Saturday, February 22, 2020

A hard no

I'm with JJ Watts on the new NFL proposal to the NFLPA:
The new proposal includes expanding the NFL's regular-season schedule to 17 games, which wouldn't go into effect until 2021 at the earliest. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported earlier this week that the proposal would also boost the sport's postseason from six teams per conference to seven.
The NFL has been remarkably stupid under Roger Goodell. But this takes the cake, especially in light of the appearance of a new potential competitor. Watering down the regular season AND the postseason defies belief.

All sports leagues make changes in the hopes of increasing revenue. But as NASCAR has demonstrated over the last decade, it's very far from impossible for these changes to result in steeply declining revenues.



Blogger Fred February 22, 2020 8:05 AM  

XFL is the bomb. No primadonna douchebag players and the best part, good rules and apparently, officials can find their behinds with both hands, unlike the NFL.

Blogger tdcommenter February 22, 2020 8:38 AM  

The NFL might want to do like Sonic the Hedgehog and ask their core fan base who have followed their team for a lfetime.

The rule change I want is for the 5 inactivated players be available for a one way substitution. That way, play won't come to a grinding halt if the 2nd AN or kicker goes down. Freely substituting the last five would lead to more specialization of each player.

Blogger Dave February 22, 2020 8:39 AM  

There's talk the 17th game would be at a neutral site including non-NFL cities.

Blogger Johnny Reb February 22, 2020 8:43 AM  

At least the NFL hasn't proposed the idea of playoff teams picking their opponents like MLB.

Anonymous Anonymous February 22, 2020 8:43 AM  

The NBA, MLB, and the NHL are all also considering ways to dilute their product (pick your playoff opponent, seeding regardless of conference, whatever the bearded freaks on ice are doing) and expand into "markets" that will never buy their product no matter what scheme they come up with.

Blogger Daniel February 22, 2020 8:43 AM  

The officials in the NFL have their hands tied. The XFL has a clean officiating structure with simple guidance. The NFL has a tradition-bound officiating structure with an ever-expanding Byzantine set of often contradictory guidance.

Expanding games and playoffs is an illustration of this. The XFL solves a problem; the NFL starts with a solution, then starts looking for problems to fit it. "Growth" is not a sane business model, but all the bug leagues act as if it is the only model. See also the Chinaphilia of the NBA.

Blogger Johnny February 22, 2020 8:52 AM  

Well, they are a bunch of business guys, and they have probably had some drop in revenue owing to declining attendance and viewership. You know, the take a knee, the thumb your nose at the customer movement.

So... I know, lets make up for declining sales per game with more games. What could possibly go wrong? [;^)

Blogger Lazarus February 22, 2020 9:02 AM  

JJ is an elite making the big bucks. Of course he doesn't want more work.

The increase in pay packages for Rookies and minimun salary players will probably get them on board.

Even practice squad players are offered a 30% increase It may be short sighted, but mama needs a new pair of shoes.

The proposal looks like a divide and conquer move.

Blogger Damelon Brinn February 22, 2020 9:11 AM  

The even dumber move is the push for more international games. It's James Taggart building tracks to people's states, and should turn out about as beneficial. They already had their equivalent of one train crash two years ago, when a game in Mexico City had to be cancelled because the field was too bad to play on. Not many things can stop an NFL game, but Mexican landscaping is one of them.

Blogger JG February 22, 2020 9:20 AM  

People aren't showing up for NFL games, so let's create more games for them not to show up for.

Nice strategy.

Blogger Nate February 22, 2020 9:24 AM  

jesus... this is exactly like politicians.. pass a new millionaire tax... because the numbers say it will bring X more tax revenue. then.. gasped in horror when total revenue drops through the floor instead.

imagine how stupid you have to be to ruin the nfl...

Blogger Cinco February 22, 2020 9:28 AM  

I don’t want a longer regular season; however, the 7 team post season seems like a marked improvement to me. It will increase competition towards the end of the season and reward ONLY the conference champion with a week off instead of the top 2 getting a bye (which has always been ridiculous IMHO.

Blogger Johnny Reb February 22, 2020 9:28 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Shane Bradman February 22, 2020 10:03 AM  

Will the weekly NFL threads be replaced by weekly XFL threads? Unfortunately there's no way to watch it for me, but I'm paying attention to the season.

Blogger peacefulposter February 22, 2020 10:14 AM  

The God Emperor buzzing the Daytona 500 in Air Force One last weekend was a sight to behold.

Blogger Azimus February 22, 2020 10:42 AM  

I always thought the "graduation league" similar to the European soccer leagues was a newt concept and gave even the mediocre teams something to play for through the whole season - but there might not be enough NFL teams to make it work.

Blogger The Masked Menace February 22, 2020 10:44 AM  

The current NFL structure is near perfect. They shouldn't mess with it. The last thing I want to see right now is more playoff teams and a longer season.

Blogger Johnny February 22, 2020 10:44 AM  

Kind of off topic here, just thinking about things. I wonder if there would be an appeal in a competition that resembles how children play king of the hill. No season, just at any given time somebody is rated the best, maybe like the way they rate the big ten college teams. After every round of play celebrate whoever is on top and let it go at that. It would be the endless season.

Blogger The Masked Menace February 22, 2020 10:46 AM  

I'm really enjoying the XFL. Eight teams, two divisions, ten game season, four team playoffs. Simple is beautiful.

Blogger BillHinDaytona February 22, 2020 10:54 AM  

You crown regular season conference champions based on tiebreakers. Then have a 32-team single elimination tournament with these rules:

1. Rounds 1 and 2 will be played the same day and are sudden-death elimination games.

The division winners each get home field advantage and four teams will be at the venue for the first weekend. Higher seeds start with the ball on the 35 yard line, no kickoff. First team to score in any way wins. You play the first round of games, then take a break, then the second sudden-death game, and 8 teams move on to the next round, which are played and seeded like normal.

Blogger The Masked Menace February 22, 2020 10:56 AM  

The one thing I enjoyed most about major league baseball was the old pennant race (now the race for the division title). The meaning of it has been slowly diluted over the decades and I've slowly lost interest in the sport. The 162 game season will soon be meaningless.

Blogger The Masked Menace February 22, 2020 11:00 AM  

If the NFL keeps adding teams to the playoff structure they'll soon make the divisions meaningless.

Blogger Servant February 22, 2020 11:14 AM  

Yeah the tax analogy works. There's some study that pins wealth extraction through tax at a hard number, and when you exceed that markets collapse, capital moves, etc.

But if we can just find a way to cut the goose open, and get all the eggs out at once.

Blogger YIH February 22, 2020 11:17 AM  

I'm not that fond of the current schedule as it is with the final regular season game being after Christmas. Add a week 17 and the regular season blows past New Year's. And who (in the world, literally) wants pro football? London? I doubt it. Mexico City (even if they get the field fit to play)? Doubt it. Tokyo? They're at best indifferent to American football even with a dome. Toronto? Maybe and at least they have a dome too.
The current 16 week schedule meshes well with the 32 team league, it ain't broke don't break it. Nor am I in favor of adding an extra playoff team, the current playoff setup works fine.

Blogger The Depolrable Podunk Ken Ramsey February 22, 2020 11:22 AM  

They should be purging all the SJWs from the NFL umbrella. The SJWs have clearly done great damage and verified their toxicity to all. If you don't purge them they will continue to metastasize. Every other consideration is diverted energy. But what do I know.

Blogger Ransom Smith February 22, 2020 1:21 PM  

I always thought the "graduation league" similar to the European soccer leagues was a newt concept and gave even the mediocre teams something to play for
They've been discussing pro/rel in US soccer for decades and nothing has come of it.
It's one thing in Europe where they're use to it.
But in the US, no Billionaire will agree to risk losing out on those sweet dollars.
Just ask The Hunts, who own both the Chiefs and FC Dallas.

Blogger Manuel February 22, 2020 1:56 PM  

Keep the 17 weeks but give every team two bye weeks. This increases the importance of divisional games. Get rid of the Pro Bowl too and Thursday Night Football minus Thanksgiving.

Blogger James Dixon February 22, 2020 2:24 PM  

It would actually be in the interests of almost everyone to go back to a 14 or even 12 game season. But that would cut into revenues, so it's not going to happen.

> There's some study that pins wealth extraction through tax at a hard number, and when you exceed that markets collapse, capital moves, etc.

It's called the Laffer curve:

Blogger Daniel February 22, 2020 2:42 PM  

The Roughnecks just went for and picked up a 3 pt conversion, negating the Vipers field goal with an extra point try.

That is innovation that enhances the game.

Blogger Retrenched February 22, 2020 3:21 PM  

I hope they don't add a 17th game; the 16 game schedule works great as is. That said, if they go forward with the extra game then hopefully they'll use it to create new rivalry games we don't currently get due to conference separation. I'm thinking maybe we could get games like Cowboys-Texans, Rams-Chargers, Bills-Giants and Dolphins-Bics, played at neutral sites so each team still gets 8 home games and 8 road games every year.

If they're going to do this they should at least do it right.

Blogger Silly but True February 22, 2020 5:17 PM  

What a lack if vision. Rest of society is generally there already so they should be proposing to UN to use their games to settle international disputes. Then the changes could include addition of motorcycles, spiked gloves, and make the football solid metal that gets forward movement through a pneumatic launcher.

Blogger CoolHand February 22, 2020 7:25 PM  

NASCAR's problem is that while Bill France SR & JR both loved and lived amongst their rural southern fan base, their eventual successor Brian France preferred to live in NY City and far from loving the rural fan base, he was perpetually embarrassed by them and wanted to remake NASCAR in search of that elusive "New Fan" that would be urban and sophisticated and definitely not white with a funny accent.

Of course, this New Fan never existed and thus could not be courted and won, no matter how badly you mangled the sport and pissed off the dedicated fans you already had.

Happily, year before last, someone set Brian France up to get pulled over drunk off his ass coming home from his usual dinner spot, which allowed the NASCAR board to shitcan him and install a new CEO who wants to go back to the old ways.

He's making some headway in that regard, but it'll be a long road back, and a lot of fans will never return.

The big Madison Ave money that Brian France brought in from NYC (which precipitated the quest for the New Fan in the first place) is never coming back, and teams seem mostly to be dealing with that fact in a rational manner.

There's no title sponsor this year, so that tells me that their advertising pull is still going down.

Hopefully the new guy can repair enough damage to keep the thing from going tits up entirely.

To tell you the truth though, it wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit if NASCAR were to return to being just a rural southern thing, smaller and true to its roots again.

Less money, less show, less national reach, but better racing and better people overall.

A lot of people would call that failure, but IMO it would be a win for the fans that are actually left.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 22, 2020 8:03 PM  

@32, How about if NASCAR drove stock cars again?

Blogger Johnny Reb February 23, 2020 12:27 AM  

I agree except that the wild card shoul be eliminated from the playoffs.

Blogger CoolHand February 23, 2020 2:32 AM  

@33 You'd have a lot more dead racecar drivers and a show that is more boring than you can possibly imagine.

For a hint at what "showroom stock" racing would look like in modern cars, go have a look at the British Touring Car Championship.

Ugly slow little shitbox "racecars" that cannot tolerate any contact at all, and which are so poorly matched between makes that they actually have a rule where they hang lead on the winner of the last race to make it impossible for him to win the next race. They call it "success ballast", I shit you not.

There's nothing wrong with the racing in the Cup Series that is caused by running a tube chassis car. The problems are mostly to do with how aerodynamic a given body is and how much aero dominates the equation in the 150+ MPH range.

The racing IS getting better, but there's only so much you can do with the mile and a half tracks, which is why the new guy is pushing to drop many of the mile and a half's and replace them in the schedule with short tracks (defined by NASCAR as tracks with a lap of one mile or less in length).

We'll see if that ever happens, but it would significantly assist in unfucking the current situation.

Blogger Akulkis February 23, 2020 2:51 AM  

"whatever the bearded freaks on ice are doing"

Just because you can't follow the puck and the action when it's on TV, or understand the concept that off-sides is determined at the blue lines and ONLY at the blue-lines doesn't make hockey confusing. The rules are FAR simpler than those of (US & Canadian) football, and on the same level of complexity as soccer.

Blogger Akulkis February 23, 2020 2:53 AM  

"They already had their equivalent of one train crash two years ago, when a game in Mexico City had to be cancelled because the field was too bad to play on. Not many things can stop an NFL game, but Mexican landscaping is one of them."

So you're implying that all of these lawn and landscaping companies hiring all Mexican labor crews is just another example of a scam? Tell me it ain't so! [/sarc]

Blogger Akulkis February 23, 2020 3:09 AM  

You crown regular season conference champions based on tiebreakers. Then have a 32-team single elimination tournament with these rules:

"1. Rounds 1 and 2 will be played the same day and are sudden-death elimination games."

No... just no.

Do you even understand the concept of critical thinking, and what it entails, such as "if policy X is implemented, what would happen and how would that play out?"

To begin with, your idea would make the regular season all but meaningless.

Also, the primary root cause of injuries in football -- DISABLED LIST types of injuries, is the injured player having been on the field, in play, when he was too fatigued to have had any good reason to be there.

It takes most NFL players 3-4 days to recover from a game (one reason why Thursday night games tend to have more injuries than the rest of that week's games played on Sunday).

And through all of this, there would be huge incentive to NOT play well at all during the season. It would essentially turn the entire season into something akin to the pre-season. Nothing matters, not even the scores, so why even try to win?

As it is, far too many teams make it into the playoffs.

There has never been a single pro sports championship in the US which was won by a "wildcard" team.

The playoff system should be of division winners only. I don't care if the 2nd place team in one division has a 3-game better record than the division champ in another division. If you want to make the playoffs, WIN YOUR DIVISION, because, as I noted, not a single Superbowl, World Series, NBA championship, or Stanley cup has EVER been won by a wildcard team.

The whole purpose of that has been to add one more week (in football) or one more round of playoff games to the play-off portion of the season.

"But our league has 6 divisions. WE can't even make a sensible playoff system without 2 wildcard teams!"
There's a simple soluition for that -- change your league structure to one with either 4 or 8 divisions, because only a complete retard would make a 6-division league, knowing that throws the playoff system out of whack, just so a couple of teams that "if they were in a different division" WHICH THEY AREN'T, can gain entry into the playoffs.

Blogger Akulkis February 23, 2020 3:25 AM  

"To tell you the truth though, it wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit if NASCAR were to return to being just a rural southern thing, smaller and true to its roots again."

the upper midwest, and especially Detroit used to love, Love, LOVE NASCAR.

But that was when the cars had to be modifications of cars that were designed at consumer vehicle design and tech centers (Dearborn for Ford, Livonia for GM (except Corvette in Tennessee), and Detroit for Chrysler (now Auburn Hills)), were driven with the same body panels as in the production vehicles (modified for different racing fuel ports, etc... but the SAME LINES as the street vehicles), and using the same frames as the street vehicles, starting with the same engine blocks available to customers ordering that model car in a dealer show room. Plymouth, for example, made sure that at least 500 Roadrunners were manufactured every year, so that they could put Roadrunners on the NASCAR circuit.

None of this "The whole car is built on a big slab of corrugated aluminum with some esoteric engine that no street purchaser could EVER modify his engine into, with suspension, transmission, and steering geometry absolutely, completely unlike anything coming out of the ANY production factory.


the SC in NASCAR, before it became "NASCAR" was *STOCK* *CAR*, as in "North American Stock Car Automobile Racing"

"Oh, we're gonna change that name to 'NASCAR'... rather than having that just be the initials for our real name." NOPE!
Once they took the words out of the name, NASCAR soon changed to being some weird variant of European "Formula Car" racing.

Formula Car racing is exciting to watch, when it's done on a winding, twising "road course." Formula Cars on an oval is just god-awful BORING.


Blogger Akulkis February 23, 2020 3:20 PM  

Weird shell strapped onto a tube frame attached to a big, flat, corrugated plate-mobile like some roll-caged go-kart with a a vaguely "street car-ish" aerodynamic sheath over it may make for fine racing, but one thing it isn't is this:

It ain't STOCK CAR racing.

NASCAR turned itself into some bizarro-universe version of F-whatever racing.

Race real street machines... even if that means going slower, and you'll find more interest. The Indy 500 started out as a manufacturers endurance competition, to prove to the public the durability of the cars they were producing. So, it started out as stock cars, then turned into an "unlimited" competition based on state-of-the-art technological advances, which had to prove themselves BEFORE being put into everyday household automobiles.

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing started out as a bunch of moonshine runners getting together to show off how fast their perfectly ordinary-looking vehicles (with hidden compartments for smuggling booze) with modified engines could go surprisingly fast and evade the cops.

But as long as its legal name is NASCAR, and not National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, I see no hope that they'll ever get back to the roots that made it as exciting as open-wheel racing, because the whole purpose of changing from the original name into formally making the initialism the legal name, was to divorce the organization from ANYTHING having to do with.... STOCK CARS.

Additionally, driving actual STOCK CARS would be interesting to the public. We all would LOVE to see cars that could get into a minor collision above 5-mph closing speed without the car needing $5000 or more of repair work.

The problem you relate about the British Touring Car Championship is obviously one that starts with stupid rules ... like the "last weeks winner must haul around a boat anchor" you mentioned.

If the cars are slow compared to the open-wheeled cars of F-1 and Indy/USAC & CART, then so be it -- the stock cars were ALWAYS slower than what was racing at Indy. However, stock cars can do things that open-wheeled cars can't. What a lot of the public would like to see is production cars that could still be in a sideswipe accident without the car self-destructing from inadvertent contact. People USED to watch Stock Car races just out of interest with regards to buying a new car, because those cars were so closely related to what was being pumped out of the 1000 vehicles/day assembly plants.

NASCAR has completely lost that segment of the market, but they could regain it by going back to the roots of all cars MUST start with a factory-production platform. Install roll-cages (as seen in police cars and some of the other racing circuits), but keep them looking and behaving like street vehicles, instead of weird, super-specialized cars wearing a vaguely "street machine" mask, and the public would come back.

Blogger CoolHand February 23, 2020 7:26 PM  

That segment of the market does not exist anymore.

How many kids do you see saying, "Man, if only that 200 MPH racecar looked more like my dad's Prius and only went 110 MPH, I'd be a race fan for life."

Cup cars stopped being "stock" in the early 1960's, and lost even the link to the production engine back in the late 1980's, yet the show did not start to suck and decline until the early 2000's.

If the stock being gone is what cause the problems, why was there a 30 year lag before it actually kicked in?

I'll tell you what happened.

Brian France happened, and with him came Madison Ave, and with THEM came the PC police trying to remake a redneck sport into professional tennis.

Gone were the colorful and fast country boy drivers, replaced by bland and bloodless Ken dolls.

Gone too were the old school announcers with color and a style all their own, replaced with fully PC compliant androids in place of the network people and Darrel Waltrip as the idiotic court jester version of his old self, all controversial topics replaced with stupid sayings and Boogitiy Boogity Boogity.

Basically, NASCAR shit on the fans they already had in search of new fans that Madison Ave could be less embarrassed about, and they ended up with no fans at all.

That's far from their only problem though, 'cause a lot of kids don't care about cars like they did 30 years ago, and that's not something that NASCAR did, that's cultural.

Hell, I know kids now who are turning 16 and not even bothering to take their driving test. They literally could not care less about cars or racing them, which is VERY bad news for the sport in general, not just Cup racing.

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