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Just The Sports: Elliot Kalb Should Not Be NFL Commish

Just The Sports

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Elliot Kalb Should Not Be NFL Commish

After hearing news of Paul Tagliabue's (forced?) resignation, I had the same idea as Elliot Kalb did. However, hindered by procrastination, I was unable to complete my list of changes I would make to the NFL before Kalb put his list up online. Since to put my list up now would be imitation of Kalb, and therefore flattery, I have no other recourse but to make ridicule the changes Kalb suggests. Such is life.

1. Staggering game times

On the surface, this seems like a good idea. Don't be fooled by the surface. This is a very bad idea. Right now, college football staggers their times, which allows college football to be played for a full 12 hours on Saturday. The reason college football is able to do this is because there at least eight networks that carry the games. With the NFL, there are two networks which are allowed to cover afternoon NFL games. In addition to there being insufficient networks for games to be staggered, FOX and CBS have an agreement where only one network can show a doubleheader a week. Oh yeah, and that is the television deal which makes millions and millions of dollars for the NFL on a weekly basis. Good luck convincing the owners to give up a sure revenue source like that, Commissioner Kalb.

2. United States Football Classic

If Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig could pull together a World Baseball Classic, then I would copy the blueprint and put together a preseason USFC.

Yet again this is someone who obviously did not sit down and watch the World Baseball Classic seriously. Let's examine for a moment the blueprint he intends to copy. The World Baseball Classic was held at an awful time of the year for Major League Baseball, meaning that the best players in the world were not guaranteed to play. This is unheard of for other international competitions. The WBC also employed Little League-type rules including pitch counts and mercy rules. Does Kalb want to make sure quarterbacks only throw a certain number of passes a game? Perhaps he should change it to flag football, too.

The best players from California would have a team and compete against the best players from the state of Florida. Texas would field a terrific team. These games would replace preseason games. You would field eight teams, from eight states.

Where would the other five teams come from? Why are California, Florida, and Texas allowed automatic bids into the USFC? This reads like Kalb had the idea of California and Florida playing and then he remembered other states also play football so he threw together a few sentences, called it a coherent plan, and hoped no one would notice.

The games would be played over three weekends, with the championship game held on Labor Day weekend. Most NFL players would be back at their camps following the first weekend.

Most NFL players would not play in the games at all. Most players don't even show up for their own training camps so what makes Kalb think they would show up for his USFC. Unlike baseball contracts, NFL contracts are not guaranteed and if a player becomes injured in the preseason, there is really nothing to stop a team from cutting him before the season begins. On top of that, many NFL players' contracts are incentive-laden meaning they need to be as healthy as possible during the actual season they get paid for. Football is a sport where a player can actually get seriously injured in every game because of the extreme violent nature of the sport. There is no way this would ever work.

The championship of the United States Football Classic would essentially replace the Pro Bowl.

Does Kalb even know what the Pro Bowl is? It's an all-star game held after the season to reward the best players at their respective positions. After the season, not before. Also, Kalb mentions not more than four sentences before this one that the USFC would replace preseason games? So which one will it fucking replace, Elliot?

College players would be eligible to play in the United States Football Classic.

College players would probably be more worried about making the team for the franchise who is paying them to play.

3.Making the Super Bowl two-out-of-three series

Now, many people will laugh at this.

No, most people would have you committed.

I have a plan.

And I can't wait to hear it.

In my plan, the Super Bowl would be a best-of-three series played on consecutive weekends. The first game would always be played at the home stadium of the team with the best record. The second game will always be played at a neutral site that is rotated. If a third game is necessary, it would be played at the site of the team with the worse record.

First, football is too violent a game to force teams to play two or three playoff games on top of a seventeen week season and then have to play a three game championship series on top of that. Also, the reason other sports have playoff series is because it is the best way for those sports to determine who the better team is. Football does not have that problem because over the course of a game, it is pretty apparent who the better team is and who is most deserving of winning the game. And Kalb has come up with the most convoluted three sites for the three games. Never should a deciding game be held at the home of the team with the worse record. The whole point of home field advantage is to reward the better team for its success in the regular season. Kalb wants to reward a team for losing more games. Does that make sense to anyone?

6. Change the Hall of Fame voting

It's a terrible system that so many care and so few vote. The system for electing players into the Hall of Fame would be instantly revamped. My plan is to vote the premier players (Marino, Elway, and Barry Sanders, for instance) to lifetime enshrinement. Other players (Warren Moon and Harry Carson, for example) would be voted into the Hall for a 10-year period. After that, they would have to be revoted in. The Hall is getting too bloated. The truly elite shouldn't have to share space with so many.

I can't even bring myself to comment on this one. Just remember he got paid to write that shit.

7. Salary cap for head coaches, general managers

Enough is enough. I want a system where teams can take chances on new head coaches, without recycling the same names. I want to give incentive to minority hirings.

The NFL already has a system where teams can (and do) take chances on new head coaches. Over the last couple years, plenty of NFL teams hired men who had never been head coaches before. I'm just going to list the ones that immediately come to mind: Sean Payton, Rod Marinelli, Nick Saban, Brad Childress, and Mike Nolan. By the way, a salary cap for head coaches and general managers is in no way incentive to hire minorities.


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