Here are five things I don't like about the NFL in 2012:
1. Thursday Night Football
In 2006, the NFL began scheduling Thursday night games from Thanksgiving through the end of the season. It was, and is, a great idea. The weather’s cold, it adds to the festive holiday atmosphere, it’s a nice hors d’oeuvre leading to the entrée of Sunday games and the dessert of Sunday Night Football (which became the new Monday Night Football when ABC stopped airing MNF).
But having Thursday games the entire season is what an 18-game schedule would be–too much of a good thing. Half the time, I don’t even remember there’s a game. And when I do, it seems like a preseason game, or one of those regular season games Major League Baseball plays in Japan at some ungodly hour while the rest of baseball continues Spring Training.
Hey, I love turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie in late November, but not in September.
2. The Length of Games
When did the NFL become Major League Baseball? There’s a clock in football, so why are these games taking forever? Last Sunday’s Eagles-Lions game started at 1 p.m. When regulation ended, it was 4:40.
Does every play have to result in a five-minute trip to the replay booth? You can’t blame replacement refs for this anymore.
3. Sideline Reporters' Twitter Accounts
Why do sideline reporters tell us to follow them for all the latest information during the games they cover? If they get word that one of the starting quarterbacks broke his arm, the reporter isn’t going to tell us that on the air? Only those people following the reporter on Twitter will know?
Again, I just want to relax and watch football. Don’t make me break out my phone, computer or tablet. If something important happens that we wouldn’t know about from not being at the stadium, tell us. Don’t make us follow you on a vehicle generally reserved for comments on the weather and your most recent meal.
Think I’m being cranky? Here’s a tweet from NBC’s Michele Tafoya from Sunday (italics added):
Raining in #Houston today. Glad #ReliantStadium has a roof!
And here’s a tweet from the NFL Network’s Alex Flanagan (italics added):
If every airport was as great as San Francisco's terminal 2, then flying would be fun. :)
Great insight, guys!
4. The Saints Bounty Story
Does anyone care about this anymore? It’s the Kim Kardashian of sports stories; it just keeps getting shoved in our faces. Every day there’s a new chapter, a new turn in the script.
Enough. Figure it out, mete out the punishment and let’s move on. It seems they fixed the levees quicker than this story has unfolded.
5. The Uniformity of the Super Bowl Logo
The Super Bowl logo used to differ every year, reflecting changes in design and typography. Many paid homage to the host city, like the odometer in Detroit’s XL logo or the Mardi Gras color scheme in New Orleans’s XXXI logo (purple represents justice, green stands for faith and gold symbolizes power.).
The logos were a chance for designers to show what they were capable of creating. Some, like the logos for XIV (notice the football in the lower loop of the "B") and XXVII are downright beautiful.
Instead the NFL paved over individuality, killed off the mom-and-pop stores, and put up a Wal-Mart. It’s all the same now, very homogenized and corporate-America. Where's the fun in that?