Hey all you National Football League fans out there! Suppose you became the commissioner of the NFL. What changes, if any, would you make to the league at the current time? Every year, the league officials and commissioner get together at the end of the year to discuss the current state of the league and whether any changes are needed. Of course, there are always issues concerning player’s safety that need to be discussed. I still feel they need to address the growing number of concussions by the players. The rules are often discussed such as the recent change in the extra point distance after touchdowns. Since this is the first week of the season, I would like to discuss some things that as a fan, I would like to see added or changed to make the game a little more interesting. Some of the changes may be a little radical and certainly go against the long tradition of football, but sometimes a little change from the norm change be a good thing. Here are some of the changes that I would like to see.
1. No more than 2 preseason games per team. The idea that teams need to play more than a couple of exhibition games is totally ridiculous. Nothing bores me more than preseason football. The only purpose it really serves is to see who can really play among the rookies on a team. In many cases, the rookies are playing against another team’s rookies or 2nd and 3rd string players. Does it really take preseason games against inferior competition to determine whether a player can play or not? Furthermore, most established NFL players only need a couple of games to get the cobwebs out for live game type conditions. And some players, such as Jordy Nelson, end up getting lost for the season by playing in meaningless games. It is time to cut the preseason in half.
2. Scrap the 1 point PAT. The first of my radical changes. The NFL now requires teams to kick the PAT some 10+ yard further back. It is believed that this will make the point after touchdown not so automatic. I purpose that the league do away with the extra point and instead, make a team go for the 2 point conversion after ever touchdown. The ball would be placed on the 2 yard line. This would dramatically affect the outcome of many games. The 1 point conversion rule change will still make many PAT’S virtually automatic. The same cannot be said for a 2 point conversion.
3. Eliminate Thursday night games. The only exemption would be for Thanksgiving. I am not really a big fan of having Thursday night NFL games. A team is forced to play a game with only 3 days rest. In my opinion, that only increases the risk of injuries to players. The more days off between games, the better. Thursday night football should only be for high school and college teams who did not play the previous week. The NFL should stick with their Sunday and Monday night format. Perhaps they could start having doubleheaders on Monday nights instead.
4. 4 points for a 55+ yard field goal. Suppose a team is down 21-17 late in the game. A field goal would not be sufficient enough to tie up the game and there is not enough time left to drive down the field for a touchdown. A 4 point field would totally change that. I would definitely be in favor of that. An extra long field goal of 55-60 yards should be worth more than a simple 35 yarder.
5. 15 yards for a defensive pass interference penalty. I personally believe the defensive pass interference penalty is one of the worst rules in the league. First of all, in many cases, it is a very difficult call for the ref to make. That call can be made on so many pass plays. A team should not be penalized some 50 yards for a defensive pass interference call. That is way too extreme for a penalty. A 15 yard penalty and an automatic first down should be the correct rule. The league needs to do away with those long penalties.
Those are just a few changes that I would like to see happen. The NFL has a good product already, but these changes might make the league even more enticing and interesting to watch.