So NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is looking at expanding the playoffs, which comes on the heels of him saying he would consider removing kickoffs from the game. Those are two drastic moves that would have big impacts on the game and its players.
Let's start with the kickoffs. I'm not sure why the commissioner feels he can just change a game that was around long before he ever got his powerful position. Kickoffs are an integral part of the game and it makes no sense -- including injuries -- to simply remove it.
Several players enter the league and later thrive in other positions becuase of playing on special teams. The play itself can be one of the most exciting aspects of the game. Think of Devin Hester returning kicks for touchdowns.
You can't just decide to change the game. Imagine the NBA taking free throws out of the game because they thought it slowed the game down. Ridiculous, right? It's just amazing that this is even being considered.
If that's not bad enough, Goodell wants to expand the playoffs from 12 teams to 14 or 16. C'mon man. Stop the madness now.
We already have seasons when 8-8 teams make the post season. Now he thinks that adding teams will somehow benefit the game, the shield the league talks about? He should say it's about money, which it is and it still makes it wrong.
Making the playoffs is and should only be a reward for the very best teams in the NFL. The battle of the NFL season is special for that very reason. Why dilute it with teams that didn't earn the right to play in the playoffs? This isn't pee-wee football, where everybody gets a trophy. The is big boy, grown man football. Some teams just are not good enough to be included. Period.
If the league office talks about the integrity of the game and the shield, well part of that should be making the value of the product mean something, not selling out for money. It certainly can't be sold to real football fans.
Look at the college game. Everybody plays in a bowl game that nobody watches or cares about and most schools actually lose money by going to bowl games when travel costs are finally tallied. Six-win teams are now rewarded, why? Because they reached mediocrity, it's a shame.
When I played in college at Arizona there were only a handful of bowl games. Sometimes top 25 teams didn't make a bowl game. It actually meant something. Seven-win teams were left out and we only played 11 games then, not the 12 that schools play now.
So now the NFL wants to celebrate mediocrity too? It's enough to make me become a curling fan...