So I'm now up to the plate. We here at WCG have a pretty stringent order when it comes to posts. My weekly post is on Wednesdays at 1:00 CT. I occasionally fill in at other times. As does every writer on staff. But this week I'm going on vacation. So if something wonderful (like a new CBA) has been reached by the time this post reaches you fine readers, I apologize for not discussing it here. I'm writing this post before I leave for my trip. As a matter of fact, I'm writing this post several days before I leave. It's something called "being organized" and it's rather new to me. But I had a thought recently. It concerned the pro-bowl and what I'd like to see changed. That got me to thinking about changes I'd like to see in the NFL period. So I came up with my
top 10 list of suggestions random number of things that I would change about the NFL if I were Roger Goodell.
1. I already aluded to this in a past post. I'd make some serious changes to the Pro Bowl. The players don't want to play in the Pro Bowl. They don't care about the honor of getting named anymore because no one wants to risk the injuries or subject their bodies to more abuse just because they had a good season. The Pro Bowl's a joke. Get rid of it. Have an honorary "Pro Bowl" list and give the players some sort of presentation ceremony with seasonal highlights and a trophy or something. Honor the player without abusing them.
2. Let's get serious about "protecting" the players. Get rid of the helmets. They're much more of an unofficial weapon than the supposed "protection" they provide. Guys don't worry about head to head contact when they have a "state of the art" solid cranium surrounding their heads. You want less helmet to helmet? Have zero helmets. But we'd better ease this one in slowly. Give the boys time to adjust.
3. Enough with the "roughing the passer" BS! It should be "unnecessary roughness" for all. If a play is deemed too harsh or vicious than call it that. No matter what player is involved. No matter what position they play. Running backs face far more contact on a play to play basis and can be just as pivotal (sorry Lester) as any quarterback yet the "special protection" exists for the passer and the passer alone. Tap a quarterback on the head accidentally and nothing should happen. Period. Roughing the passer? Stupid.
4. This is for future reference... Rather than expand the number of NFL teams (water down the competition), expand the rosters of each team. When the NFL went from 28 to 32 teams they allowed hundreds more players into the NFL. So guys who wouldn't have ever had a chance of playing in the NFL were making team rosters left and right. Rather than expand the NFL (in the future) simply add players to existing rosters. Now teams have a chance to have more quality depth rather than sacrifice real talent simply to open a new market. (I really don't think the NFL will expand anymore, but I was really upset the last time they did for precisely the reasons I've stated)
5. Eliminate the challenge flag. Or only give teams one per half. But put an official in a booth, watching the replays, and give that official the power to have a 30 second- one minute "time out" to assess the call made on the field. Only on questionable calls. And everyone knows one of those when they see one. In other words, leave it to the officials to issue a challenge. But make sure the calls are made correctly on every play. Not just the ones inside the two minute warning, and not the ones that the coaches actually have the time to review. Let's not let a bad call ruin the outcome of a game or force a team to waste a time out to have time to review what just happened on the field.
6. No more "preseason". It does nothing for anyone other than the owners. Want revenue? Earn it during the season. Exhibition games don't provide anyone with anything other than to give the owners more revenue. If you insist on preseason games schedule them between teams during the preseason on a team by team basis. The Bears used to have inner team scrimmages at Platteville that weren't part of the "preseason". Let's make that the "preseason".
7. How about actually enforcing offensive pass interference? Shouldn't be that tough. Why is it that every time contact is initiated between a DB and a receiver the receiver draws interference on the DB. Worse, it almost looks like referees are afraid to call interference on receivers period. This needs to be looked into.
8. That said, get rid of the "spot of the foul" penalty for pass interference. Why is this the one opportunity for the offense to make a potentially huge gain on one play. 15 yards seems fair, but for every pass interference call. Don't do spot of the foul for a quick hitch, make that one cost a first down too. But the way it stands, it's like it's just fine to assume the receiver would have made the play had the DB not been involved.
9. And lastly, half time entertainment will involve cheerleaders and jello wrestling or if the team has no cheerleaders a "real life" representation of their mascot will "battle royale" the opposing mascot. So that would mean in a Bears/Vikings matchup a real bear would battle their "Viking" guy in a last man standing type thing. Epic. And it would totally improve half times at every game. Plus the Super Bowl would actually have half time viewers. Glorious.
That's what I've got. Now the floor is yours. What would you do if you were the commissioner? Sky's the limit.