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ricardisimo
01-04-2011, 04:11 AM
Dear NFL,

I humbly offer here a few suggestions designed to improve your product, which has declined in quality rather dramatically in the last few years. I hope that any number of these ideas might find their way onto your desks as the playoffs unfold, eventually bringing the Pittsburgh Steelers their record seventh Lombardi trophy.


Fire Roger Goodell: It's becoming apparent why his predecessor hand-picked Mr. Goodell to replace him, namely to make Paul Tagliabue, by comparison, seem like a god of football administration for decades to come. Mr. Goodell has over-reached dramatically in his use and abuse of the commissioner's singular powers, and has done so in arbitrary fashion, leaving only anger and confusion in his wake, rather than the fear and awe he apparently was hoping to establish for his position. He rules best who rules least, and Mr. Goodell would rule least once removed from his post. He has of course also singlehandedly soured relations between the owners and the Players' Association to the point where a lockout or strike may be inevitable. The damage done in the public's perception of the game would be profound and costly, and would take decades to recover if there should indeed be a 2011 without football.
Stick with 16 games: The public - on whose behalf the league claims to be advocating in demanding two more games - does not want the extra games. And the players - about whose brains and other body parts the league suddenly and inexplicably claims to care - definitely has weighed in against the idea with a resounding "NO!" The owners want monetary concessions from the union, which will not happen if the season is expanded. Only one person seems to insist upon the expansion: Roger Goodell (see suggestion #1 above).
Stick with 32 teams: And keep them in the United States. The only other country on the planet with a remotely workable interest in the sport (Canada) has it's own league, which appears to be doing quite well. When London, Tokyo and Mexico City are ready for American football (which most of them still refer to as "rugby") no force in the world will stop them from getting their own teams and leagues. That day, however has clearly not come. I would propose that instead of expanding the season by two games and the league by two teams...
Add 16 games and 32 teams: That is to say, add a complete Division Two league to mirror what would be the existing Division One. This league could serve as a farm system for the current field, and if truly brave souls were designing the system, there might even be some vertical movement between the leagues, as is done in European soccer. So, if the Detroit Lions remain at the bottom of the league for two or three successive years, they would be bumped down in favor of the Los Angeles Stars, who won the Division II crown the previous year, for example. The NFL would get its coveted LA market, Detroit would get a field of competition more to its liking (perhaps then eventually earning a return to the Elite League a few years later) and the league would have the added revenue of 32 more metropolises with which to stuff its coffers.
Incorporate elements of the Swiss-system tournament to the regular season: In this system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss-system_tournament), teams with similar or equal records are paired, ensuring that no one is allowed to pad their win column solely with weak divisional and inter-conference games. I do not think that anyone in the sport wishes to abandon divisional play in its current form, which maximizes the excitement of traditional rivalries. Nor do I think that the four rotating inter-conference games should be altered, as they help to guarantee that every team plays every team at least once every four years. Still, a hybrid Swiss system may be implemented using the remaining six conference games. Six times a season (roughly every third game) each conference will be seeded based on record, strength-of-schedule, net points, etc. The top team will then be matched against the next highest team in the conference not already on its schedule. Not only does this help to guarantee quality football games for every week of the season, but it renders accurate records and results by season's end. We will know for sure who are the best of the best in each conference. It should also help to prevent another 7-9 team from making the playoffs, as happened this year. Bad and mediocre teams will likewise be matched with bad and mediocre teams, keeping even bad divisions at a bare minimum hovering around 8-8.
Fire Roger Goodell: In case this point had already been forgotten after my ramblings above.

TRH
01-04-2011, 09:12 AM
points 1-3, absolutely!!

1. i agree Goodell has done nothing but hurt the league. But its going to take an enormous, monstrosity of an effort...and it will have to come from league owners banding together....to get rid of him.
Unfortunately, i don't see it happening, even though it would be a great move for the sport. His chummy, buddy owners like Kraft in NE and ownership in Dallas would throw a helluva blockade up on any revolting movement. Unfortunate.
2. the schedule MUST stay at 16 games. The injuries are already at an all-time high and this would further increase injuries, resulting in poorer game quality due to replacements. Look what happens on the Steelers OL right now and imagine 18 games.
3. Keep the same amount of teams. We don't need more teams.

Points 2 and 3 are obvious cash grabs by the league....unfortunately Goodell and his cronies running the office don't have to suit up and go out and risk injury....so they could care less. I hope the players union fights this one tooth and nail.

MDSteel15
01-04-2011, 11:40 AM
#s 1, 2 and 3... yes yes and yes! I like #4 BUT not the part about moving teams from one level to another, leave that to the Premier league. Use the 2nd division as a minor league system like baseball has! :thumbsup:

ricardisimo
01-04-2011, 02:41 PM
#s 1, 2 and 3... yes yes and yes! I like #4 BUT not the part about moving teams from one level to another, leave that to the Premier league. Use the 2nd division as a minor league system like baseball has! :thumbsup:
I think having perennial losers like Detroit, Oakland, Cleveland and Cincinnati hurts the league. Having two complete losers in our own division hurts the Steelers. I think they get that much lazier thinking they have four extra bye weeks on their schedule.

Besides, all they would have to do is show improvement and move right back up into the elites. I really dig the idea. These coaches talk to their players about accountability, and I don't think there would be a greater demonstration of accountability than your teams status being on the line.

And having an NFL team - even a tier two team - would be ab-fab for most cities in the country. I also think things need to be shaken up a bit.

MDSteel15
01-04-2011, 02:47 PM
I think having perennial losers like Detroit, Oakland, Cleveland and Cincinnati hurts the league. Having two complete losers in our own division hurts the Steelers. I think they get that much lazier thinking they have four extra bye weeks on their schedule.

Besides, all they would have to do is show improvement and move right back up into the elites. I really dig the idea. These coaches talk to their players about accountability, and I don't think there would be a greater demonstration of accountability than your teams status being on the line.

And having an NFL team - even a tier two team - would be ab-fab for most cities in the country. I also think things need to be shaken up a bit.

Then they would have to cut their pay in half if they get relegated! Now that would be awesome incentive!!! :popcorn:

ricardisimo
01-04-2011, 04:25 PM
Then they would have to cut their pay in half if they get relegated! Now that would be awesome incentive!!! :popcorn:
The players, or the coaches and owners? Lowering the owners' cut would be something else! As far as the players, a reduction, yes. Half is a bit extreme.

tony hipchest
01-04-2011, 10:15 PM
very interesting...

1) i am one in the very few minority who doesnt think the league is becoming as horrible as some fans on message boards make it seem. i have actually seen people say they are considering to quit watching the nfl altogether next year. i regularly see those who only watch steelers play and could care less about all other teams once the steelers are eliminated from the playoffs or contention.

im the opposite. im a football junkie. i enjoy listening to theismann, phill simms, greenie, madden, collinsworth et al. discuss the games.

fans say roger is ruining the league and the owners are getting pissed at him endangering their investment and should throw him out of the league.

this will not happen. roger is practically promising them money. he is hellbent on seeing the cash cow get fatter. the billionaire owners LOVE this. as long as there is capitalizm they will continue to love this as long as the bottom line is never in the red.

like it or not, roger is partially responsible for this-

NEW YORK (AP)—Fans still tuned in to see two teams face off for a playoff berth even though neither had a winning record.

The Seahawks’ win over the St. Louis Rams to clinch the NFC West title with a 7-9 mark drew the highest preliminary television rating for the final game of “Sunday Night Football” in its five years on NBC.

Seattle’s 16-6 victory earned a 12.6 overnight rating and 19 share, up 11 percent from last year’s Bengals-Jets finale. New York needed to win that one to get into the postseason, but did it in a rout. This time, the game went down to the final minutes.



http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-rams-seahawks-ratings

the game sucked. it was sloppy, with a ton of mistakes. yet the people were lapping it up straight out of the league offices hands (who prudently flexed it into prime time).

:hunch:

2) theres 20 games. 16 regular and 4 preseason. what pisses the fans off is having to pay regular full price to go sit in the stadiums and see the starters only play a series or 2. alot of people dont even tune in to these final games. look at the ratings of the seahawks rams game and imagine how much money roger will generate if week 3 of preseason is actually the opening weekend.

i know i'll be watching, but if possible i watch all 4 steeler preseason games as it is (plus others). now this is definitely unfair to not only the veterans (a 9 year career will be cut down to 8 due to wear and tear) but to the rookies and fringe players fighting for a roster spot.

but does the farmer really care about the individual hens that lay the eggs? rosters would need to be extended, retired players would need much better long term health insurance and IR rules would need to be changed. something like 2 billion dollars was handed out to rookies this past year with about $256,000,000 in guarantees (adolph addressed this in his letter). that too would have to change.

owners need to concede on the payraise though.

3) definitely.

4) i dont think it would work. i'd love to see a team in albq. or san antonio. but how do you build a fanbase that stays loyal? the nfl and some of the teams are 100 years in the making. my loyalty is to pittsburgh because 4 generations ago family immigrated there.

if this 2nd league is a farm league all the best players will automatically be 'called up to the big leagues' and the lesser players be sent down. the 'b' league would always be watered down therefore none of these teams would really be able to replace the lions.

5) im not too familiar with the swiss tournament style but it sounds to complicated for americans to like. i think alot of fans like kicking the shit out of the sucks known as browns and bungles every year. of course that sucks if youre a brown or bungfan.

good, hard fought, down to the wire games are nice, but watching your team destroy an opponent is enjoyable as well, and eases the blood pressure every once and a while.

lionslicer
01-04-2011, 10:58 PM
Here's one...
Change the way players are paid.
Instead of a large base salary and small bonuses, every player should have a base salary inbetween 350k-1mil. This insures if a player is injured, there isn't 15mil sitting on the bench. The rest of their contracts will be in bonuses. Like if a player gets so many touchdowns or sacks or yards or whatever, they get somewhere inbetween 50k and 1mil. This insures players play harder to earn money instead of turning into Bret Favre or Randy Moss and take up money not doing anything or causing distractions.

Maybe my numbers could be changed around, but this whole NFL vs Players about money is rediculous. They all get paids enough... And its not even the players, its the stupid union and the stupid owners.

And fire Roger Goodell.

Development league would be nice, but there are litterally thousands of semi-pro football teams in the country. There have been players from semi-pro football leagues to go to the NFL, and I'm not just talking about Arena Football, CFL or the UFL. I think NFL teams can work with these teams better, but because of the large amount of rookies that come into the league each year, and the large amount of players in the league and ones who are free agents, plus the lack of games played, it wouldn't work. It works well in baseball, becaue there are so many pro season games, if a player is having trouble, drop them down to semi league for like 14 games, the team wouldn't miss them much, bring them up when they are ready, and bam they can play anoher 50 games.
Its really hard to develop an NFL player in 2-3 games. And there are so many players, it would just make everything confusing.

SteelKnight
01-05-2011, 02:24 AM
I don't like that Swiss system you suggested. I don't want the easy teams just playing each other padding their stats. They already try to address this by making the strength of schedule based on the previous year. That is enough.

I do like the idea of the developmental league. I sort of feel 32 teams may be too many and produce too many projects. Maybe 16 is the right number. Each AFC team could randomly be paired with an NFC team and the two would have that developmental team as their farm team with half the players as part of their system. This way each team could have 26 developmental prospects.

In addition, so they don't compete with the NFL and so players can be moved from the developmental league to the pros, their season could be from March -May (10 games) and the playoffs and championship in June.