If I Could Force a Recall of Things I Don’t Like About the NFL…

ALLGBP.com All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker (center) with president Obama and Green Bay mayor xxxxxx.

Many Packers fans in Wisconsin are probably heading to the polls today to vote in the Scott Walker recall election. In case you are unaware of the recall and why it’s happening because the only thing you read is ALLGBP.com, Walker is being recalled because he took away collective bargaining rights for most public employees in Wisconsin.

In New York, mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ban the sale of sugary drinks that are larger than 16 ounces. The mayor’s idea has a lot of people up in arms and complaining about America becoming a “nanny state” with a government that invades our personal lives.

On the federal level, unless the Supreme Court says otherwise, all of us likely will be mandated to purchase health insurance thanks to president Obama’s healthcare law. That’s got a lot of people all worked up.

The last thing I want to do in this space is start a debate about the merits of allowing public employees to collectively bargain. I definitely don’t want to pontificate about how our ability to buy a 64-ounce Mountain Dew impacts our freedoms. And I for sure don’t want to ignite a health care debate.

Instead, I want to talk about football.

What if I became NFL commissioner and started coming up with rules and laws like Walker, Bloomberg and Obama? If I had the power to legislate against things I don’t like about the NFL, here’s what I would do.

  • Only rich people or super fans attend games these days. I don’t think that’s healthy for the game long-term. It’s important that casual fans who might not be worth six figures are able to attend a game every now and then. Therefore, I would mandate that teams sell 5,000 tickets to each game at $10 apiece. I wouldn’t mandate where these seats should be located. They can be in the nosebleeds. But if a middle-class family of four is able to take in a game for $40 once per season, I think the game’s popularity will be maintained well into the future. The purpose of this is law would not be to try and somehow legislate fairness. I truly believe that the game’s high prices will eventually disenfranchise the casual fan and the $10 seats would be one way to prevent that.
  • I cannot stand when there is a commercial after a touchdown, then the ensuing kickoff, then another commercial. I would ban the TD-commercial-kickoff-commercial idea. Then I would fire the person who originally thought this idea ever made sense. Have your commercial either after the touchdown or after the ensuing kickoff. Not both.
  • It’s ridiculous that NFL Sunday Ticket is only available on DirecTV. I would mandate that Sunday Ticket be available on all cable/satellite systems.
  • The NFL’s replay challenge system is silly. If it’s a close play, it should be reviewed. It’s unfair to have coaches in the booth cross their fingers and hope they can see a replay before the other team snaps the ball, then process what they see and relay it to the head coach so he can decide whether to toss a little red flag onto the field. All close plays should be reviewed by a replay official in the booth. There is no need for an on-field official to trot over to a giant TV on the sideline, do the review, trot back onto the field, and let everyone know the final call.
  • Football should be played outside. All indoor stadiums will be banned. Any team that does not convert its indoor stadium to outdoors by 2016 will begin each home game trailing 7-0 until they comply with the new rule. No retractable roofs either. All games must be played outside.
  • Football should be played on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights. I would get rid of Thursday night games (including the kickoff Thursday game) Sunday night games, and end-of-season Saturday night games. I hate how the NFL continues diluting its Sunday afternoon slate of games so they can put more marquee matchups on Sunday night, Thursday night and Monday night. Football is best when you have an entire week of buildup and a complete onslaught of games to follow and digest on Sunday afternoon. Then you can use Sunday night to recover, go to work on Monday, and come home to cap off the week with Monday Night Football. This is the schedule that got me hooked on the league and the NFL should stick to it.
  • Bill Belichick should not be allowed to dress like a homless person on the sideline. I saw Belichick at the Celtics-Heat playoff game last night and he was decked out in a fancy suit and tie. Why does he dress up all fancy for an NBA game, but dresses like this at work?

That should be enough new rules and laws to get started. I wouldn’t want to get recalled right away like Walker. My plan would be to slowly consolidate power and turn into a dictator before people realize that they’ve elected a madman for commissioner.

How about all of you? If you were put in charge of the NFL and decided to go all Walker/Bloomberg/Obama, what would you change?

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • Steve Cheez

    I can’t argue with any of these, Adam.
    I would go one further with the Sunday Ticket thing, though: Make it so you can buy all the games of one team rather than just the whole package. I have to buy it to see my Pack, but it irks me to have to pay extra to get the Jaguars-Titans tilt.

    • Adam Czech

      That’d be fine, but I don’t mind having to pay a little more to get all the games. It makes the non-Packers games much more interesting when you can flip around.

  • JimR_in_DC

    Head Coaches should wear a suit on the sideline.

    • Adam Czech

      Also, with a suit coaches have several additional accessories to tear off and throw to the ground if they’re mad. Tie, jacket, cufflinks, perhaps a hat. Maybe even a belt if someone gets really mad.

      • JimR_in_DC

        Excellent point, Adam!

      • Ed

        Plus it would force the sports apparel companies to develop a line of formal and/or business wear. That could only be a good thing, as whatever somebody like NIKE designs plain has to be more comfortable than the traditional money suit.

        • Ed

          That should have been ‘monkey’ suit

  • Dan

    Haha, good article, however, I like that there are games on Thursday, Sunday night, Saturdays ,ect. It allows me to watch more full games live. I can only watch one full game live at a time on Sundays , so why not have more access to live games? Heck, put some on Friday night.

    • Adam Czech

      You need to work on your remote control skills so you can watch multiple games at a timeon Sundays.

      • PackersRS

        OR, you don’t live in the US thus you don’t have access to multiple games Sunday, whereas you do if they’re played Thursday and Sunday night.

        I’m completely against that one point of yours, but the others make sense.

    • BubbaOne

      The NFL leaves Friday night alone for high school football. The same is true to a degree w/ Saturday being for college football. Conversely, I don’t think the NFL wants the local college game on the Sunday the local NFL team has a bye.
      I do hear you re wanting to see more games live, I just don’t know the solution esp since I don’t like the quick turnaround for Thursday games.

      • Ed

        The Thursday games are silly and should only happen on Thanksgiving.

        The thing about Sunday night games is that it alows flex scheduling, so they can avoid meaningless games on late season Monday nights.

        So I prefer the Sunday night featured game.

  • Chazman

    Appendum to the $10 nosebleeds. Before the game starts, randomly select 4 tickets in the nosebleeds and move them to the 50 yard line sweet seats. That way one lucky family gets to experience the game up close and personal.

    One last thing, I think it should be mandatory for all coaches to wear suit and ties during game day. Although they get their choice of headgear (Lombardi or Landry Fedora).

    • Adam Czech

      If I were a coach that got forced against my will to wear a suit, I’d wear the red challenge flag around my neck like a bandana and dress like a cowboy.

      • JimR_in_DC

        Depending on the type of job and employer, a dress code is not uncommon. I don’t think twice about my business attire. But if you want to dress like a cowboy, Adam, I support your right to do so. :p

      • Chazman

        A professional looking cowboy suit with Rhinestones and such would be acceptable, however you must also where leather chaps but you could emblazon the logo of your team on them.

        • JimR_in_DC

          Would a 10 gallon hat with steer horns be required as part of the professional looking ensemble? ;)

    • Steve Cheez

      Do they get to smoke on the sideline like Lombardi?

      • JimR_in_DC

        Naturally.

      • Chazman

        But not inhale . . .

        • JimR_in_DC

          Right. The NFL needs to look out for the coaches’ health.

          • Adam Czech

            We’re banning soda pop in NYC, so I doubt letting coaches smoke on the sideline would fly.

  • john driscoll austin texas

    great article!!, would love to take my grandkids to a Packer game, living in central Texas, far away and pre-season is a no go, Houston game is sunday night!!, also, your point about outside games is great up there, we need the AC down here much of the season, thanks for anything football to read in June

  • BubbaOne

    If I were dictator, football people and not TV execs would decide starting times and in-game decisions.
    The 2007 NFL championship game would have started at noon when games usually start, not 5:30pm. The noon temp was 12 degrees, instead the game time temp was minus 3. At a Packer/Bear game at Soldier Field I was sitting in minus 18 wind chill waiting for the TV timeout to be over.
    W/ all the creature comforts at home and the expense and hassle of going to some games the powers that be better take more care of the fans in the seats.

    I like your idea of cheap seats. I would be okay if they’re $20 per but I would have 12 seats (3 groups of 4) in every section of the stadium. The group would be handed the envelope as they entered a special gate and would proceed to wherever their seats were. You could be sitting on the 50 yd line Row 6 or the nose bleeds.

  • Butch

    I agree with everything except saving football for Sunday and Monday nights, as the other games give me a chance to see more out of market games. Although if Sunday Ticket was available to everyone, it would solve that problem.

    Love the $10 ticket idea, like bleacher seats in baseball.

    Great ideas, but of course they’ll never happen. The NFL is all about making money — in fact, making as much money as possible. 5,000 seats at $10 means a loss of 5,000 seats that could be sold for $100. No commercials after the kickoff means less commercials. Even the ridiculous challenge system gives them a chance to shoehorn in more commercials.

    So they’ll never happen, but I like these ideas. You have my vote for NFL Czar!

  • Michael

    Adam,you should take a 70% paycut for 50 working days a year. The general public would benefit greatly for the cut in costs for the service your job provides! Sure I love the nfl, as much, if not more than you! but if it fails, so what, we will still live n enjoy what we enjoy! really, all the nfl does is keep too many people inside when they should be taking their kids out fishing or exploring other aspects of the real world!!! do things instead of watching others do things!! all this litigation, the legs of nfl are wobbling! as sad as it is…. i will miss it unless i die first!!

    • Adam Czech

      If my kid ever asks to go fishing instead of watching the Packers, I’m sending him straight to to his room without dinner.

      • BubbaOne

        Adam
        No, send them straight to Michael’s house.

    • Tarynfor12

      Depending on how the season goes,17-20 weeks which would absorb one day of each weekend or the maximun of 20 days of the 365 for PACKER football..you and your children cannot be satified with at least 32 weekends or 345 days of whatevers.
      Now thats an unsatified addiction.

      • Chazman

        Uh . . . yeah what he said.

  • JimR_in_DC

    By the way,Adam, great post!

    • Adam Czech

      Thanks Jim.

  • Mojo

    Although I’m no big fan of high ticket prices, I do think to claim only the rich and die-hard fans attend games based on what the Packers charge is a vast overstatement (tickets in the end-zone seats (sections 100-108, 131-138, 303-312 and 340-354) are $72, tickets from the 20‐yard line to the end zone (sections 109-114, 125-130, 314-320 and 332-338) are $80, and tickets between the 20-yard lines (sections 115-124 and 322-330) are $92. Comparatively speaking around the NFC North for the 2011 season, the best sideline seat for the Vikings was $143, the Bears $140, and the Lions $110.)

    So, for a group of four you blow between $288 and $368 for the tickets. A good amount of money, but not really all that much when you consider an average family of four blows nearly $300 bucks a month on their phone packages! Somehow we can afford to spend tons of money on discretionary phone and cable bill costs (don’t get me going on $5 cups of coffee) and yet can’t blow around three to four hundred for a Packer game? Until people reign in their other prodigious discretionary spending, don’t give me a sob story about how you can’t afford tickets.

    • Adam Czech

      It’s got nothing to do w/ a sob story and everything to do with maintaining the game’s success and popularity over the long term.

      I’m not doing the cheap seat option to try and make things “fair” or because I feel bad about certain people not being able to attend games. I’m doing it because I think, in the long run, the more casual or non-rich fans we can get in the door for a live NFL experience, the better off the game will be down the road.

      Yeah, it’s nice to rake in obscene amounts of cash in the short term, but it’s better to rake in large amounts of cash in the long term. I think the cheap seat option helps the game’s popularity over the long term.

      The fact that you think fans would choose a cell phone and cable TV over attending an NFL game proves my point. The NFL is not competing with other sports, they’re competing with other entertainment options, which includes cell phones and TVs. Like any business, the NFL needs to position itself to win that battle, and I don’t think that charging insanely high prices for games is the right way to do it.

      Bubbles burst. Maybe I’m way off base to think that the NFL bubble will ever burst, but man, prices are ridiulous right now and I feel it damages the game’s long-term economic outlook.

      • Oppy

        Television ratings are soaring, and that’s where the real cash cow for the sport lies.

        Stadium ticket sales are a nice boon for individual franchise owners, but the league- the game of football- makes its money in Broadcasting revenue and merchandise.

        The game will always be fine so long as people tune it on TV.. The market will determine fair price for ticket sales. Trust me, when people no longer wish to pay the price to sit in the stands, the ticket prices will start to drop. Until then, don’t forget that the fan who no longer finds the seats worth the cash they are asking, will most assuredly still be tuning into the telecast.

        • Nostrodomus

          It won’t be long before the NFL network has ALL the games, and charges a premium. Look at the current trend. Need to boycott cable football (never happen!).

  • A_Lerxst_in_Packerland

    I would choose a suit like this if I were a coach and was required to wear one:
    http://bit.ly/KCtxdU

    Or perhaps this one, I can’t decide:
    http://bit.ly/NFuXm6

    That being said, the hoodie is ridiculous and Belichick should be fined or his team penalized every game he wears it.

  • Chad Lundberg

    I strongly disagree with your assertion about having it only Sunday Mornings and Monday nights. I HATE waiting a whole week to watch another football game, plus, it’s terrible to have to soak in 15 games in just a six hour span on Sundays.

    For companies and businesses to grow, they have to change, and that’s what the NFL is doing. Don’t confuse a company that’s making moves in attempt to move forward with something that you’re just having a hard time getting used to.

    I’ve had my beefs with Goodell as well, but I do like some of the moves he’s made.

    Also, having absolutely every stadium turned into an outdoor stadium? You do know that you’re talking about billions of dollars in expenses right?

    • Steve Cheez

      They should have thought about that when they built the stupid things in the first place

  • Dan

    Here’s to NFL football games for every day of the week…LOL

  • Turophile

    Have an edited game available to watch later (or next day) with the only adverts shown being after each quarter.

    Select one third of all commentators that are the least insightful, least informative, least prepared. Take them out behind the abattoir and shoot them.

  • packfanted

    If you don’t want a Thurs. nite, or Sun. nite game because of work the next day – then why in heavens name would anybody want a MONDAY NITE game??? Do away with it!!!
    Otherwise, enjoyed the piece!!

  • Nostrodomus

    GREAT ARTICLE!!
    I’ve seen it before, and I’ll say it again: The NFL is trying to get folks used to seeing all football on cable. Not everyone can even afford basic cable. If the current trend continues, the NFL will have as many channels as ESPN or HBO, and we will ALL be paying a premium for any game, on an NFL cable network. A boycott of cable football is required, but will never happen. IF I were the commish, I’d only sell games to broadcast companies, and mandate no premium for cable games picked up by those cable companies. Again, great article!

  • GForce12thMan

    This was a great article, Adam.