NFL Pockets Grow Bigger As the Game Becomes Watered Down

By David Jordan BASN Columnist
Updated: May 8, 2012

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All from 100,000,000 million dollar slaves

All from 100,000,000 million dollar slaves

BOSTON, MA (BASN)–There’s an old football adage that states “Offense wins games, defense wins championships”. At the pace that the league is changing, this adage may soon prove to be untrue. According to NFL health and safety.com, there have been 21 Rule Changes at the professional level of football since 2006. I believe the reason for these rule changes can be linked back to a rise in the uncertainty of player safety on the field and a want for more scoring (which in turn means more revenue for the league). Since 2006 we have seen many rule changes that claim to better the game, as far as player safety is concerned. Since then we have seen a rise in the amount of offense that is produced on the field, partnered by a lack of quality defense being played. We have seen a rise in television ratings, and revenue for the NFL. However, the main reason for these rule changes (player safety, concussions) have changed things for the worst, as we have seen a rise in injuries and reported incidents. At some point, you have to ask yourself, “Are these rule changes really helping?”

I grew up and played football in an era where defense was the most important component to winning. An era where shut down defenses and hard hits where loved. An era where the “Hit Stick” ruled.

Athletes around the world would mold their playing style around the likes of Ray Lewis, Deacon Jones, Lawrence Taylor, etc. I lived for the old school rough and tough game of football, which has been taken away from us. The public is told that they have done it for the betterment of game, for the safety of the players. I find that hard to agree with. Over the past few decades, we have seen a surge in technology, which has helped players to have better equipment on the field. There is a great deal of programs and information available regarding strength, conditioning, and nutritional health, which has helped players off of the field. Yet, we have seen a rise in player injuries, and even worst, a rise in reported incidents of player concussions. Why is this? Equipment is as good as it’s ever been. You have all the key elements to staying healthy and fit at your finger tips. And now, the rules have changed so much, that the game is probably as safe as it’s ever been. If you ask me the rule changes have only helped one thing, and that is the pockets of the NFL.

The NFL Cartel

The NFL Cartel

These major rule changes really started to take a change in 2006. This is the same year that Roger Goodell was named the next commissioner of the NFL. There is one thing that I have noticed about the reigning commissioner of the NFL, and that is that he is all about revenue and income. Mr. Goodell is responsible for most of the rule changes we have seen over these past few years. Doing things like trying to switch the league from a 16 game to an 18 game season, as well as offer games on various days of the week, leads me to feel as though he is all about revenue, and revenue only. Since the rule changes have been put in place, teams have had more game changing & exciting plays. Teams have been scoring at far more rapid pace than they used to, and there’s not much defense’s can do. Due to the abundance of scoring, the league has seen a spike in ratings and viewership.

And when those two things spike, it means MORE REVENUE.

If the league was really concerned about player safety, why would they want to add two more games to an already grueling NFL season? Two more games means less training camp for players, and two more weeks of 100%, all that you’ve got football. It sounds great, but can’t be beneficial for the health of the leagues players. As it is, off-season, mini-camp, and pre-season workouts have already been watered down due to the recent collective bargaining agreement that was reached before the start of the 2011/2012 Season. An 18 game season would not be beneficial for the players. But hey, that’s two more games, plus a game or two played overseas.

The NFL and its owners just can’t resist that, now can they?

I believe the NFL needs to step back and reassess what and how they are doing things. There needs to be more support and care for NFL players after they leave the league. Players are dedicating their bodies to the NFL, and they are paying for it when they retire. As concussion incidents rise, as well as other major injuries to these players, the NFL needs to be prepared to help them once they leave. If they don’t make the necessary changes, will unfortunately see more lawsuits from retired players, or even worst, more tragic cases such as the recent passing of Junior Seau. Granted, over the years the player personnel has changed vastly. Players are bigger, faster, and stronger. That only means that as these players meet the demands of their teams and the league, the NFL needs to be prepared to give them the best treatment (health wise) that they can during and after their NFL careers.

Also, even though people love the game of football, and ratings have been sky high, you have to know that sometimes there is such thing as too much of a good thing. This upcoming season we will have games broadcast on Monday nights, Thursday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays. I am still a huge fan of the NFL, but I loved it when there was only Sunday and Monday night games. This made you want more, and built up your anticipation for games on Sundays and Mondays. Now that there are Thursday night and Saturday games, I don’t have that same anticipation, because it seems like there will be a game on every other night of the week. I fear that this same sentiment will be shared across the U.S., and the product that is the NFL will become watered down. Football is still Americas game, and we can keep it that way by keeping our players on the field and healthy, and by making sure that NFL football is always in high demand. I know the NFL loves to increase revenue, who wouldn’t? But let’s not sacrifice the integrity of the game to do so. Let’s save Saturdays for college football, and work on keeping the NFL at the top of the pro-sports food chain.