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Some of Glacier National Parks glaciers have lost as much as 80% of their size in the last 50 years As far as the economy goes, we might want to start spelling pandemic with a K NFL puts positive spin on Week 1 ratings decline, says it had top-five rated TV shows last week

On one hand, the NFL isn’t wrong to brag that each of the top five rated television shows of last week were its football games.

Week 1 in the NFL saw the kind of ratings numbers that any sports league, network or any television show in general would love to have. The NFL pointed that out on Wednesday.

The numbers are in! The Top 5 TV shows last week were ALL NFL games pic.twitter.com/MnfjBgZM0H

— NFL Media (@NFLMedia) September 16, 2020

That’s fair. If you get more than 25 million people to watch anything live in this era, you have something special.

However, fair or not, the NFL isn’t competing against other television shows (especially with the lack of new programming for non-sports shows last week) and it’s definitely not competing against other sports leagues. It is competing against its past success, and in that way, it’s hard to paint Week 1 as a win for the league.

Week 1 ratings were a mixed bag

It’s hard to know exactly what to make of the ratings stories from the NFL’s first week.

The Thursday night opener was way down from a year ago, despite Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs being involved. Then “Sunday Night Football” saw a big dip even though the Dallas Cowboys, who have an enormous fanbase, were playing after an offseason of optimism and hype.

Yet, the late afternoon game between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with Tom Brady’s Bucs debut, was the highest rated Week 1 game for Fox and the highest rated television show since the Super Bowl, outdoing the Academy Awards. Bucs-Saints had 25.8 million viewers, and the Academy Awards in February averaged 23.9 million.

We wouldn’t sound any alarms if a show could claim to be the highest rated in all of television since a pandemic hit six months ago, yet that is the reaction to the NFL’s Week 1 ratings.

© Provided by Yahoo! Sports Ratings were down for "Sunday Night Football," despite a close game between the Cowboys and Rams. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) NFL will be watching ratings closely

The NFL set the bar high, drawing ridiculous television numbers for years. It won’t be able to escape that past success when it comes to ratings stories.

It’s hard to know what is behind the ratings drop. Some will claim it’s politics, with players demonstrating to promote racial equality. The NFL has claimed it will support its players and focus on what is right this time, unlike 2016, and not concern itself with any potential ratings dip. The lack of a preseason, and the buzz that comes with it, gave the feeling that the start of the season crept up on everyone. There is also the pandemic itself, and the concern that the season might not reach a conclusion. Maybe fans don’t want to get too invested right away.

Regardless, a lot of people still watched the NFL. It’s just a question of whether it’s enough for the league.

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Vogelbach belts two homers as Brewers down Royals 5-3

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Daniel Vogelbach belted a pair of homers and drove in all five runs as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 on Sunday to sweep the three-game interleague matchup.

Vogelbach, claimed by the Brewers off waivers earlier this month, hit a two-run home run to straightaway center with two outs in the first off Brad Keller (4-3). He blasted a three-run opposite-field shot to chase Keller in the sixth. Vogelbach has three home runs since joining the Brewers and five on the season.

Vogelbach had a chance to do even more damage but struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh in a seven-pitch at-bat.

Milwaukee closed out the regular-season schedule at Miller Park in what was possibly the final home game in a Brewers uniform for Ryan Braun, the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year and the 2011 MVP who has spent his entire 14-year career with the franchise. Braun, who will turn 37 in November, is in the final guaranteed year of a five-year, $105-million contract extension signed in 2011.

Braun went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

The Brewers improved to 26-26 with their fourth consecutive win and reached the .500 mark for the first time since they were 11-11.

Josh Lindblom (2-3), who was reinstated from the bereavement list prior to the start of the game, turned in another effective outing for the Brewers. He gave up one run and three hits in 5 1/3 innings, with two strikeouts and no walks.

Lindblom tossed five shutout innings on Monday in a no-decision against St. Louis and also made two scoreless relief appearances between starts.

Josh Hader retired the lone batter he faced to notch his 10th save in 12 tries after Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Brent Suter to cut the lead to 5-3.

The Royals plated their first run in the sixth on Whit Merrifield’s RBI groundout.

Keller, who pitched a five-hit shutout in an 11-0 win in his previous start on Sept. 13 against Pittsburgh, gave up five hits and five runs in five innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: 2B Nicky Lopez was briefly shaken up after Christian Yelich slid into his left leg while breaking up a double-play attempt in the first. Lopez remained in the game.

BREWERS: Placed OF Ben Gamel on 10-day injured list with a left quadriceps injury. …Braun, who has been dealing with lower back stiffness, started at DH with Vogelbach playing first.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Carlos Hernández (0-0, 3.86) will make his second career start with Kansas City opening a three-game set at home against St. Louis. Hernandez didn’t earn a decision in his first career outing, a Royals’ 7-4 win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 12, in which he allowed three runs on three hits, all solo homers, in three innings.

Brewers: RHP Brandon Woodruff (2-4, 3.45) will take the mound as Milwaukee begins a three-game series at Cincinnati. Woodruff is 3-2 with a 4.25 ERA in seven career games (five starts) against the Reds.

___

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