Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hello, NFL? Yes, I want to make a suggestion...

A good Avs fan I follow on Twitter mentioned today that football seems slow compared to hockey.
Yes my friend, I agree.

I have been thinking that the game of football has been getting slower every year. But has the game slowed that much or is it that I, like said Avs fan, have gotten so into hockey that football seems slow?

Certainly football has a different rhythm. It's got plenty of speed and hitting in between the 42 different replay angles of every single play!

I have a few ideas about speeding it up between snaps and some general complaints:

The biggest problem is replay. There is NOTHING "instant" about it.

Remember when the NFL said the refs had to get the review done in a minute, or was it 90 seconds? Anyway, now the network just plans on taking a commercial break while the refs review, wait...OH!!! I get it. Ok. Well this will never change, I now see that I must accept this for what it is. Catering to the sponsors.

But seriously...

The NFL needs to study the NHL and completely change the review process. How is it that the the NHL that is so poor does it right and the NFL that is so rich does it so poorly? The "mission control" that the NHL has in Toronto is a revolutionary idea and one the NFL should adopt. I can only imagine that that idea has been tossed around some NFL boardroom only to be tabled at the thought of admitting (however tangentially) that the #5 sport in the nation has outdone the #1 sport.

Another idea: limit the Ref's "explanation" of their calls to a "Twitter length" of 140 characters. I'm very tired of these MIT-dissertation length ramblings after a 240 second review. We all know that you need two feet in, I don't want to hear about the "third foot". Who in the NFL has three feet?

Also, teams should only be able to "freeze" the kicker once per game. It's a largely stupid tactic that only means I have to sit there and listen to more rambling baloney, thankfully Madden retired. He could talk forever about nothing.

Ok, here's a rule that drives me nuts. I don't really understand the concept that on a touchdown the ball only has to "break the plane" of the goal line. There is no other place in the game that something is so easy. Receivers have the toughest job of all. Both feet in, control of the ball, no more force-out rule. If catching the ball was like a touchdown it would mean all the guy had to do was go up and touch the ball with one hand and they would call it a catch! It's crazy! If you get a TD you should have to get your whole body into the endzone. If you break the plane but your knees hit the turf on the 6 inch line...then the ball is spotted on the 6 inch line. That's the way it is on the other 100 yards of the field. It's like some kind of voodoo part of the game where all you really have to do is just wave the ball in the general location of the endzone to get 6 points.

I mean just look at this cheater Raider! I bet the Raiders came up with the voodoo "break the plane" rule.

Next is the overtime. OT is a hot topic in hockey as well, but that is a post for another time. The NFL's OT needs an overhaul and everyone knows it. It came up today, the announcers aren't even afraid to talk about it openly so you know what that means. I have the solution to make it more fair and add a LOT of strategy to the overtime. Hang with me here, it's a little out of left field.

I call it Sudden Touchdown Death

First team to get a TD wins. However, there is still value in getting a field goal. Why? Because if neither team gets a TD, the game is still over after one quarter, but it isn't a tie unless the score is still tied. So if team A gets to the 30 and the drive stalls, they can kick a field goal to collect 3 points.
Game continues, it only ends on a TD. This will often mean that team B gets a chance to get their offense on the field, something sorely lacking in the current system.

It also adds strategy because Team A could decide to go for it on 4th down instead of the 3 points. Convert the 4th down, continue the drive and score a TD and the game is over. Fail and turn over the ball without collecting any points.

So if the entire quarter passes without a TD, the team with the highest score, essentially the team the gets the most field goals, wins!

I think this would give the team that doesn't win the toss a better chance of getting at least one shot at the ball. It allows teams to play to their strengths, if you have a great defense but win the toss, go for a field goal and let your D keep them out of the endzone.

-From the Point


  1. That has to be the stupidest OT idea I've ever heard of. The possiblity of players getting hurt in the OT is too high to risk playing a whole 1/4 full out. That's WHY it is set up by the league to be over asap.

  2. Hey anonymous-dude, look at that...the NFL just changed the OT rule and it's pretty close to my idea!