One of the great things about being a human is our ability to imagine how we’d change things if we could. What would we get our spouse to do if we could be "Lord of the House"? How would we run the business of our boss decided to smarten up and give us a little more authority? In what way could the local Wal-Mart be more efficiently set up?
Well, I can’t control any of those things (although the world would be a better place if I could, believe me. Who else gets irritated walking all the way to the back of a gigantic Wal-Mart for a gallon of milk that our wife is making us pick up? They can't have a small cooler up front for milk for parents who need to buy it every other day? This cannot just be me), but I can imagine how it'd be if I could.
Right at the top of my "things I wish I could control list" is the NFL. While I love watching football, there are things I’d change if I could. Some of them I’d change because I think it’d be what’s best for the sport. Others I’d change just because I think it’d be amusing to watch (and have no real value otherwise). The latter things are what I've currently got on my mind.
Everyone loves a good list, and that’s what I’m going to break out today (I'm using the word "good" pretty fast and loose here, but still). If I could change the NFL (and I’m talking absolute, God-of-the-universe power here), I’d…
1. Eliminate almost every single Twitter account used by an NFL player. Look, I get they have the right to say whatever they want. It's a free country, and if I don't like it, I just shouldn't read it, right? Well, sure, if you're going to be all realistic and logical about this. But here's the thing, I don't want to be realistic about my Chiefs. I want to pretend every guy we've got on our team is a thoughtful, intelligent human being who loves the team as much as I do.
I used to be able to enjoy this (obviously ridiculous) dream, with only the occasional post-game interview to remind me that wow, some of these guys are ridiculously self-centered, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, and self... well, you get the idea. But Twitter has taken it to another level, and one I can't stand. Good God, how hard is it to write understandable english? And honestly, has there EVER been a tool which has lead to more people jamming their foot right into their mouth? How am I supposed to blindly put people up on a pedestal if they keep tweeting things that either, A) sound like they were written by a 4 year old or, B) show so much hubris it makes me choke a little? Is this fair of me? Absolutely not! Do I care whether it's fair? not even a little!
Of course, there'd be exceptions to this rule. I want to hear everything Rashard Mendenhall has to say just for sheer entertainment value. And something tells me the world would be a better place if Ricky Williams sent out a couple dozen tweets a day about his activities. I'm not sure why, but I'm willing to bet it'd be riveting. Also, Tamba Hali. What does he do for fun? Am I right that when he's not playing football there's a 90% chance he's chasing down deer and ripping them apart with his bare hands? I'd like to know!
2. Between every quarter of the game (and during any other stoppage longer than 2 minutes), I'd like game-attending fans to be allowed to challenge each other to throw down right there on the field. Have some kind of portable octagon (or even a steel cage, why not?) that you wheel out there as soon as the whistle is blown, throw some MMA gloves on the guys and let them go to town on one another. Given how one-sided most fights are, I bet you could have a dozen of these a game. At halftime, you'd have a special addition where two groups of friends would go at it in full-scale brawl.
This would serve several important purposes. First, it'd make attending the game even more exciting for the fans who paid good money to see action. Second, I'm almost positive you'd end up with some season ticket holder becoming a regular fighter and getting General Maximus treatment from the home crowd every time he fights. How cool would that be to watch? And finally, it'd be a great way to eliminate needless trash talking between drunken idiots. Let's face it, too many guys are all talk and no action. If they know there's a chance they'll get called out to throw on the gloves and go a round, they'll keep a lid on it. See? Everyone wins!
3. I want to see an NFL equivalent to the 3-point shot. Let's make any TD run longer than 40 yards and any TD pass longer than 50 yards worth 9 points instead of 6. Think that might open the game up a little bit? Plus, all of a sudden no deficit is safe. Up 20 in the 4th and think you can just put it on cruise control? BOOM! You just gave up a 45 yard run and now you're only up two scores (or even potentially one)!
Now in case you're wondering if one of the reasons I'd like to see this is that we happen to have one of the most explosive RB's in the game in Jamaal Charles (along with another speedster in Dexter McCluster), the answer is... uh, yeah. Did you honestly think I'd be God of the NFL and not skew things in our favor a little bit?
4. I want to see a little bit of wrestling-style drama added to game day. No, I don't want games to be fixed. However, would it kill them to make up some backstory (with scripted "locker room footage") that makes everything ridiculously dramatic?
Think about it, before the game we see Dwayne Bowe walking to the locker room, only to be jumped by a bunch of Raiders and pummeled mercilessly as a couple of cheerleaders scream in terror in the background and Jim Ross (who would obviously have to be hired) pleads for security to put a stop to "this mindless brutality." The camera cuts off with a shot of Bowe lying on the ground unconscious, and we're told he won't be able to play because of an injury suffered during the assault. Then as the Chiefs offense takes the field for the first time, we suddenly hear "I AM IRON MAN!!!!" blast over the loudspeakers and Ross screams, "Good God! That's... That's DWAYNE BOWE'S MUSIC!" as Bowe sprints out of the locker room onto the field and the crowd loses its mind.
Who wouldn't want to see this happen? I know I'd pay an extra couple bucks to be a part of it. I bet you could run various versions of this little routine week in and week out and make the crowd go nuts every single time. Stupid? Yeah. Awesome? Absolutely....
Those are just a few of the changes I'd make to the game if I could. Would any of them add any real value to the game? Well, no (aside from maybe the point increase, which I will go to the wall defending). But it sure would make the game more fun. What about you? Got any ways to spice up the NFL?