Hooper: Is football fascination fading before our eyes?

South Florida Bulls running back Duran Bell Jr. (22) and his teammates produced a significant victory against Georgia Tech on Sept. 28, but the empty seats at Raymond James Stadium also proved notable. OCTAVIO JONES | Times
Published September 10, 2018
Updated September 10, 2018

USF won, Florida State struggled and Florida lost, but one commonality connected all three of Saturday’s games.

Empty seats.

Sure, USF played under a sweltering sun, FSU battled a thunderstorm delay and UF took the field having earned 31 consecutive victories against Kentucky. Yet sellouts have become the aberration not the norm.

I remember when Doak Campbell Stadium and Florida Field filled to the brim regardless of opponent or weather.

Now we have an emerging generation more interested in Fortnite than football.

To me, it’s another sign the game we once loved faces an uncertain future. If football no longer holds sway in our society 20 or 30 years from now, a part of me will be sad, but a part of me will understand how the increasing safety issues, waning interest and exploitative nature finally took its toll. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: My Other Bike Is A Barstool. …

If we forced the state legislature into session every time the child welfare system fails to protect a child’s welfare, would it improve funding? Would it end the senseless deaths? …


Someone in Tallahassee needs to start talking about how this state’s elected officials — not some far-off agency — can work to avoid another Red Tide summer. The blame game grows old. …

Author and advocate for women in business leadership Patti Fletcher brings a powerful message to the Working Women of Tampa Bay state conference on Friday. Fletcher’s Disrupters book tells women don’t lean in and act more like a man to fit in; change the bias in the system.

To register, visit

That’s all I’m saying.

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