The founders of the National Football League have been visionaries, but the time has come to jettison the old guidelines and norms they devised a century in the past to control America’s maximum famous game, in prefer a fairer device. The old contemporary arrangement—with many exams, balances, compromises and video evaluations—works for the few, not for the many. Worse still, it has left a gaggle of lifeless humans in fee of the way soccer has to be played. The time has come for a people’s revolution!
Some traditionalists say scrapping the NFL constitution and rulebook would invite anarchy. They contend that the modern-day arrangement changed into “divinely stimulated.” To that, I say, garbage! Common feel needs that we stop revering the founders, who had been inspired by way of elitism, racial segregation, and cash-grubbing. We can and have to reclaim power over America’s Game from its oligarchical and anti-democratic proprietors. As Thomas Jefferson once wrote to James Madison approximately the Constitution, some other set of dead-man rules lengthy late for retirement, “The earth belongs continually to the living generation and now not to the dead. … Every charter, then, and each regulation, evidently expires at the cease of 19 years.”
I confess a non-public stake on this refounding: The NFL’s policies and traditions have doomed my team, the Detroit Lions, to the lowly popularity of the one of the worst franchises in the league. The Lions haven’t won a championship in more than 60 years and aren’t probable to win one in some other 60. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots have long gone to the Super Bowl 10 times in the beyond twenty years, winning six titles. This gives absolute, irrefutable evidence that the NFL is rigged in choose of a set of powerful, unaccountable elites.
I recognise my grievance makes me sound like a sore loser who seeks to restack the deck so he can extract a prevailing hand. I resent that charge. My interest is simply in fairness and democracy and the give up of the age of sports hyperpartisanship.
The NFL’s founders, as a long way-sighted as they were, should never have predicted the desires of the cutting-edge gridiron. What’s wanted is a modern rethinking of how the game must be performed to repair equality and equity. For example, while the NFL changed into founded, it would have made sense to award victory to the group that gathered the most factors via a mixture of touchdowns (for which six points are given), points after (either one or ), discipline goals (three), and safeties (). Well, gasoline lighting fixtures and ice bins made feel once, too. Compounding this folly is the playoff system that allows “wild card” groups that don’t even have the satisfactory “win-loss” statistics of their divisions to compete inside the season-finishing playoffs. This device has extra than as soon as allowed a group with a standard file to win the Super Bowl.
This jury-rigged and old playoff machine is anti-democracy in action. An extra direct and more democratic approach for choosing the league champ is wanted. Instead of a win-loss device (primarily based on points scored, in a byzantine time table of sixteen video games no less) that feeds teams into the unfair playoff machine, we must include a brand new manner to degree soccer excellence. First, we would compile all the yards won using a crew over a season and subtract the total wide variety yards given up by its protection. The team with the highest differential could be named Super Bowl champion. If we had taken this direction in 2019, the Baltimore Ravens, which won 5,999 yards however surrendered only 4,687 yards for a differential of 1,312 yards, could have been the champs, now not the Pats, which had simplest the 8th first-rate differential. “Make each yard be counted” could be a pleasant slogan for this reform.
Justice additionally needs a review of how video games are judged. It’s no longer uncommon to peer partisan flags thrown by way of the seven umpires, referees, linemen and judges who officiate each recreation. The satisfactory manner to restore standard fan agree with in officiating would be to % the sector with extra refs and umps till we’ve as many officials on the sphere as gamers on a group (11). Ridiculous, you might say. But there’s nothing sacrosanct approximately having seven officials judging a game. At one time, NFL games got by way of with just three. The least horrific way to improve the unfairness of the current umpires, referees, linesmen, and judges that advantages a few teams at the rate of others might be to % the sphere with additional officials. To make certain fairness, the new officers should be selected by using the worst; this is, losing teams like the Lions.
As cited above, maximum NFL teams are owned with the aid of billionaires, with the richest men—I’m searching at you, Robert Kraft—and tiny despots like Dan Snyder going for walks the show. Let’s take the have an impact on of cash out of the sport once and for all by using making each group a nonprofit organization, similar to the Green Bay Packers, with inventory owned with the aid of the lovers however banning the gathering of profit from the stocks. One manner to ameliorate the damage Kraft’s Patriots have executed to the league might be to dilute his franchise’s energy via breaking it up into eight separate groups, one for every division, and democratically distribute them to deserving metropolises consisting of Portland, San Antonio, Memphis and Salt Lake City, which have never had NFL groups, and to towns like St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland which have lost (or will quickly lose) their teams. If we’re going to name it America’s Game, shouldn’t the NFL appear to be America?
Traditionalists will scoff at these reforms. Many urge incremental tweaking of the rules to remake the NFL in place of a radical reboot. But our critical institutions need to keep pace with the times. As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “We would possibly as properly require a man to put on the coat which fitted him while a boy, as civilized society to stay ever under the routine in their barbarous ancestors.”