If I Was Commissioner For a Day

Mike BurnsContributor INovember 10, 2009

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 03: National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell testifies on Capitol Hill on November 3, 2009 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on doping in professional sports.(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

One day as commissioner of the National Football League is all I ask.  While the league is enjoying record revenues in a struggling economy, nothing is being done to help the smaller market teams compete.  The leagues image continues to be tarnished by off the field antics of players.

First thing I would address after taking my seat behind my desk for the day would be to address the on again, off again Los Angeles having a team issue.

Not one, but two teams left the second largest television market for smaller cities.  If financing is in place for a new stadium and the city of Angels really does want two teams then first is to get Al Davis to move his Raiders back and then the Jacksonville Jaguars can be the second tenant in the new stadium.

Oakland claims to have the most dedicated fans in the world but even with blocking entire sections of their outdated stadium they continue to be blacked out week after week.

Good or bad Jacksonville has always struggled to attract NFL fans in a college environment.  Time to move on to richer pastures.

Make the move soon while the interest is still there.  Los Angeles is a busy city with plenty to do, lets not forget they also have USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins to compete with in the football market.

Next on the agenda would be to ensure the Buffalo Bills stay in Buffalo.  Sharing games with Toronto is and always was a bad idea.  With 19 days until the second regular season game in Toronto, plenty of seats remain at a cost of $285 or slightly less.  While there are plenty of NFL fans in Canada most would rather take the less than 2 hour drive to Buffalo for the game.  In fact most Canadians I have talked to find it is cheaper to spend a weekend in the Buffalo / Niagara Falls area than to park and buy tickets for a game at the Rogers Centre. Also remember Buffalo is New York's only real team and only team that pays New York State sales tax on ticket sales.

The Bills continue to sell out despite working hard at not making the playoffs for the 10th straight year.  Fans are displeased with coaching, the lack of offense and poor play at the quarterback position but continue to support their beloved Buffalo Bills.

The owners need to be reminded that dedication from the fans is what built the empire they are currently ruling, not corporate greed (that came later).

This idea could work with all 32 NFL teams by adding 2 games to the regular season schedule (subtract 2 pre season games).  Every season each team would play one extra home game at a site within their region and one away.  (The London game would count as one of these).  Examples could be  Buffalo plays a home game at Syracuse's Carrier dome, Pittsburgh or Philadelphia play at Penn States Beaver stadium, Kansas City or St. Louis could play at Oklahoma or Nebraska.  This would expand each teams fan base and also widen the leagues draw through out the country without taking away from existing games fans already attend.

Rotate the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl between all 32 teams.  Warm, cold who cares this game is played most of the time in the elements.  People will pay for the tickets no matter where it is played and it would be one way of revenue sharing the league has not thought of yet.

I am in full agreement with commissioner Goodell on his handling of players that break the NFL's personal conduct rule.  One thing I would add to the punishment is for offending players to have to work with under privileged youth in the teams community during their suspensions.  This will help them remember how good they have it while trying to help young boys and girls build goals instead of taking the easy way (although illegal) offered so freely in lower income areas.

At the end of a long day, knowing the league's future and image are safe and sound, I will quietly walk away and allow Commissioner Goodell to have his office back.