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N.F.L. Realignment Part Two
OAKLAND, CA—The Four Wise men (I mean the Four Commissioners of Major League Sports) now have the opportunity to realign and improve their leagues.
Divisions and conferences might look different in the future. I have taken it upon myself to help save the four leagues money, travel expenses, gas prices, enhance local rivalries, and provide early local television time.
Today we look at Commissioner Roger Goddell and the possibilities for change. The (NFL) National Football League finished a 132 day lockout, with a new 10 year bargaining agreement. Both sides seem to be content with the terms of the new agreement.
The NFL is in a very different situation then the (NHL) National Hockey League. There are only two founding members standing, the Decatur Staleys, now the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cardinals, now the Arizona Cardinals.
Many teams took baseball teams name for sometime for example the current Pittsburgh Steelers were the Pirates the first seven years of existence.
The silent exclusion of African American players lead by the owner of the Washington Football Club George Preston Marshall started in 1936 and lasted until 1960. President John F. Kennedy put an end to that in 1961 citing the stadium was then Federally funded and could not discriminate. The Washington Football Club became the flagship team of the racially divided south. Today it is still a team carring the political and social lightning rod because of its controversial nickname.
In The 1960′s the NFL had to fend off the exciting and multi ethnic American Football League (AFL) which started in 1958-1960. The AFL recruited players from smaller schools and (HBCU’s) Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The AFL had teams that used wide open down field offences, putting the players name on the back of their jersey so that fans could know who they were. They also implemented the two point conversion after a touchdown.
The NFL and AFL finally merge in 1968 and adopt many of the AFL rules.
The NFL created three divisions in each conference adding the Midwest. They transferred the Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers to the AFL.
The New York Jets became the first AFL team to win the Super Bowl with Broadway Joe Namath. The Kansas City Chiefs followed the Jets winning the 2nd Super Bowl for the new AFL. They made it known why they wanted to beat the Vikings. It was old school vs. new school and it was old politics vs. new and yes it was Black vs. white. The battle has continued for 45 more years but with less intenisty.
A second attack on the League occurred in the middle 1970′s. The World Football League played it’s game in the spring and early summer. Money problems doomed this league. They could not keep sponsors or acquire a major television contract.
The last attempt to supplant the NFL came from the well founded United States Football League (USFL). The League corrected the mistakes the WFL made 10 years earlier. It garnered a major television contract with the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) which telecast their games on Spring Sunday afternoons. The USFL decided to go toe to toe with the NFL moving their games to the fall. The NFL had learned from the past battles and did not need to win in court. The NFL won the hearts of the American people with the game on the field. The USFL handily won in court. Awarding the new league three dollars.
One of the team owners Donald Trump thought he would beat the NFL in the hearts of Americans. The USFL did not have the flare or difference the old AFL had in 1960.
The NFL would only have to change four teams the Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams in the NFC and Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins in the AFC.
Don’t hold your breath because two of these teams hold veto power on any realignment proposals which they have threaten to use during the 2002 realignment negotiations.
* denotes change in division
National Football Conference
* St. Louis Rams
New York Giants
The Washington Football Club
This would be the logical thing to do with the St. Louis Rams being closer to the east coast than the Dallas Cowboys. With the future 17 game schedule the Cowboys can still play their old eastern rivals Eagles, Giants, and The Washington Football Club.
The St. Louis Rams would replace the old St. Louis Cardinals.
Green Bay Packers
This division should not be touched. The artic circle division, the Black and Blue Division, The a.k.a. Norris Division. This is what professional football is all about three yards and a cloud of dust or shall we say a cloud of snow.
New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The football version of the NASCAR division, The sunshine division, the vacation division for northern teams at the end of November or the middle of December another geographically correct division. No change
* Dallas Cowboys
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers would be the last original member of the NFL western division. The Cowboys and Seahawks would cut down on travel expenses for the Western Division. Dallas would be leaving the east division kicking and screaming, but this only makes sense. The reason it has not happened thus far is because the Dallas Cowboy organization has veto power to all realignment proposals.
The American Football Conference
* Indianapolis Colts
New England Patriots
New York Jets
The Indianapolis Colts make more sense than the Miami Dolphins in this division. The Colts are closer to their competition. Once again the reason why the Dolphins are in the east is because they have veto power like the Dallas Cowboys. With the future 17 game schedule they also can play their northeast rivals.
This is the AFC version of the Black and Blue Division but it lacks the fire of the NFC North with only two great teams. The Steelers and Ravens. This division remains the same.
* Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins should be playing teams in their geographical region. This would cut down on travel expenses to the northeast in the middle of winter and create great battles in Florida with Jacksonville.
Kansas City Chiefs
San Diego Chargers
This division brings back the old times of the American Football League. It’s the same as 50 years ago.
Next:-Major League Baseball
Â©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod