Learning from one another is something that every person is taught the importance of from the early ages of being a toddler. Unfortunately like many lessons that were given to us at those preschool ages we often times forget as we grow older and learn new ones through this difficult journey of life. We shouldn’t however forget the lesson of learning from one another because it is one that will undoubtedly help us grow as individuals and as an entire group of people known as the human race and the four major American professional sports leagues are no different.
Over the next four days I will attempt to instill some valuable lessons into the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL on what they can learn from the inner workings of one another which will enable them all to grow individually and collectively as the major powers of American professional sports. Let’s begin with the NFL which is the most powerful as well as popular league in all of American professional sports.
The NFL like all of the four majors have a collective bargaining agreement firmly in place which sets the structure for everything from salaries to number of games played in a season. However one lesson that the NFL can learn from the MLB is that certain contracts need to have guarantees. While certain NFL contracts do have guaranteed money involved in them there are far too many of them that don’t allow players to earn any type of workman’s compensation if you will.
In the MLB many players still receive their salaries for the season if they are injured by any on field event, however in the NFL (which is arguably the most physical and violent sport of the four) there are no guarantees should a player become injured while competing. If these players are given these guarantees then they would feel better about their financial security and that of their family’s as well which would in turn create a much more positive working atmosphere. It may not seem like much but could you imagine going to work every day knowing that if you were injured at work then there would be no guarantee that you or your family would be able to pay the necessary bills which you have or quite possibly not even be able to eat at night. It’s a simple thing called peace of mind that every human being should have when traveling to and from work on a daily basis.
Next the NFL could learn from the NBA that every play, not just certain ones should be subject to review. Instant replay is a wonderful thing which has been around for several decades and acknowledges that the human eye isn’t always perfect and in the heat of the moment any and every person can make mistakes that should be corrected. The NBA allows their officials to go to a court-side monitor and review any call or play that may be questionable and then in turn overrule that call or play if need to be.
Yes the NFL has a replay system in tact but once a call is made the officials must have absolute and complete evidence in overturning the call, play or ruling which was determined on the field. How many times have you seen a bad call or play been made and because the camera on the field did not catch the exact angle that it needed to in order to visually display it was an erroneous one go unchanged. No that doesn’t happen often does it? Oh wait sorry it does, as a matter of fact it just took place Monday night on the last play of the Seattle Seahawks/Green Bay Packers game. The play was clearly an interception and not a touchdown now had the officials been given the opportunity to overturn their incorrect call then the right team would have won the game and the replacement referees wouldn’t be in the midst of receiving all of the backlash which they are currently subjected to.
Now as far as what the NFL could learn from the NHL is difficult to figure out because with the way things have been going with the NHL it doesn’t seem that anyone could learn anything from them. I would have to say camaraderie and resiliency because the NHL players stick together amidst all of the recent labor problems and work stoppages and for that matter so does the NHL’s owners (I said that so begrudgingly).
Recently when the announcement was made that the players would be locked out for a second time in eight seasons some of the players took it upon themselves to go in front of Canadian government in attempts to stop the lockout. That is something that players in no other league have done in attempts to fight for their rights to play the game which they love so much. The reason I say resiliency is because despite the lockout of the 2004-05 season the league still found a way to regain its fan base and continue to play on even though they lost an entire season to foolishness.
So there you have it NFL, hopefully you will learn as a collective league something from your counterparts thus making the most popular American sports league thrive even more efficiently and effectively. Tomorrow the MLB will receive their lessons!