10 things wrong with the NFL that the league must fix ASAP


The 2013 NFL season is in the books and most of us are talking about free agency, the draft and the 2014 season. Roger Goodell lucked out and a Nor’easter didn’t ruin the Super Bowl and all appears to be well.

Well, I’m here to tell you: It’s not.

There are some issues, serious issues, confronting America’s most popular sport. While television ratings have never been higher, the league is making Billions (with a “B”), the players are rock stars and there is labor peace, there also is an undercurrent of troubles that could (in the future) undermine your NFL. Like all great empires, the NFL could be like Greece and Rome and eventually cave in on itself if it does not wake up to some serious problems. These are in no particular order but, here are 10 issues that the NFL better confront now, or deal with the consequences later.

10. The schedule

First, let’s talk about the preseason. Too many games and it is extortion to charge full-price for what amounts to a practice. Fans and players both want a shorter preseason, so just do it. While we are at it, scrap the idea of an 18 game season. I’ll get to player safety in minute, but 18 games turns the NFL season into a war of attrition. Nobody wants to see that and the players are universally against it. So, don’t do it. Oh yeah, and more Thursday night football? Not a good idea. The fans know it is killing the players and most of us have to get up for work the next morning. The Thursday night schedule needs to be scaled back, not expanded. Stop tinkering with the schedule. Sunday and Monday is NFL football, Saturday is college football, Friday night we go watch the local high school play and Thursday the wife and daughter get the TV. Stick to that and all will be right in the world.

9. Stadiums

This one really irritates me. I am a Buffalo Bills fan, and the Bills play in Ralph Wilson stadium. A stadium that was built in 1973. A stadium that is younger than I am. Yet, all the Bills are talking about is a new stadium. The Metrodome in Minneapolis opened in 1982 and they already tore it down. Do you know when Wrigley Field was built? How about Fenway Park? 1914 and 1912 respectively. Guess where the Cubs and RedSox are playing next season? Yep, Wrigley and Fenway. The Meadowlands lasted a measly 33 years before the Giants and Jets had to have METLIFE Stadium. The RCA Dome in Indy? It was built in 1984 and lasted 24 seasons before the Colts moved into Lucas Oil Stadium.

Who are the architects and engineers designing and building these stadiums that can’t last longer than a generation? We aren’t tearing down and rebuilding the Jefferson Memorial and White House every 40 years.  I once owned a house that was built in 1919. It’s still standing, and there is a family safely living in it today. Yes, yes, relax, I know, this is about luxury boxes, fan friendly entertainment zones, sight lines and cup holders. I get it. But this has gotten insane. What’s really insane is the NFL is holding the taxpayer hostage for these state of the art playgrounds they want built. The American taxpayer can’t afford to repair the roads and bridges that are crumbling all around the stadium, let alone build these owners new ones. Enough already. The stadiums are for the most part fine.  Listen if you’ve got $44 million to pay your commissioner, then Ralph Wilson Stadium (and the ones like it) are making you enough money. Speaking of…

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  • Grace

    Thank you for a great article. LOTS of good points and suggestions. Thanks especially about the “Player Conduct”. Really getting tired of not just the off-field antics, but the really serious crimes they are committing. Thanks also for the humour.

  • Firestorn

    Great observations in this article that I mostly agree with. Jerry Jones is fine as the Cowboys owner as I am a Browns fan.

  • doug swanson

    There are some excellent points in your article. I can’t afford to go to a game, either so I don’t. About players getting bigger: par for the course. All players in every sport naturally understand that if they are bigger, faster, and stronger they will excel. That’s not just a trend, that’s common sense and human nature. In track, in basketball, in each sport I’ve played I was always taught to improve by training harder. I’m not saying your argument has no credence, but to assume that the statistics you cite support the theory that it is a result of illegal drug use is un-scientific and almost irresponsible because there is no data to support it. I do agree with you about your views on the conduct of the players. It disgusts me hearing about someone who has been given a rare opportunity but then squanders it for trite reasons that they themselves are not aware of. I like your article because it speaks about issues that no one else seems to be willing to talk about – at least not in the omnibus way that your points are laid out, and so I admire that. Thank you for a good and thoughtful read.

  • Doc Savage

    The NFL is rapidly becoming the NBA. Anyone for hockey?

  • Tony Defeo

    Steroids were a problem in the 70s and 80s, too, but guys like Mike Webster weren’t over 300 pounds. If you look at the body types of most of these 300 pounders, they’re not that big from taking steroids (at least not solely). They’re big because of their diets.

    • Tryko

      I think you’re spot on here. Another part of the problem is likely growth hormones in meats that didn’t exist in the 70s as they do today.

  • Colin

    Bills fan here. Wanted to educate you on the stadium…

    The Bills are NOT interested in a new stadium. Governor Cuomo is the driving force behind the investigative team to look into a new stadium. The Bills want to continue upgrading the stadium to current standards.

  • dudemark

    FYI The Rams had horrible attendance in Anaheim. The stadium could hold 66,000 but never got anywhere near close to that. Always more opposing team fans than Rams fans. They also were terrible. Bad combo, which is why they left.

  • harryo

    sissy article, some really dumb broad wrote this or some really dumb republicon wrote it

  • David Crowe

    Good shorten the preseason, and add two more teams per conference to the playoffs. Something Roger hasn’t the nerve to do. Also, the Oakland stadium a baseball stadium is not where the Raiders should be. Move them back to LA and now you have the LA thing out of the way.Let them play in the Rose Bowl.

  • Charles Barton

    Change the “Bret Favre Rule” overtime system. It doesn’t have to be another 15 minutes of play, but make it an additional 8 to 10 minutes (doesn’t matter the exact time) then whoever has the most points wins.

  • Bruce Blackburn

    Change the unproffesional way the players act on the field. Signaling first down, spinning the ball on the turf after a 3 yard catch, running up the field 20 yards after a sack to bring attention to themselves. Just play the game. Act like it isn’t your first catch for a first down, or the first sack you have ever gotten. I think all of these actions should draw the “unsportsmanlike conduct flag.” Fix these actions so it doesn’t filter down to the youth of our nation. We should glorify sportsmanship, not self serving egomainiacs, thus giving our kids roll models that we all can be proud of.

    • David Wray

      what do you want them to do frown and walk back to the huddle…Its called playing with emotion its call having a love for the game. I don’t care if its the millionth catch its called a game, games are suppose to be fun.

  • owen ganzel

    Stop Kickoff from being kicked out of endzone. This robs fans of one of the most exciting plays in the game. Anything can happen on a kickoff runback. If kicked out of endzone. ball placed at 40 yard line for 1st and 10.

  • Corey Heim

    Holy Christ, are you a cry baby. Many of your points are actually fairly reasonable, but the entire article comes across as if you’re screaming and waving your arms around. Ticket prices? Here’s your solution: DON’T BUY THEM! Don’t like ads on TV? DON”T WATCH! Fans act so damned entitled “Without us, you’d have nothing…hahahaha”. Sure. Largely true. But who cares? That’s an issue EVERY business has. You want to effect change? Walk the talk. Your ranting doesn’t do anything.

  • joro

    How about goodells 44 Million Dollar salary. That a good place to start cutting

    • Anonymous

      your weak bro

  • TCB1975

    Your article hit the point on a lot of issues. I found it to be a good read. The NFL does need to address some major issues, but that goes for a lot of sports.

  • Bob H

    Good article. But it didn’t go deep enough. Change the pass interference rule to a 15 yard penalty. Spot of the foul is a gimme for the offense during the 2 minute drill. Blackouts; Stupid idea altogether. Blacking out a game due to low attendance, isn’t going to get more people into the stands. Lower ticket prices, and outlawing the PSL will. Millionaires we aren’t. Then allow both Fox and CBS to run double headers every weekend, so that the public can decide the game they want to watch. Yea, that’s right, it may not be the home team. So what. Not every viewer in a home market is a home team fan. Overtime; College got it right. Allow each team a scoring chance. If a team scores, the other team has to equal the score, or they lose. Extra Point; Unnecessary. If you want to tack on to a score (team option) you have to run a play for two extra points from the 5 yard line. If you do NOT score the extra points, the opposing team gets one point added to it’s score total (that would make the game a lot of fun). Touchbacks; 20 yard line? Why not the 40. Come on! Fair catch, and the ball goes to the 10 yard line (I’d love to see it on the 5, but don’t think that would go over very well) same with touchbacks. Kick it out of bounds on kick offs and you have to re-kick 10 yards back. No more sissy player protection rules. 11 guys play this game, the one with the ball is fair game. Period. Stop allowing college players to jump ship to the pros over million dollar salaries. They’re in college to get a degree. They must graduate before playing the pro game. NBA is even worse (causing high school students to drop out for the money).

    • David Wray

      If you can drop out of college and go join the army why not go play professional sports. That’s ass backwards. Its ok for kids to drop out of school to get a regular 9-5 job but since they can play a sport they shouldn’t be able to use that gift to earn a living…I’m sorry but that comment is stupid

  • Mack

    St. Louis supports the Rams just fine and is as deserving of a Franchise as any other city. Considering the product that has been on the field for several years, the support is actually quite good. Let LA have an expansion team, enough already of this threat of moving teams. The Rams franchise is headed in the right direction and will continue to grow the fan base in St. Louis.It is arrogance to always threaten moving a team out of an existing city where so many people will be impacted. You complain about having newer stadiums become obsolete so quickly. Yet, you want to move the Rams after St. Louis built a stadium for them. Even with the constant rhetoric about the Rams moving folks, myself included continue to support the St. Louis Rams. Real solutions are needed, not threats to move franchises.

  • Sarentack

    Watch every Seahawk game this season and honestly prove to me that officiating is why they didnt go to the SB and win it. This was a case similar to one of the old Bugs Bunny Cartoons where Bugs dressed as a turtle, Turtle Dressed as a Rabbit, and they all made sure Bugs didnt win and held him down being convinced he was the turtle and they lifted the turtle to victory thinking he was the Rabbit. Point being is they had to rig the race much like they rigged Seattle’s season, so much in fact you knew what was coming by Week 6. Not to mention the PED’s which you know Seattle is on seeing they never tire out in any fashion.

  • Doug

    Number 11 Fire Roger Goodell. He has changed the game in only bad ways. His ideas for expansion are idiotic. I submit “A team in London”. Ludicrous. His stupid tweaks of shorter kickoffs, longer extra points, extended playoffs and 18 season games are all idiocy. He is absolutely the worst commissioner the NFL has ever had. And forget LA. They’re fickle fans. If you’re not winning, they don’t come. The Rams will attest to that and the Raiders forund out the hard way. There are already too many teams and too many also runs. There just isn’t that much NFL quality talent. Fire Goodell. Now.