What Might a New NFL Calendar Look Like?
The NFL wants be in our lives every month for the entire year.
ESPN's multi-Twillionaire Adam Schefter sent out this tweet on Thursday evening regarding a potential league-wide schedule overhaul:
NFL is proposing to overhaul its calendar, pushing back the combine to early March, free agency to early April, and the draft to early May.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 22, 2013
No, seriously, the more football the better, right?
He followed up the initial report with this:
Idea of overhauled calendar is to lengthen NFL off-season and make football relevant over longer period with one big event each month.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 22, 2013
As if the NFL wasn't relevant enough already.
But, hey, more relevancy equals more dollars, and we know that's what it's about.
So, let's say this proposal is eventually passed—what could the new NFL calendar look like?
The NFL playoffs begin and rage on throughout the month with five teams that didn't make it the previous season.
Unpredictable developments occur.
Top seeds lose at home.
Bill Belichick wears his cut-off sweatshirt despite frigid New England temperatures. Tom Coughlin's face turns red.
The Super Bowl invigorates a city for, essentially, two weeks. Media day's questions get even more ridiculous. The AFC champ plays the NFC champ. The cost of commercials increases.
People drink, eat wings and bet on squares. A girl makes an "eccentric" dip. The guy running the square pool wins.
The NFL Scouting Combine invades Indianapolis and the gorgeous Lucas Oil Stadium. New coaches say they want their team to be "aggressive and attacking."
Rich Eisen runs the 40-yard dash in an expensive suit and even more expensive sneakers. Hundreds of draft prospects wear tight apparel.
At least three players shoot up draft boards after freakish workouts. At least five drop after disappointing workouts.
More people tune in than ever before.
Free agency has a different feel being so much closer to the draft. Daniel Snyder doesn't change. He still spends. A lot. Franchise tags are slapped on players. Those franchise guys get upset because they'll make the average of the five highest-paid players at their position. So sad. Last year's free-agent market leads to more lucrative contracts this year.
Desperate teams overpay for free agents from the Super Bowl winner.
The schedule is released.
We idiotically buy into "strength of schedule."
The NFL Draft ascends on Radio City Music Hall. More than a thousand credentials are granted. The TV ratings are the highest ever. Every year. There is awkward silence on the ESPN set after a pick. A team reaches. A team gets great value. Jon Gruden really likes a guy.
Adam Schefter, Jason LaCanfora and Jay Glazer tweet the selections before they're announced by Roger Goodell.
Players hug the commissioner.
OTA's commence. The only relative downtime of the year. Players earn ridiculous workout bonuses for lifting weights. Team preview articles are written in droves online and in the newspapers. New players get acclimated to new coaches. Every team is going to the playoffs.
The paparazzi snaps pictures of a marquee quarterback on vacation. Rob Gronkowski has his shirt off the entire month.
The NFL announces the launch of the next football season.
Under proposal, all NFL teams also would kick off training camp on same summer day, making it the official launch of the football season.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 22, 2013
Now, every team is not just going to the playoffs, they're all winning the Super Bowl. Fans get an up-close glimpse of their favorite players at training camp. Positional battles ensue. Two teams experience severe injuries to a few of their best players.
The preseason arrives. We're excited. Kind of. We still pay regular season ticket prices. We overreact to the exhibition season. Big time. Multiple undrafted free agents dominate. Only three make their respective team. One more big-name player goes down with injury.
Stadiums are essentially empty in the fourth quarter of every game.
The regular season is here. Stealth bombers fly overhead. Fireworks erupt. The "NFL Kickoff" decal is painted on all fields. A "New Faces, New Places" segment airs on ESPN. The teams that win their opener are going to the playoffs. The teams that lose their opener are doomed.
A surprise team starts 4-0. Another surprise team starts 0-4.
Those surprise teams fall back to Earth. The cream begins to rise to the top, but the upsets continue. Adrian Peterson runs through a defender. Aaron Rodgers fires lasers. We question if the Tom Brady era is over—it's not.
We witness at least one ridiculous comeback, or choke job, however we want to look at it.
We wonder if Jay Cutler will ever get a good offensive line.
The Patriots hit their stride. The September surprise team stinks. Other surprise teams look legitimate. "Contender or Pretender" is a top Google search term. Deion Sanders complains about being cold on the NFL Network set in Buffalo. He's bundled like Ralphie's brother in the Christmas Story.
We're pumped to be able to get away from relatives on Thanksgiving thanks to the NFL's triple-header. We fall asleep by the third quarter of the last game.
Ndamukong Suh does something controversial.
The best teams show their true colors. So do the worst teams. An early-December injury crushes a team destined for the postseason. A "Suck for Luck"-esque campaign for the best player in college becomes a part of the vernacular.
Mock drafts are published.
The divisional games at the end of the season are riveting, but many of them don't matter. A handful of unexpected teams make the playoffs.
NFL fans can't get enough.
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