During Super Bowl weekend, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is busier than normal with multiple events and award shows to attend including the big game. But during the course of the weekend, Goodell did take the time to give his state of the league address as well as answer a few concerns about the most successful sports organization in the USA. Here are a few, and what I would do about each.
The Pro-Bowl may be in trouble
Anybody who watched the NFL's annual all-star game this year knows that this may have been the worst display of football in the history of the league. Fans at the game in Honolulu, Hi filled the stadium with boos throughout the game as it was obvious that players weren't giving 100% effort. Goodell stated in an interview Sunday morning that if the quality of play is not improved in the Pro-Bowl, there is the possibility that the game could be eliminated.
My Take: Get rid of it, maybe have a special award ceremony in Hawaii since the players love going, and after the players are acknowledged have some sort of skills competition. I've seen it done on the college level with players entering the NFL draft, this would at least be entertaining.
Don't expect the league to expand in the near future
When addressing the scenarios that would bring the NFL back to Los Angeles, Goodell said that he would rather try and grow markets that already have a franchise rather than let a team re-locate. And if the league added a new team in LA, he would rather expand with two teams to 34 total than just one team to 33 due to scheduling limitations.
My Take: Move the team in the worst supported market (Jacksonville) to Los Angeles and keep the 32 team format because that's the easiest scheduling format, you just might need to do a little re-alignment of the divisions. If the NFL expands to 34 teams, don't expect both teams to go to LA, look for Goodell to try and push for a team in Canada or London (Goodell is obsessed with playing games in London).
Trade deadline might be moved
Right now the trade deadline is during week 6 of the season. Goodell stated that the competition committee will look at the issue.
My Take: The current deadline doesn't allow teams to add players for a playoff run or dump players for draft-picks due to a bad season like other leagues because the deadline is too early. DO IT GOODELL!!
More Thursday night games
Goodell gladly announced that the NFL increased the number of Thursday games from 8-13, and that each team will get a chance to play in prime-time (Thursday, Sunday, and Monday nights)
My Take: This is good for all the teams especially the teams that don't get much exposure, but the NFL Network needs to be more available to the masses or Thursday night games need to be on broadcast channels. In the next few years those games may go up for bid among the multiple television networks.
The league has already put multiple procedures in place to limit the affects of concussions on players, but there are still people wanting the NFL to "clean up the game". Goodell revealed that the NFL has been ahead of the curve when it comes to concussion research and have even been sharing their findings with the US defense department to use to help soldiers who suffer from concussion-like symptoms. No large rule changes are on the table at the moment.
My Take: The league is getting dangerously close to being two hand touch, so stop with the rules of play changes. The NFL released a study about which helmet styles are most effective in limiting concussions, I say the league take those findings and not allow any helmet that does not give optimum protection. And before you chastise me for thinking that, just know that the top rated helmets (Riddell revolution, Riddell revolution speed) are two of the most used helmets at the pro level.
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