Wednesday, July 31, 2013

NFL, now the National Fantasy League?

So the NFL has apparently decided to revamp the Pro Bowl format. Without asking us! I started reading the accompanying article when I suddenly thought, "Damn! I must have somehow clicked on The Onion. Because surely this is a parody. Amiright?" But no, it was the NFL site. What a clusterbomb! 

When you vote for the players, you can vote for any player, no matter what conference he plays in.  What happens if, by popular vote, the roster ends up being weighted towards one conference? Is that really the way to go? Because a lot of times these all-star votes ARE popularity contests, not necessarily based on a player's skills. And, seriously, ALUMNI captains? Jerry Rice? Okay, I guess. But Deion SANDERS? And they're going to draft the players so guys from both conferences will be on the same team? Oh, yeah, nothing can go wrong there. And they're also going to allow two fantasy football players to help the "captains" decide who to draft. 

Oh, and by the by, "The Draft" will be televised. Yeah, right, the changes to Pro Bowl Weekend were supposed to make the game more fan friendly. NOT! It's just another moneymaking scheme for some of the richest sports owners in the world. Everybody tune in to watch the fake draft for the fake Pro Bowl game where it doesn't matter who wins. How can a conference get bragging rights if half the guys they beat were from the same conference? Oh, wait, it won't be conferences. What, are they going to come up with clever names like The Home Team vs The Other Team? Or The Blue Team vs The Red Team? Hey, ya know what they should do? They should throw in some history and divide the teams into the players from the North and the players from the South and they can be The Blue vs The Gray! Get it? A Civil War Re-enactment slash football game! Without the guns and bayonets of cou...oh, wait. This is the NFL. There might be a few guns and bayonets involved. Okay, scratch that idea. Let's just stick with the traditional all-star blue and red.

But really, if they wanted to make the game fan friendly, why not let some of the fantasy football playing fans play REAL football? Now THAT would be entertaining. I mean, Hawaii's a state, right? And they'll have Obamacare, right? So, it's not like the fantasy fan players would actually DIE or anything! Plus, free jerseys!

So, more on the changes: No kickoffs? That's not so great for the kickers who would have been voted in! No free trips to Hawaii and all-you-can-eat luaus for them! Which sucks for the restaurants because that's where they make their money, on the skinny kickers and punters who don't eat a whole lot but pay the same.

Two minute warnings at the end of EVERY quarter? Because two-minute drills are more exciting? More exciting than what? AND when the first and third quarter changes come, guess what? You get to give the other team the ball! No more continuing play. That's where that exciting two-minute drill comes in. So, if you don't score, you lose the ball. If you score and the other team gets the ball with, say, five seconds left guess what? They get one play and the bell rings! The buzzer goes off! The horn sounds, the referee whistles and the quarter is over. And they have to give you back the ball! WTF? How is that fair? Whose stupid idea was THAT? 

Oh, and since there aren't going to be any kickoffs, there's no need for a kick return specialist, who will be replaced by a defensive back. So the best kick return specialists in the league, who have been bustin' their asses all season chasing down the kick receivers, now get to hang out on the mainland with the kickers. And supposedly the kick returners. Though most of them double as receivers or punt returners, so they still get to play on the Big Island.

Cheesus. The only way they could make this any worse would be to cover the field with a vibrating metal plate and attach the players feet to plastic plates in a life sized version of electric football. Hey, actually that'd be kinda cool! For, like, five minutes. 

Seriously, whose idea was this? According to the article it was Dominique Foxworth, the head of the NFL Players' Association. All I can say is, Gene Upshaw wouldn't have come up with these namby-pamby changes. When I watch a pro football game I want to see AMERICAN football. I want to cheer for one TEAM against another. I think Dan Issa should instig... I mean FORM, a Congressional investigation complete with useless Congressional hearings and a Congressional NFL-NFLPA Oversight Committee. Of course, there would be no need to allow women to be represented or to testify. Because, as everybody knows, women don't watch football or buy tickets or wear NFL Gear even if it's pink and women don't cook the pulled pork and make the seven-layer-bean-dip for the Super Bowl parties. No Grrlz Aloud!