All my life, the commissioner of the NFL was like a monarch, ruling as long as he wished without question. From Pete Rozelle to Paul Tagliabue, the commissioner has kept the scepter until choosing to step down. But like the nobles of old who forced greedy, corrupt King John to sign the Magna Carta and the Third Estate who stormed the Bastille, the NFL world needs to rise against its incompetent ruler. Goodell has ruled now for six years and has already attempted more radical changes to the game of football than either of his predecessors. Here's what the NFL will look like in five years if nothing is done.
The NFL will have an eighteen game schedule. Rosters will increase, which will do absolutely nothing since coaches will continue to play their star players most of the game, resulting in more injuries and shorter careers. Goodell won't care, though, because he sees two more weeks of revenue in the bank. Also, Thursday night football will continue, even though it has been uninteresting and detrimental to traveling teams. Given current trends, Goodell might even opt for a Friday night game too. Why not? More nights on TV means more revenue.
The NFL will expand to London, which means teams in the London squad's division will have to travel overseas every year to play a divisional game, and one team will be out of the country eight (or nine) weeks of the year, while the poor team from London will have to make eight trips across the pond to play away games. The one game a year in London has been popular, due to the novelty, but will the Brits embrace American football every Sunday? I see a stadium as full as Jacksonville's in December.
The playoffs will increase to sixteen teams. Yes, this is Jolly Roger's newest brainstorm. Let's water down the playoffs more and make the regular season games (all 18 of them) less meaningful. Let's embrace the 7-9 teams (I mean the 8-10 teams) and welcome them to the postseason. After all, people will watch the games, and there will be more of them, which means more money, baby! So the best teams no longer get a bye week, and the quality of the playoffs will decrease. What does that matter if the league is making more money? Give Roger a few more years and he might make the Super Bowl a best out of three contest.
There will be no more kick-offs. Honestly, I thought Schiano's crazy 4th and 15 idea was kind of interesting, but I'm sure King G will opt for something "safer," like making everyone start on the 20 for every drive. In twenty years, kids will say "Daddy, why is that guy kicking the ball to the goal line in those old highlights?" Soon afterwards, the same kids will say, "Daddy, why is that number 58 guy for the Steelers allowed to hit those guys so hard?" For, as you can guess, in five years Roger G will have eliminated hard tackling from the league. There was a clear shoulder to chest tackle on a receiver last week-end in one of the games that got flagged. If that isn't allowed now, in five years there will be much stricter tackling rules. As a result, scores of 50-38 will be common.
Most of this isn't hyperbolic. These are the changes that Roger Goodell wants to make to the game. If he gets his way, this is what professional football will look like in the near future. For the players who put it on the line every week, for the fans who spend their hard earned money supporting this league, and for all of the legends that have made this the greatest sports league in American history, I urge the owners to act now. Vote to end Roger Goodell's tenure as the commissioner of the NFL, and find someone who respects the players and the fans, not someone who is only interested in squeezing every cent he can out of everyone who loves football.