Recently, the NFL announced ticket prices for this year’s playoff games will be approximately 10 percent lower than tickets prices for last year’s playoffs.
Additionally, the NFL authorized—for the first time ever—lower prices for wild-card games than for divisional playoff games. Previously, the two rounds shared the same price.
This is great news and quite a testament to how highly the NFL thinks of its fans. However, the NFL’s goodwill shouldn’t stop there. Here are five fan-friendly suggestions the NFL should seriously consider adopting.
Proliferation of the NFL Network
I’m not talking about getting the NFL Network on Comast Cable and Time Warner Cable, I’m talking broadcasting over the airwaves like the CW or MyNetworkTv.
Football is our national pastime. The NFL is football’s premier professional league. Americans own a lot of televisions sets. Therefore, all Americans should be able to hook rabbit ears to their TV set and flip on NFL Total Access.
Right now, the NFL Network is available in 40 million homes. The NFL Network should be in every home, like the Foreman Grill.
Super Bowl National Holiday
Not even the most powerful man in sports, Roger Goodell, has the clout to convince congress to make the Super Bowl (or better yet, the Monday after) a national holiday.
Even so, it wouldn’t hurt to try.
After all, if congress is going to continually stick its nose into NFL affairs, then maybe the commissioner should tell them how to organize their national holidays.
NFL fans need a day to celebrate America’s biggest sporting event and a day to mourn the end of another season. Then again, what does congress know about fans? They have none.
Stop Fining Players
I know fines for violent hits are intended to protect players. Still, fans shouldn’t endure hearing their favorite middle linebacker was fined for a hit on the quarterback—when it’s his job to hit the quarterback.
I supposed you can’t eliminate the fines for violent hits, but how about not announcing them right away. Wait until the Pro Bowl to announce them, at least that way no one will be paying attention.
Better yet, when a player enters the league have him lay down an “unnecessary roughness deposit”—it would be like a cleaning deposit when you lease an apartment.
If a player retires after a relatively clean career, he gets his deposit back. If a player retires after a career of cheap shots and late hits, he forfeits his deposit.
Start Fining Owners
Of course owners will get fined for lewd behavior or breaking the law, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m suggesting the league fine owners for making stupid football decisions.
No fan, not even if it’s their team’s owner, will ever complain if an owner receives a steep fine for a bad draft or for hiring another unqualified coach.
Maybe if owners faced the possibility of punitive damages for their poor decisions they might actually take the time to learn a thing or two about football.
I know why the NFL employs sudden-death overtime, it’s television friendly. Most overtimes end rather quickly, after a possession or two, and usually on a field goal.
A far more fan-friendly way to break ties is to borrow college football’s overtime system. Of course, you couldn’t start professional teams on the 35-yard line, but you could start teams at midfield.
Granted, this would take a lot longer than the sudden-death overtime currently used in the NFL, but this list is about benefiting fans, not keeping television networks happy.
Besides, after 60 minutes of football, a winner should be decided on the field, not on a coin toss.