50 Ways Life Would Change Without the NFL in 2011
With the NFL's collective bargaining agreement set to expire on March 4, 2011, there is now a serious possibility that the 2011 season does not happen.
We're all keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that the owners and players can reach an agreement soon, but it's starting to look like a lockout will occur.
If that happens, life as we know it will change. Not just our lives, but also the lives of the players competing in the sport that we love to watch.
The ramifications will be absolutely huge, but let's save most of the serious ones for another time.
With the assumption that there will be no NFL in 2011, read on for the 50 ways that lives will change.
Each and every show on ESPN loves to draw many of their highlights and stories from the bountiful news-creator commonly known as the NFL.
Without this option in 2011, the network will have no choice but to reduce SportsCenter by 50 percent, leading to at least 95 re-runs airing each and every day.
If you want to catch up on everything sports, all you'll have to do is turn on the television for just five minutes and you'll see it all.
Big Ben on Campus
You've heard of the big man on campus? Well get ready for the Big Ben on campus.
With nothing else to do, Ben Roethlisberger will probably enroll in some summer classes at a small university. Then he'll hit up the college scene, go to some parties and find the bars.
Too soon? Maybe.
Tom, I completely understand. You're a busy man.
When you're not on the field picking apart defenses, you're either studying film or practicing to get better.
And I totally get that your wife asked you to grow out the hair. I'd listen to whatever Gisele said, too.
But now that you'll have the downtime in 2011, please go get a haircut. I guarantee that millions of adoring fans will copy whatever hairstyle you get.
And I heard they're having specials at Great Clips.
T.O. Wants Attention
Terrell Owens loves attention and if the NFL is gone in 2011, so is his main source of attention-getting.
Drawing inspiration from a fellow-Bengal (well, at least for the time being), Owens is going to legally change his name to get back in the spotlight.
Can you imagine Terrell Ochouno and Chad Ochocinco on the same team?
You've all seen the commercials. Bad things happen in the early morning, then in mid-morning, then around noon, then in the early afternoon and then in the afternoon. But night rolls around and Monday Night Football makes it all better.
Well, you can stop worrying about the bad things happening.
Without Monday Night Football, Mondays would cease to exist. There would no longer be any reason to have them.
Tim Tebow has been the chosen one throughout his collegiate career and his short-lived time in the ranks of professional football.
We've seen him draw upon his religion as inspiration and as a reason to produce somewhat controversial television ads.
Tebow has essentially become the model human being in the mind of many adoring fans.
Now, the pure one will be sacrificed for our sins.
Not going to lie, a lot of men would love the opportunity to date a beautiful girl who loves sports.
With no work left for them in 2011, the NFL cheerleaders will be back on the market and have copious amounts of free time.
Men, think about all the incredible opportunities that this situation leaves you.
Should you take advantage? I think so.
But hurry! This is for a limited time only! Tiger might get to them before you!
...raises a cat.
We would never know if we missed out on watching the Buffalo Bills play the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl.
Can you imagine the huge ratings that Ryan Fitzpatrick would draw as he went up against John Skelton, Max Hall, Derek Anderson or whoever else the Cardinals can throw out at the quarterback position?
With no NFL in 2011, we could be missing this matchup.
There are so many arrests during the season, even when the NFL players have to work and play.
Now without any practices, arrests of NFL players would increase tenfold.
Roger Goodell would end up suspending half the league indefinitely for the 2012 season and a second lockout would ensue.
Yes, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is in the picture for a reason.
Kleenex could very well ascend into the lofty ranks of the Fortune 500.
Tissue sales will reach record highs during 2011 thanks to the dramatic increase in the number of grown men sitting alone and sobbing on their couches every Sunday afternoon.
You have to have something to mop up all those tears with.
Without the NFL to talk about, ESPN anchors will be forced to talk about the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Duke Blue Devils, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics all the time.
Wait, you're telling me they already talk about them all the time?
Fine. In that case, they'll just talk about them even more. For some of these teams they might even create a whole new page on ESPN dedicated solely to that team or city, like the Heat Index or ESPN New York.
That's happened too!?!?!
I give up.
Al Davis and Cam Newton
It doesn't even matter that football won't be played.
Al Davis will still insist on acquiring Cameron Newton for his beloved Oakland Raiders. Newton is an athletic freak of nature so he has to end up on Davis' team.
Whether it's through a draft or trade, Newton would have to become a Raider and follow in JaMarcus Russell's really big footsteps.
Al Davis and Hue Jackson
Al Davis will end up firing Hue Jackson in 2011.
There's no way that Jackson will be able to get along with Davis and the two will fight enough internally that Jackson will not be retained into 2012.
It doesn't matter that they won't even have to work together. They'll still fight.
Davis' history with coaches is too filled with bad breakups. This one is inevitable.
Without the pressure that comes with being the head coach of an NFL team, Rex Ryan will have time to relax and find a new hobby.
Ryan will end up launching a whole new genre of YouTube videos, all of which will immediately go viral.
Each and every video will be shot with the cameras pointing directly at the feet of the actors and actresses.
In 2008, the Detroit Lions became the first team in the history of the NFL to finish the regular season with a perfectly imperfect 0-16 record.
Now in 2011 they'll go winless again.
I feel bad for the Lions sometimes. It must be tough to have two calendar years in a three-year span without any wins.
The WNBA will get more TV time and fans.
For those of you that don't know, the WNBA is the Women's National Basketball Association.
See, if I wrote this slide after 2011, I wouldn't have to explain that!
When was the last time you watched an NFL game without seeing an advertisement for Vizio.
Well, without that onslaught on our optical nerves, Vizio would go bankrupt in 2011.
That is, unless they figured out that they could advertise during other major sports.
If you're reading this and you know someone that works for Vizio, please don't tell them that.
Without the whole having to play quarterback thing getting in the way, Peyton Manning will finally have a chance to pursue his true love.
He's going to have the chance to shoot some commercials, which the current Indianapolis Colt has allegedly always wanted to do.
He seems to be a pretty boring guy on the football field, so I'm not sure that he can be successful at this new career path. But hey, stranger things have happened and the sneak previews have gotten rave reviews so far.
Antonio Cromartie Takes Over the World
Antonio Cromartie has so many kids that he can't even remember all of their names.
We know for sure that he has at least nine different kids and the mother count is up to a minimum of eight. I'm sure there are some that we're all in the dark about.
With a whole year off, Antonio Cromartie will produce so many offspring that he'll be able to build up an army of children and take over the world once they grow up.
They'll all have nice, athletic genes for sure.
As Urban Dictionary says, a cheesehead is "a cheese-eating, beer-drinking, Green Bay Packers-cheering Wisconsin resident." The most important part of that sentence was the part about the football team.
But with the NFL defunct during 2011, the people of Wisconsin would need to find a new claim to fame.
To do so they would fill Lambeau Field with their melted cheese hats to make the world's biggest bowl of queso. Then people will actually still come visit and the tourism industry wouldn't completely die off.
Tony Dungy Mentors Entire NFL
Lately, Tony Dungy has made a habit of taking troubled NFL players under his wing and teaching them to be both better human beings and better football players.
If there's no football, every player in the NFL will be quite troubled. Therefore, Dungy will take all of the players under his wing and mentor the entire NFL.
Afterwards, he'll write a book about the experience. The book will also contain subtle hints about how to show emotion, all directed at his replacement with the Colts, Jim Caldwell.
Without the ability to show off his guns while working as a referee during NFL games, Ed Hochuli will finally have time to workout.
He'll be seen all throughout the country in various gyms. What time of day you ask?
All day, every day.
The man does after all need to build some muscle mass.
Jay Cutler will still throw at least 10 interceptions.
And then if you ask him if he'd keep throwing the ball at the defender who picked off his passes, he will undoubtedly answer yes.
Gus Johnson Will Popularize New Sports
As Bill Simmons astutely pointed out with his Law of Gus, when Gus Johnson announces an NFL game, it tends to have a great finish. Maybe it's that captivating scream that just inspires a great finish.
The voice that raises at least 100 decibels and becomes somewhat incomprehensible during exciting moments just has a knack for making things entertaining. I have yet to hear a dull Gus Johnson call.
In 2011, Johnson will have to find a new sport to announce for.
Gus Johnson will end up announcing competitive Yahtzee matches. And I will watch.
Brett Favre will still want the media attention. That's just not going to change.
He's still going to hold ESPN hostage and make them publish reports about how he's thinking about thinking about trying to decide whether or not he should start deciding whether or not to begin choosing whether or not he should come back.
Then, he'll still choose to unretire.
The only difference is, in 2011 he'll unretire and go play in the CFL.
We all do it enough already.
Imagine how much we'll all complain about the BCS in 2011 without professional football to distract us.
Could this actually get that much-needed playoff system created? That would be an unbelievably benefit of the lockout.
But in the end, the non-automatic qualifiers will probably be stuck in the same spot they are now.
At least we'll get to keep complaining!
Just looking at that picture, I can't stop shaking my head.
I like hoodies. I wear them all the time. Right now in my room I have my two trusty Georgia Bulldogs hoodies and another Jacksonville Jaguars hoodie. In the room over I have two more generic ones.
They're just great things to wear on a cold day.
But now that Bill Belichick will be on the loose without the ability to coach the New England Patriots, he will single-handedly destroy the entire hoodie industry by cutting off the sleeves of each and every one.
Someone will have to stop him.
When the NFL goes down, one of the other professional football leagues will have to take it's place.
The Lingerie Football League, or LFL, is going to be that league. CBS and Fox will give the league one-year contracts and ESPN's rating will soar once they start showing highlights.
What red-blooded male wouldn't turn on an LFL game?
Handicaps Will Go Down
With all the spare time on their hands, the people that would have been following the NFL will have to find something else to do.
One activity could be played out on the golf course. Men and women alike will spend the extra hours practicing their bunker play and honing their skills with a putter. Then they'll make their way to the driving range and spend time blasting dimpled-ball after dimpled-ball into the distance.
All the extra practice will undoubtedly result in much lower handicaps.
Last year, in an interview with Adam Schefter, Brandon Marshall actually said that he will pursue a career in the NBA if there is a lockout in the NFL.
"My first team will be the Nuggets and my second team will be the Heat. I'm serious."
"There's not going to be any football. If there's a lockout, I have to find a job...I'm gonna get with a basketball coach and get to work, prepare for the lockout."
"Not pursuing. I'm going to be on an NBA team. I'm serious."
Sounds like he's not kidding. This is his chance. The summer league would be a good place to begin.
People Are Productive
I know it's hard to believe, but without the distraction that the NFL and fantasy football provide, people will actually be productive at work.
If you need to, take a second to recover from the shock and read the previous sentence one more time to make sure you understand.
No more will employees hit a boss button when necessary. They'll actually be using the Internet for more valid things, like checking baseball scores.
Paid College Football Players
College football players already demand so much of the nation's attention. Now without their pro counterparts, they'll draw even more.
In fact, they'll gain their respective schools so much additional attention that the NCAA will have no choice but to change the rules and allow the athletes to be paid.
$180,000 could be a decent base salary.
People Will Actually Pay Attention In School
As a sophomore in college, I have to admit that I'm just as guilty of this as many other people are.
When a professor's lecture isn't particularly entertaining, I may surf the Internet and check out some articles about the NFL.
However, if the NFL goes away, I guess I'll just have to start giving my undivided attention to class again.
We Will Actually Be Able To Sleep
Without the games lasting into ungodly hours of the night we'll be able to get to bed earlier.
That's even more true when you consider the fact that we won't be spending those late hours at our computers reading about the NFL.
Sure, we may find something else to do, but the overall level of sleep deprivation will be lowered.
Now that he's out as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Mike Singletary has been hired as the linebackers coach of the Minnesota Vikings.
That won't matter if there's a lockout in 2011.
Fortunately, Singletary has a great backup option.
He's proven that he's fine with dropping his pants down to the floor, so he'll probably end up working as a stripper during 2011.
Unemployed Media Members
On a quick serious note, one thing that will change is the job situations for many reporters and media members that focus primarily on the NFL.
Sure, they'll have jobs again as soon as the NFL starts back up, but we could see a bit of an unemployment spike in 2011 as a result of a lockout.
Thanksgiving Would Be Boring
The Thanksgiving Day Classic has been a staple in many American households.
Just as turkey is synonymous with Thanksgiving, so too is football.
Without the NFL, the tryptophan might actually make people fall asleep on a much-more boring, football-less holiday.
We'd Be More Informed
I'm sure I'm not alone in this one.
A lot of times, I skip straight past the actual news part and skip to the sports news. Without the NFL, I'll be much more likely to stop and read what's going on in our world outside of the sports bubble.
So in a way, one positive life change would be that a lot of us would become more well informed about the world around us.
Downtime Would Lead to Better Football In 2012
With the whole year off, the front office members of the NFL would have a year to settle all the problems.
The concussion issue would be discussed for quite some time, as would the possibility of extending the regular season to 18 games.
I'm sure that rules would be changed for the better and 2011 would be a great time to re-evaluate the state of professional football.
Basically, the downtime would lead to a better brand of football in 2012.
All of the time that we spend on fantasy football would have to be reallocated into other aspects of life.
For example, we could spend more time playing fantasy baseball and preparing for fantasy basketball and fantasy hockey.
After all, once you get into fantasy, you can never give it up.
Even though Michael Vick didn't ever play baseball at Virginia Tech, he was still drafted in the 30th round by the Colorado Rockies back in 2000.
Since he can't play football in 2011, maybe Vick will go out for Spring Training and try to pick up a different sport.
What if the Rockies found a hidden gem?
I wish I could remember my dreams more often.
After Inception, a lot of people started thinking about dreams and who knows, we could be in one right now.
But without professional football being played out before our very eyes, we'd have to get our fix somehow. I'm sure that at some point I would start dreaming about Maurice Jones-Drew running through the Indianapolis Colts defense for a long touchdown.
The Next Baby Boom
With no football to watch, people will have to find other things to do.
As a result, the next baby boom will occur oh, about nine months after the NFL season would have started.
I'll let you connect the dots.
Education Level Goes Up
Without the ability to play in the NFL, more athletes may be tempted to stay in school for extra years.
This would lead to these athletes getting a better education, which would in turn lead to a more educated overall population.
That would absolutely be another positive to the lockout.
With a year to think about it, people may finally realize that passer rating is not a very good statistic at all.
There's a new stat out there called Passer Score that is far more effective, and hopefully it will be adopted by the end of 2011.
If you're curious, here's a link to an article about it: NFL Passer Score: A New and Improved Statistic For Measuring QB Play.
You may notice that some guy named Adam Fromal wrote the article I linked you to. I can assure you that he knows what he's talking about.
The Time Off Makes Us Go Crazy
As hyped as the season gets after just one offseason, imagine what will happen when we have all of 2011 and half of 2012 to get ready for the next football season.
I usually go crazy in the weeks leading up to the first preseason game and I can't imagine how hard it will be to make it through all that time.
We'll probably all end up like the Minnesota Vikings fan in the picture to the left.
If there's a lockout, the formerly-talented wide receiver will have a better season in 2011 then he did in 2010.
Wes Welker has found his true calling.
Sure, he can catch more passes than anyone else in the NFL and is the premier slot receiver, but that's not what he'll be doing.
Without the NFL to fall back on, Welker will become a stand-up comedian who specializes in making subtle references to feet.
The world wouldn't just change without the NFL in 2011.
It would end.