This just in from the NFL’s Fearless Leader: The National Football League has absolutely no plans for expansion at this time; but if we do it will be by two teams not just one. Wait. What? That is pretty much like your wife telling you that she has no future plans for a new baby but you need to paint your man cave pink and buy a bassinette…… The above statement (the football part, not the baby situation) was Roger Goodell’s response to a reporter’s question about the NFL putting a team in Los Angeles. Yes, it’s true: once a year Roger Goodell comes out of his hole and answers a couple of questions following his State of the NFL speech. Then, like other February celebrities, if he sees Deacon Jones’ shadow, he scurries back to his burrow and it’s five more years of shitty Pro Bowls.
The National Football League is more popular than ever. It is more popular than all of the other major professional sports combined and it is Roger Goodell’s job to promote the” brand” or the “shield” as they are fond of saying these days; not the “sport” or the “game”. It is about profile, profit, and exposure. The NFL is on the verge of becoming a product that can be franchised out like muffler shops or convenience stores and it sounds like Roger is going to green light a couple of more Mega Lo Marts in the neighborhood.
Professional tackle football has an interesting relationship with its fan base. Fans are crazed and loyal and starved for more and more of the red meat that is the NFL. But the league has always kept the fans wanting more and, like a date that knows how to tease, that has kept fans coming back for more. 67% of self described ‘hard core’ NFL fans have never seen a game in person but those fans are still hooked on the game. Hmmm… maybe that is why companies that make televisions use football to sell you televisions while you are watching football on your television….. Roger Goodell says that supply has to increase to meet demand but I say “NO”! The NFL could easily over saturate the market and end up losing fans.
There has been much talk in the last two or three years about expanding the season by two or (holy crap) four games. This would be done at the expense of at least two preseason games. Oh, good. Less conditioning and less evaluation of talent will make for a better product. This season, with its lack of OTA’s and shortened training camps, stumbled out of the gate and was rich with injuries. I saw too many players looking totally gassed early in games. These “warriors” as the league likes them referred to looked more like dudes that couldn’t kick the cat off the porch. You want to expand something; how about expanding the television coverage so that the fans can use them there fancy flat screens all day Sunday. It really burns my bacon to flip around after the Steeler game is over only to find figure skating and rodeo ridin’ on the other channels. Put football on TV all damn day on Sunday! I want to see a game at 1:00, 4:00, and 8:00 and I want my choice of games at the 1:00 and 4:00 time slots. I really like driving my wife insane clicking back and forth between two games! Monday Night Football, HELL YES! I am still watching even if Gruden and Jaws are the two worst guys ever in a booth together. It’s football and it’s on TV and I’m sucking it in. Roger’s one bit of good news was the NFL network would be expanding it’s Thursday night broadcasts to 13 weeks. OK, I’m in, as long as it is highly conditioned athletes playing to the peak of their potential with the possibility of being hit so hard their kids are born dizzy. So, Dear NFL, just show more of the nifty product you already have.