NFL Playoffs: No More Drama?
Earlier in the season, Commissioner Roger Goodell floated the brain fart of adding up to four more playoff teams to the NFL postseason. Aside from the sunshiners who are positioned to spin everything the NFL proposes and does in a positive light, the idea was pretty much panned by anyone credible who knows anything about the game. The first round of playoff games over the weekend have only served to cement the fact that Goodell’s idea deserves the boot.
Basically, the only suspense in the first four playoff games was if and when crippled Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III would end up blowing out his injured knee on an atrocious FedEx field which looked like it had just hosted a monster truck competition. If it wasn’t for Skins Head Coach Mike Shanahan putting a playoff victory ahead of the long-term health of his rookie franchise quarterback, there would have been little drama in any of the four postseason games this weekend.
So far, the NFL postseason appears to be an extension of the putrid Thursday Night Football series which polluted the schedule during the 2012 season. With unproven quarterbacks Joe Webb (Minnesota Vikings) and Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals) not being ready for prime time, let alone playoff time, so far, the playoffs have looked more like preseason than postseason.
Of course, there was the compelling story about Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis playing his last game at home to keep everyone enthralled. And we all know how much the NFL enjoys milking these sappy farewells for all they are worth, as they did with Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jerome Bettis winning a questionably officiated Super Bowl in his hometown of Detroit, MI after the 2005 season. These fuzzy and warm feel-good farewell stories are nice and all, but how about some interesting and exciting football to go along with them?
Hopefully, the next four playoff games slated for this weekend will give the fans a little more to cheer for more than just the impending retirement of a thirteen time Pro Bowler. In actuality, there is no reason to believe that we will not be seeing some better football than the first round, since all the eight remaining teams actually deserve to be in the playoffs.
If the snoozefest first round of the playoffs does not convince Goodell to put an end to the drama of expanding the playoff invitations, than nothing will. If the league does decide to go ahead with this bonehead cash grab idea, they risk turning many NFL postseason games into the preseason quality games we witnessed last weekend.
However, if the NFL does decide to go ahead with Goodell’s ornery idea, they can license Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama” track as a musical intro to replace Hank Williams, Jr. tune, which was canned last season due to Williams’ politically charged comments on Fox.
Is the NFL ready for some real playoff football? The fans certainly are.