Right on cue, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced he is considering expanding the current league’s playoff system from twelve teams to fourteen, or even sixteen. As with his mentally challenged idea to boot the kickoff, Goodell is using uncanny timing to distract attention away from the three B’s (Belcher, Brent, Bountygate), which have somewhat challenged the league’s credibility in just three short weeks.
Sugarcoat it as you wish, but it is no secret that this current NFL season has pretty much been a bust when it comes to excitement on the field. New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez has a better chance of finding his touch than a fan has of finding a watchable NFL game on any given Sunday (or Monday…or Thursday).
One of several reasons why there has been so much poor and mediocre play in the league this season is the advent of greed-driven scheduling by the league. In addition to doing a major disservice for the game by overexposing it, the current schedule is in no way beneficial to player performance on the field.
Why exactly is there a game every Thursday night? The shorter time to prepare exposes players to a greater risk of injury, because their bodies do not get the full week they require to recover. Anyone who denies this is either full of crap or has never played the game.
Several years ago, there were only a handful of games on Thursday evenings: some early and some late in the season. What was wrong with that setup? All fans are accustomed to enjoying one or two games a week, not three.
The length of the pre-game shows, games and commercials are way too long for fans to be exposed to so much obnoxious nonsense per week. And far too often, as we have witnessed this season, the obnoxiousness includes even the game.
And speaking of Thursdays, why are there three games on Thanksgiving? Many fans had the misfortune of witnessing the butt fumbling New York Jets get blasted by the New England Patriots, with the NFL once again not knowing when to leave well enough alone. Like eating too much turkey and suffering a stomach ache, more in this case was definitely less.
Another ill fated scheduling move by the league was going away from the 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm late season Saturday games, which gave the players and coaches plenty of preparation time (especially late in the season). There is no reason why the last four weeks of the NFL season cannot be dedicated to having Saturday games. The traditional time for a football kickoff is 1:00 pm, not primetime, with all due respect to Neon Sanders.
With the new ridiculous NHL/NBA style playoff proposal, it appears Goodell and the owners have finally jumped the shark. I guess there are not enough terrible teams in contention for the current twelve playoff spots. Why not add two or even four more losers into the mix?
Maybe the NFL can even get to the point where a team with a losing record can actually win the Super Bowl. This is not as far fetched as it may seem, since the Seattle Seahawks won a division title with a 7-9 record in 2010. And I thought the never ending NHL and NBA seasons were completely meaningless and watered down.
For many years, there was a legitimate reason why Major League Baseball resisted in bucking tradition. Such a policy assisted in keeping the game legitimate.
By eliminating kickoffs, keeping the current ridiculous schedule and adding abhorrent teams to the postseason, one hopes if Goodell and the NFL owners go along with these hairbrained ideas, they get eaten alive by the money shark they are trying to jump.