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Commissioner for a Day: How do you fix the NFL? (1 Viewer)

1) Define a catch as two feet, a knee, or your butt plus possession. Dump anything after that in the current description (maintaining possession through hitting the ground, making a football move, etc.)

2) Spell out in the league rule book, operations manual, CBA, etc. EXACTLY what is allowed and not allowed within the rules and what the penalties are. Then enforce it, no exceptions or mitigating circumstances. First time offense for domestic abuse means 6 games. a 4-game drug or PED suspension needs to be 4 games. Also, leave the marijuana policies on the books but just don't test for it. Save that for guys with other issues that you can't nail them on and then hit them with a pot suspension if all else fails. This would limit the power of the commish to make up suspensions and would get the players to stop appealing and whining about suspensions, The NFL needs consistency.

3) For egregious, targeting, or blatantly cheap shots, the person committing the foul is suspended for as long as the injured player remains out. If the player does not miss time, have a progressive suspension system (1 game the first time, 2 games the next time, 4 games the third time, 8 times the fourth, etc.). So for this one, the party with the cheap shot would be out for whichever were longer (the amount the injured player was out or the progressive suspension).

4) Take away the automatic first down component of defensive penalties. Nothing worse than seeing a 3rd and 38 become a first down for a ticky tack 5 yard defensive holding penalty on an 8 yard pass. And while we're at it, eliminate defensive pass interference on balls that are clearly way under thrown. Offenses should not benefit from a bad pass which many times is the QB just trying to avoid a sack. Also need to better define and call offensive pass interference on rub routes or bubble screens. I have seen the same type of play in the same game called OPI, not called at all, and defensive holding.

5) Make all aspects of all plays reviewable and each team gets 3 per game, but instead of losing a time out, if you lose a challenge make it a 15 yard penalty. That would cut down on stupid challenges, especially if winning the challenge wouldn't even net 15 yards.
If i recall correctly, they did remove the football move rule. To be fair the spirit behind the rule was to differentiate between a fumble and a incompletion, not between a catch and a not catch.

 
Make field goals over 55 yards worth 4 points.
There's an interesting idea. Or have them switch to decimal scoring, which all fantasy players already know is the best way to do it.  

34 yard FG = 3.4 points.  

Good way to eliminate ties too. 

Oh, and while they're at it, a missed FG should be -1. 

:D  

 
If i recall correctly, they did remove the football move rule. To be fair the spirit behind the rule was to differentiate between a fumble and a incompletion, not between a catch and a not catch.
I think the "football move" rule is still there. 

Which basically makes every catch a judgement call. Sometimes to hilariously bad officiating. 

Same with the "maintaining possession through hitting the ground" aspect - Calvin Johnson's several non-TDs were laughable.  If the rule says that the end zone line is "like a pane of glass" and just the tip of the ball has to break through to be a TD, then there is no need to control the ball after the player hits the ground because it was already a TD when the player broke the plane. 

That's one I've had a problem with from day 1.  You can't say "breaking the plane" is a TD, but that something that happened after they broke the plane reversed it.  There was one CJ TD where he scored, and then placed the ball on the ground and they said he lost control - that was a total joke.  

 
Plus the bonus breaks with injury timeout and every other timeout called by the teams. 

I'd be fine with ads on uniforms if it means better continuity in the game. The constant cut to commercial is a significant distraction. 
I'm fine with in game ads also. Putting up a banner across the bottom as a replay is being shown? Fine. I'm sure the advertisers aren't dying for that but having your logo/new car/mini movie trailer playing as I'm kind of paying attention to a replay seems like it could be more productive than sticking it in between the actual broadcast when I'm going to take a leak/grab a drink/looking at my phone/flipping the channel. 

But I'm not an advertising exec so I'm probably missing something. 

 
I'm fine with in game ads also. Putting up a banner across the bottom as a replay is being shown? Fine. I'm sure the advertisers aren't dying for that but having your logo/new car/mini movie trailer playing as I'm kind of paying attention to a replay seems like it could be more productive than sticking it in between the actual broadcast when I'm going to take a leak/grab a drink/looking at my phone/flipping the channel. 

But I'm not an advertising exec so I'm probably missing something. 
Back in the day we didn't flip channels. 

I mean, never mind that we only had 3 channels + PBS, but the point is they so rarely cut away. 

Watching some NFL Films, it made me miss the sideline shots, seeing players run on and off the field, etc. Continuity. 

Used to be you'd get football for a half, then have "halftime" which was  the commercial break, then you'd get foodball for a 2nd half.  Now we have the "Toyota Halftime Show" where the networks put their talking heads on for "analysis" of the 1st half and commentary, (which is so dotted with commercials for "a football life", and the post game show, and other network programs that the footbal "coverage" is just shoehorned in) and commercials are just shoved in our faces for what seems like more time than is actually spent broadcasting the games. 

 
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Agree. Remember this guy? Fun to watch.

Bit of a slippery slope as you don't want celebrations to carry on for 5 minutes, involve the whole team, etc. Hard to regulate, but it definitely made the game more fun.
Piggy-back on this thought - start the 40 second play clock immediately after a signaled TD from the referee. Let the whole team (that was already on the field for the play only) dance and carry-on....but if they get a delay of game penalty after the TD....PAT becomes forfeited/no-good and penalty assessed on next play from scrimmage (not kickoff).

Eliminate all preseason games and make all games count towards the regular season. Allow for increased roster limits and cut down in first few weeks of season. Then the possibility of an 18-game season with 2 bye weeks is more feasible.

Eliminate Thursday Night games UNLESS both teams coming off a bye week. With the above thoughts...2 bye weeks per team...there could be a few Thursday night games throughout the season - but not every week. Keep Thanksgiving day games but adhere to the bye week premise.

Allow ALL PLAYS to be reviewed at coach's discretion. If a successful challenge...coach retains challenge ability. Allow 1 failed review per coach per half.

 
I'm fine with in game ads also. Putting up a banner across the bottom as a replay is being shown? Fine. I'm sure the advertisers aren't dying for that but having your logo/new car/mini movie trailer playing as I'm kind of paying attention to a replay seems like it could be more productive than sticking it in between the actual broadcast when I'm going to take a leak/grab a drink/looking at my phone/flipping the channel. 

But I'm not an advertising exec so I'm probably missing something
Yup, your cold black heart.  

 
Eliminate all preseason games and make all games count towards the regular season. Allow for increased roster limits and cut down in first few weeks of season. Then the possibility of an 18-game season with 2 bye weeks is more feasible.
Not sure this one would work logistically. A lot of the preseason is for unproven guys to get a chance to play and show something. If all the games count, undrafted free agents and retreads would get very little chance to play, making cut downs mostly irrelevant because those guys won't often get in a real game. Also, having to go from practice with no games or scrimmages would probably give the real starters a greater chance of injury.

I personally don't see the need to have more games. Players struggle to get through the season as it is. Having more games would likely mean more injuries to key players, potentially hurting your team in the playoffs. IMO, playing two more games doesn't really add much to the quality of the season.

 
Lots of good ideas (and a few dumb ones) in this thread, but here's one that is long overdue and addresses the "longer seasons mean more injuries" item above:

Shorten the IR length to four weeks and remove limits on number of players designated to return.  

Baseball has a 162-game season but they manage to have most of their star power in the pennant race thanks to a sane 15-day DL, from which anyone can return.  And go back, and return again.  Whatever it takes till healthy.

I suppose the salary cap would need tweaking.  But that's for the guys in suits to iron out.

 
Remove super gloves

cut commercials by 50% and limit each commercials played to no more than four times during a game

 Allow teams to re-sign a player that they drafted at a discount to the salary cap 

 
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I am all for this, especially receivers that jump up wanting a PI penalty and then they throw the flag.

Should be Unsportsman like conduct.
I agree - that and the 20 players who know who has possession at the bottom of a pile before the refs un-pile them. It's ridiculous. 

Another one that drives me nutty is like the play in the AZ/SEA game where the defender was laying on top of David Johnson not allowing him to get up when they were in the no-huddle. That should be an automatic delay of game on the defense, clock stops, 5 yard penalty (or 1/2 the distance to the goal), automatic 1st down. You wanna take a nap, do it on the sidelines, but deliberately preventing another player from standing up with the ball shouldn't be allowed. 

 
Also, did they ever address the injury time-out issue where players were faking injury to slow down the no-huddle? 

I recall last year there were a few notably hilarious incidents where multiple players fell to the ground, and when one noticed another also did it, sprang up like he was fine. 

I'm not sure if any rules were put in place to address this...seems like a massive loophole in the rules to manipulate the automatic injury timeout. . 

 
Plus the bonus breaks with injury timeout and every other timeout called by the teams. 
I don't understand what you're saying. Are you suggesting they sometimes have more than 10 commercial breaks? Since finding out about this 10 commercial break rule recently, I have yet to keep count but I assume it's accurate (I mean, it is on Wikipedia!) and there aren't "bonus breaks". However, I'm not sure what a "commercial break" is. I did notice over the weekend that some games did breaks with just one 30-second commercial. Not sure if that counts as one of the 10 breaks or not. Not sure if a break has to be a certain length of time to count as one of the 10 breaks.

 
I don't understand what you're saying. Are you suggesting they sometimes have more than 10 commercial breaks? Since finding out about this 10 commercial break rule recently, I have yet to keep count but I assume it's accurate (I mean, it is on Wikipedia!) and there aren't "bonus breaks". However, I'm not sure what a "commercial break" is. I did notice over the weekend that some games did breaks with just one 30-second commercial. Not sure if that counts as one of the 10 breaks or not. Not sure if a break has to be a certain length of time to count as one of the 10 breaks.
When players are injured on the field, there's an automatic injury time-out. Trainers come out, check the player, get a cart or help them up or put on an air cast, etc.  And it used to be that the home viewer would watch as the player was checked out, helped off the field, etc. and there was no interruption to the broadcast. 

Now the networks immediately cut to a commercial during the injury time-out. Because what better way to make extra money than to sell commercial air time to companies on a "just in case" basis.  Just another way the NFL is putting player safety first. By profiting off of their injuries. 

At least they're subtle about it and don't say, "this broken leg brought to you by Toyota!" 

ETA, as I understand, the injury time-out breaks are sold to companies on a contingency, and they do not count against the commercial limits. Obviously no one knows if they'll be used, but they have them queued up just in case. It's one of the reasons for another complaint in here, the repeat commercials. You'll notice that most (all) of the injury TO commercials are repeats. 

 
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Get rid of Thur games

Get rid of out of country games

The change that would make the biggest difference is the least likely -get rid of at least 4 teams.

 
The change that would make the biggest difference is the least likely -get rid of at least 4 teams.
I've been thinking about this one a lot. Expansion has really hurt the game. A lot of the issues people complain about are bad teams, bad owners, bad product on the field. 

Maybe the problem is simply too many teams causing dilution. 

I'm not saying which teams to eliminate - don't wanna start a fight with anyone. But the NFL would have a better product with 2, 4 or 6 fewer teams. 

Not a popular suggestion, I'm sure, but it's undeniable that there simply isn't enough talent to go around. 

 
When players are injured on the field, there's an automatic injury time-out. Trainers come out, check the player, get a cart or help them up or put on an air cast, etc.  And it used to be that the home viewer would watch as the player was checked out, helped off the field, etc. and there was no interruption to the broadcast. 

Now the networks immediately cut to a commercial during the injury time-out. Because what better way to make extra money than to sell commercial air time to companies on a "just in case" basis.  Just another way the NFL is putting player safety first. By profiting off of their injuries. 

At least they're subtle about it and don't say, "this broken leg brought to you by Toyota!" 
Right. My understanding is that's one of the 10 commercial breaks per half. It's not that there's 10 plus additional ones for injuries. The networks manage their 10 breaks. Now, maybe there are some occurrences when they've used all 10 breaks and an injury occurs very late in the 2nd or 4th quarter and rather than broadcasting a bunch of people standing around for a few minutes, they take an extra break. But, I'd guess that's rare and in the vast majority of games you'll get 10 breaks. I'd guess there are also very rare occasions where they don't use the 10 up and you only get 9. For example, maybe the flow of the game only got them to 9 breaks at the 2 minute warning and the 2 minutes of the game are one team running out the clock.

I still have Sunday's Redskins-Lions game on DVR. Trent Williams was injured with 3 seconds remaining and I'm pretty sure I remember them taking a break. I'll try to remember to take a look at the 2nd half to see how many breaks they took and whether the Williams injury was a "bonus break".

 
Right. My understanding is that's one of the 10 commercial breaks per half. It's not that there's 10 plus additional ones for injuries. The networks manage their 10 breaks. Now, maybe there are some occurrences when they've used all 10 breaks and an injury occurs very late in the 2nd or 4th quarter and rather than broadcasting a bunch of people standing around for a few minutes, they take an extra break. But, I'd guess that's rare and in the vast majority of games you'll get 10 breaks. I'd guess there are also very rare occasions where they don't use the 10 up and you only get 9. For example, maybe the flow of the game only got them to 9 breaks at the 2 minute warning and the 2 minutes of the game are one team running out the clock.

I still have Sunday's Redskins-Lions game on DVR. Trent Williams was injured with 3 seconds remaining and I'm pretty sure I remember them taking a break. I'll try to remember to take a look at the 2nd half to see how many breaks they took and whether the Williams injury was a "bonus break".
Yeah, I am not sure how it works. It seems like there are more than enough commercials though and they could definitely be cut back, and/or consolidated. 

I'd rather have 5 longer breaks than 10 short ones. 

And going to commercial after every score, then again after every kickoff/kick return is ridiculous and absolutely hurts the continuity of the game. 

 
1)Change OT rules, no game will end in a tie.

2)Make all plays reviewable and have an elected group of officials handle the reviews remotely as opposed to a single puppet. In addition to this I will take the existing official training program and make it twice as big, in terms of capacity and duration. Then I would rotate crews using a merit based system, prime time games will pay more but only the best crews will officiate them ( I think it currently works this way, they just suck rating their crews.) Pay rate would be changed to a base pay that increases linearly and is multiplicative with prime games. If their performance struggles they will be cycled out of officiating until they are fit to officiate again.

3)Eliminate all low hits, including blocks. Institute a targeting rule, immediate ejection for anyone found intentionally trying to injure someone, applies to hits not excessive tackling - min 1 game suspension.

4)Change kickoff formations to be more like punting formations where the 7 players on the receiving team have to lineup opposing the kicking team, whatever the distance is. Goal being to reduce kick off injuries by having players running the same direction - while maintaining the onside kickoff as a possibility.

5)Change the concussion spotters to be actual third parties and give them the final word opposed to the current system where team doctors can override their decision. Make baselines available so it doesn't conflict with the current procedure.
I like most of these BUT #1 is just not possible - I was at the SEA/AZ game Sunday and after the one overtime period the players were just beat - cramping and other issues. I doubt they could have played a second overtime period and would definitely be risking injury.  Still there should be something reasonable the league can change to (not Russel Wilson's stupid proposal)

 
Yeah, I am not sure how it works.
The link I posted tells you how it works :P .

 It seems like there are more than enough commercials though and they could definitely be cut back, and/or consolidated. 
I think it's probably hard to replace that revenue stream. TV deals are the main reason the NFL is such big business. Not sure what else could replace it, money-wise. I wonder how much one advertiser would pay for a "This commercial free first quarter is brought to you by..." commercial that precedes each quarter?

I'd rather have 5 longer breaks than 10 short ones.
Interesting thought about 5 longer breaks. I think I'd prefer that, too. Maybe they can double the break between quarters? What I do think the NFL did right a few years ago was shorten halftime to 12 minutes.

And going to commercial after every score, then again after every kickoff/kick return is ridiculous and absolutely hurts the continuity of the game. 
They don't do that, unless there are very few scores and kickoffs in a game. It just seems that way. There are clearly times when they don't break after scores or kickoffs. Happens all the time. With 8 commercial breaks to play with each half, they can only max out at breaking after 4 scores and 4 kickoffs. And then they'd be out of breaks for timeouts, injuries, etc.

 
The link I posted tells you how it works :P .
I meant with regard to injury time-outs. My understanding was that they sold injury time-outs on contingency and that they were unrelated to the limit you'd mentioned. But it may have changed, of which I am unsure. 

I think it's probably hard to replace that revenue stream. TV deals are the main reason the NFL is such big business. Not sure what else could replace it, money-wise. I wonder how much one advertiser would pay for a "This commercial free first quarter is brought to you by..." commercial that precedes each quarter?

Interesting thought about 5 longer breaks. I think I'd prefer that, too. Maybe they can double the break between quarters? What I do think the NFL did right a few years ago was shorten halftime to 12 minutes.

They don't do that, unless there are very few scores and kickoffs in a game. It just seems that way. There are clearly times when they don't break after scores or kickoffs. Happens all the time. With 8 commercial breaks to play with each half, they can only max out at breaking after 4 scores and 4 kickoffs. And then they'd be out of breaks for timeouts, injuries, etc.
If they could, they'd have a "this commercial break brought to you by _____" 

:lol:  

 
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I like most of these BUT #1 is just not possible - I was at the SEA/AZ game Sunday and after the one overtime period the players were just beat - cramping and other issues. I doubt they could have played a second overtime period and would definitely be risking injury.  Still there should be something reasonable the league can change to (not Russel Wilson's stupid proposal)
I know, the teams could have a kicking contest and kick field goals from increasing distances until somebody misses!

Except, with that rule, Seattle would still be playng Arizona this evening...

 
I don't have a strong opinion on whether some games are played in London, but the start times are stupid. Make it a primetime game in London with an afternoon start time in the US (East Coast, at least) and just make them normal regional coverage broadcasts as if the game was being played normally.
3.7 million viewers for last Sunday's London game between the LOS ANGELES Rams and NEW YORK Giants. That's right, an NFL Network game involving the two largest markets with a total population exceeding 35 million people managed only 3.7 million viewers. If they aired it at 1:00 PM Eastern Time and only showed it regionally on Fox in New York and LA, would it have exceeded 3.7 million viewers?

 
3.7 million viewers for last Sunday's London game between the LOS ANGELES Rams and NEW YORK Giants. That's right, an NFL Network game involving the two largest markets with a total population exceeding 35 million people managed only 3.7 million viewers. If they aired it at 1:00 PM Eastern Time and only showed it regionally on Fox in New York and LA, would it have exceeded 3.7 million viewers?
Of course...but how much did it draw in England and the rest of Europe?  Do we ever see those numbers?  Is it even ON television over there?

 
While it would never happen, I believe what the NFL needs is contraction. The talent pool is watered down and watching all of these crappy QB's kills the game. It does amaze me that out of all the people in the world, we can't find 31 great QB's to spread around. (although Cleveland would probably still have a bad QB.)

 
I know, the teams could have a kicking contest and kick field goals from increasing distances until somebody misses!

Except, with that rule, Seattle would still be playng Arizona this evening...
Yeah I have heard that joke like three times in the last two day on local radio shows.

How about after the coin flip - first touchdown wins - no field goal attempts allowed.... gives a strategy twist and while you might still have a tie after the OT period, it would at least be more entertaining 

 
Of course...but how much did it draw in England and the rest of Europe?  Do we ever see those numbers?  Is it even ON television over there?
Not sure I'd say "of course", but I'd lean towards yet. New York has one of the lowest regional TV ratings in the NFL. Makes sense since they have like a million other options and much of their population isn't from NY. Places like Pittsburgh and Green Bay have high regional ratings. I doubt LA's is very strong. I quickly tried to find regional ratings, but failed.

Yeah, no idea about England and Europe, but obviously I shouldn't have excluded it. Will the English and Euros only watch if it's played in Europe?

 
I almost had one about celebrations since I miss them so much. 

I like your addition though - nothing irritates me more than seeing some fat dude doing a sack celebration with their team losing 37-9
Robert Ayers had a tremendous sack dance last season while his team was down 28-7 or 28-0 vs Carolina last year

 
How about after the coin flip - first touchdown wins - no field goal attempts allowed.... gives a strategy twist and while you might still have a tie after the OT period, it would at least be more entertaining 
Or just settle it with a coin flip. 

lol

i actually don't mind the current OT rules - I don't love ties though. That said, a fair point about increasing risk of injury.

 
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Robert Ayers had a tremendous sack dance last season while his team was down 28-7 or 28-0 vs Carolina last year
Yeah, that is just the ultimate lack of understanding of a team sport right there.

used to be a day where players handled that stuff internally (likely with a private beat-down, but at least a stern talking to and likely reduction of coke and whores. How the NFL has changed...) but now they clearly don't care about this ridiculousness.

 
I don't understand what you're saying. Are you suggesting they sometimes have more than 10 commercial breaks? Since finding out about this 10 commercial break rule recently, I have yet to keep count but I assume it's accurate (I mean, it is on Wikipedia!) and there aren't "bonus breaks". However, I'm not sure what a "commercial break" is. I did notice over the weekend that some games did breaks with just one 30-second commercial. Not sure if that counts as one of the 10 breaks or not. Not sure if a break has to be a certain length of time to count as one of the 10 breaks.
IIRC, in one of the Sun. night games, the announcer actually said they had gone to too many commercials in the half and thus, they didn't need to go to a commercial when a not normal stoppage in time(injury/FG/something like that) occurred. I think it was Collingsworth. 

 
While it would never happen, I believe what the NFL needs is contraction. The talent pool is watered down and watching all of these crappy QB's kills the game. It does amaze me that out of all the people in the world, we can't find 31 great QB's to spread around. (although Cleveland would probably still have a bad QB.)
Has the ratio of great QBs in the league gone down when compared to the past, or have more teams:

1) pushed QBs too hard to fast and didn't allow them to development. (I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I'm one who believes that JaMarcus Russell/Brandon Wheedon/Johnny Football could and would develop if they were in the right franchise, in the right gameplan and that had the mentality to bring them along rather than throw them to the wolves)

2) totally abandoned the idea that you can build other facets of a team(DEF/punishing running game) that CAN be competitive and win.  DEN and SEA have bucked that trend in the past couple of years, but more teams don't seem to be paying attention.

 
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There's an interesting idea. Or have them switch to decimal scoring, which all fantasy players already know is the best way to do it.  

34 yard FG = 3.4 points.  

Good way to eliminate ties too. 

Oh, and while they're at it, a missed FG should be -1. 

:D  
I like it :thumbup:

 
3.7 million viewers for last Sunday's London game between the LOS ANGELES Rams and NEW YORK Giants. That's right, an NFL Network game involving the two largest markets with a total population exceeding 35 million people managed only 3.7 million viewers. If they aired it at 1:00 PM Eastern Time and only showed it regionally on Fox in New York and LA, would it have exceeded 3.7 million viewers?
I'm pretty sure the original London games were at the normal times and just aired among the rest of the games. They moved it earlier specifically because it created another window to show a game and another window to sell into. Those 3.5 hours were empty for the league previously. 

I'm actually surprised we haven't seen more of the double MNFs like we get in week 1 for that same reason.

As for NY-LA, guessing that was put in place when it was still NY-STL.

 
I'm pretty sure the original London games were at the normal times and just aired among the rest of the games. They moved it earlier specifically because it created another window to show a game and another window to sell into. Those 3.5 hours were empty for the league previously. 

I'm actually surprised we haven't seen more of the double MNFs like we get in week 1 for that same reason.

As for NY-LA, guessing that was put in place when it was still NY-STL.
Yeah - eventually they're gonna squeeze every dollar until that eagle grins,as the expression goes. 

 

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