Sam

Posts Tagged ‘NFL Playoffs’

If it ain’t broke, fix it anyway.

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2012 at 5:36 am

I was keeping one eye on the score of the Broncos- Steelers game today as I was working on my computer. Not that I am particularly interested in the NFL anymore. In fact, I have not watched a game all year. But I am a lifelong sports fan. What can I say. A few minutes after the game had ended I saw a clip of the winning TD catch in OT and heard CBS broadcaster Jim Nance refer to a new rule change which stipulates that in the playoffs a team on its first possession in OT has to score a TD in order to win the game. Taking the ball the length of the field to settle for a game winning FG is no longer allowed. Since I rarely watch the NFL anymore I had heard nothing about this change (which applies to the playoffs only) and I was predictably aghast. I read the game recap where the explanation of the new rule was provided. In addition to the rule that says a team must score a TD on their first possession, another new rule guarantees each team at least one possession in OT. In other words, sudden death overtime is now sudden death overtime with qualifiers.

The new rule dilutes the considerable drama that is synomous with overtime in professional football. One of the more exciting things in sports is to watch a team drive down the field in OT to get into field goal position. What is more American than a field goal to win a football game. But now some field goals are not allowed. Go figure. There is no justification for this rule change whatsoever. It is just a blatant attempt by the NFL to lengthen games so they can sell more advertising during the period when most fans, including myself, tune in: the playoffs.

But the NFL is just following every other institution in America in which tradition is considered boring and where the mis-guided powers that be see a need to change the product or watch it die (what they perceive will happen). Sports is now just like every other consumer product in the US. It has a life cycle.

Still you wish they would leave some things alone. Like sudden death overtime.

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The Touchdown dance

In Uncategorized on January 2, 2012 at 5:30 am

If anything is emblematic of the times it was the story this week that the NFL is fining Marshawn Lynch for putting an image of skittles on his game cletes. This seemed like such a silly story, on Lynch’s part for publicizing his affinity for a candy during a football game and on the NFL’s part for bothering to notice and then fining Lynch $ 5,000.00.

Self-promotion has become the very essence of the NFL and nowhere is this more evident than in the highly-choreographed end-zone celebration. End-zone celebrations have become so contrived and some of them so elaborate that one often wonders if the players are spending more time practicing a touchdown dance than studying the playbook. The NFL has sought to curtail this behavior by fining players for excessive celebration but players have found that even negative publicity is good for their brand while the fine itself is a drop in the bucket. After all what is $ 5,000.00 when you have a six year contract for 18.4 million dollars ( Lynch’s contract).

Touchdown dances were not popular in the NFL until only in the last decade or so. Even in Billie “white shoes” Johnson’s day most players were content to drop the ball on the ground or “spike” the football as they crossed the goal line. Nowadays, however, not a week goes by when we don’t have to read about a celebration that has irked someone and a subsequent fine. This week it was NY Giants receiver Victor Cruz and his “salsa dance.” Players are even wont to hype their celebrations prior to game day which ensures that more people will tune in to watch their antics. It stands to reason that the NFL’s marketing people are far too savvy not to be aware that the more forbidden something is the more people will want to see it. And you wonder if the fines are in place so as to create more interest ? Such is professional football nowadays.

Let’s just say I preferred the NFL when Billy “white shoes” was playing.