info from ESPN's coverage of Day 1 of NFL Draft: Providence (3.4) and Hartford (4.5) fell below 4.7 national average.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 29, 2016
In 2015, Boston did a 3.7 rating for ESPN's coverage of Day 1 of the NFL Draft. https://t.co/N02hzDUdwZ— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 29, 2016
Effectively, more than half of the fans that watched the draft last season decided to ignore the draft this year, likely in favor of the Celtics playoff game, the Red Sox game, and probably watching paint dry.
Patriots fans did their jobs last night. Now it's head coach Bill Belichick's time to do his job as the Patriots have four selections to make on the second day of the draft.