PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Changes Are Coming in the NFL

Street Talk PERCEPTION IS REALITY: Changes Are Coming in the NFL

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Reality: The NFL is looking to add another game to its slate of Thursday Night Football games.

Perception: John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal says the NFL is shopping a 1-year Thursday night deal to broadcast networks that would start this September. ABC/ESPN, CBS, NBC, and Fox have all made bids on the extra Thursday night game, but those bids have not been made public, so we won’t know probably until after the Super Bowl, as they get closer to releasing the full NFL schedule next year, later in April/May.

A lot of fans will take football every night of the week, but when you talk to people inside the game, they hate Thursday night football. It means the team plays on a short week. There has also been talk that the actual play on the field is not as good on Thursday nights. Plus, the NFL, supposedly all about player safety, is playing on short rest. Is that contributing to player safety?

In an email to the Bleacher Report in September 2013, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said:

“In 2012, the injury rate for Thursday games was 5.2 per game versus 5.3 in games played on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Concussion rates for games played on Thursday were also similar to games played on other days. A comparison of injury information between Thursday games and games played on other days dating back to 2009 provided similar results.”

So the NFL is clearly going to defend that Thursday night games do not hurt the product or player safety.

The NFL will do whatever it needs to bring in more money. And if adding another Thursday night game will allow them to sell more ads, then they will do it. Roger Goodell also said this week, that with adding 2 more playoff teams, they may look at playing that extra playoff game on Friday or Monday night. As long as the NFL continues to rule, we are going to see the NFL spread its wings with their schedule.

Reality: The CBS Pre-Game show is looking to make some changes next year.

Perception: The USA Today reported last week that CBS is disappointed with the ratings of their NFL Pre Game show which fell further behind Fox in the ratings. So how do you fix it? A shake-up of course.

“The NFL Today” on CBS has been James Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharpe, and Boomer Esiason for a number of years now. Word is that CBS would love to bring in newly retired Tony Gonzalez to replace Sharpe. However, Gonzalez and Sharpe are really close friends, so would Gonzalez do that to a friend? And if they just add Gonzalez, is six people too many for a 1-hour pre-game show? They may want to replace Marino, but do they want to replace him with another quarterback? They have Boomer, so they may not need another QB, but they probably still want a former player. Maybe Peyton Manning (if he retires) could be on the radar. Perhaps they were eyeing Rex Ryan, whose job was thought to be on the line, before he signed an extension earlier this month – now that would have been good TV!

Reality: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is looking to getting rid of extra points in the NFL.

Perception: Goodell said only 5 extra points were missed out of over 1,200 attempts. According to WJZ’s Mark Viviano, the Ravens are 593 of 595 in their PAT kick history. They only have 2 extra point misses in their existence… Matt Stover in 1996 against St. Louis and (current Seahawks kicker) Steven Hauschka in 2009 against Cleveland. Hauschka was cut after that game.

Goodell also said he wants “to add excitement with every play” and clearly there is no excitement in the extra point. One proposal suggests 7 points for a touchdown. You can try for an 8th point by either running or passing the ball in an “extra point” situation, but if you fail you go back to only getting 6 points.

If you want to make it more challenging and therefore feed Goodell’s need for more excitement, why not just back it up? Move the line of scrimmage for extra points back to the 23-yard line and make it a 40-yard attempt?

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Joe Polek

About Joe Polek

Joe Polek was born in Baltimore, MD, and was raised in Bel Air, MD. He lived in Maine from 2001-2012, where he met his wife and had two daughters. He now resides in Columbia, SC where he has left TV/Radio and is the South Carolina Marketing Coordinator for Bojangles' Restaurants. Joe is a huge sports fan, but most importantly he lives and breathes Baltimore (and Maryland) sports. He routinely gets back to Baltimore for a Ravens and Orioles game once a year. A couple of his highlights were being at the final game at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, and also sitting in left field for “2130”, and “2131” (Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak). Find Joe on Twitter @JoePolek. More from Joe Polek


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