Today the Ravens are back at it for the next round of OTA’s. We’ll be sharing our thoughts and insights from today’s practice and post-practice comments from Jim Caldwell and Dean Pees.
Until then, and with the relative dearth of news from One Winning Drive, I thought I’d play the role of NFL Commissioner for a morning. Clearly my last name screams NFL, right? Although admittedly, when my last name was screamed during those formidable years it usually meant I was in trouble.
Be that as it may and since I’ve bumped Roger Goodell aside for the morning, here are a few changes I’d make to the National Football League.
1. SAFETY ~ Instead of wasting all of that money trying to make Europeans believers in the NFL, why not amp up the spending to improve the effectiveness of protective equipment? Instead of sissifying the rules, invest in technology.
Just the other night I watched a program on Discovery Channel about battering rams (video below) and how they have this protective layer beneath their antlers that protects their brains. Let’s find out what that protective layer consists of and let’s develop a synthetic version to put in helmets.
Meanwhile, see ya Wembley Stadium.
2. THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ~ How many times last season did you forget that there was even a game on Thursday night unless the Ravens played or you happened to be in a sports pub? If you weren’t a Ravens fan would you have watched that rain soaked game in September last year against the lowly Browns? How many woke up on a Friday last season and said, “Damn, I missed that Cardinals at Rams game!”
Goodbye Thursday Night Football!
3. 53 MAN ROSTER ~ If you pay all 53 why can’t you dress them up on game day? If you want to talk about safety, maybe the additional 8 players can help with situational substitutions and take reps away from tired or slightly injured players and then possibly prevent more serious injuries. This also rewards the teams that have deeper rosters and have done a better job of scouting, coaching and managing their cap. And this is an issue why?
4. ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM ~ “God Bless the USA” is a poignant song and a very nice tribute. But we already have a great National Anthem. Let’s not diminish its value with an “opening act.” How about we just go with The Star Spangled Banner?
5. FULL-TIME OFFICIALS ~ More rules, more penalties, more delays, worse product. That’s the result of an over-officiated NFL. So if these zebras mean so much to the game and given the boatloads of Benjamins that the league rakes in at an alarming pace, why can’t they employ these guys full-time? And while we’re at it, how about they lap off the officials who should be happily collecting Social Security?
6. BOOTH OFFICIAL ~ And since we’re on the topic of officiating, let’s man the booth with an official who can rule on a call based upon the technology at his disposal. No more of these dramatic referee peep shows. Try to see it my way! C’mon, we can work it out!
7. NFL NETWORK ~ Look guys and girls, you work for me today! Irvin, Sanders, Sapp, Dukes and Blockhead…er I mean Heath Evans…into my office. And bring your playbook! Am I the only one tired of these blowhards?
8. PRESEASON GAMES AT 50% ~ If you are going to only put out 50%, fans shouldn’t be asked to pay any more than that. If the NFL continues to push the envelope on exorbitant prices, more folks will stay home because the viewing experience from home is improving at a much faster rate than that at the stadium.
9. WI-FI ~ Speaking of which, how hard would it be to provide free wi-fi to paying customers at the stadium on a network fully capable of handling 70,000 users at the same time? Doing so might help the stadium experience keep pace with the at-home experience of absorbing NFL content.
So what do you think? Did I do ok?
If you were Commissioner for a day, what would you do?