5. The Pro Bowl
The Pro Bowl has become such a joke in recent years that there is serious talk of eliminating it altogether. It’s in Hawaii the week before the Super Bowl, nobody takes it seriously, and half the original team decides to not show up. The rules aren’t even the same as a regular football game and there are little to no practices before the game so the play is always sloppy. Only fix could be putting it in middle of season effectively making it a universal bye week and offer some sort of incentive like home field in the Super Bowl.
4. Ticket Prices/Live Experience
It is always fun to go to a football game, but with 8 home games a year and outrageous demand, ticket prices are very high and tough to get for good football teams, not to mention you have to be in the lower level to even see anything in the first place and bad weather does not affect whether or not the game is played. The bottom line is games are far better to watch at home with HD televisions and DirectTV and the comfort of your own home. The NFL has been seeing the impact of that with attendance on the decline every year since 2007. They need to find a way to make games more affordable and enjoyable.
3. Off field issues
This is not directly related to the NFL itself, but is worth mentioning. There have been over 30 arrests since the Super Bowl alone. The NFL, more than any other sport, has the most players with off field issues and it has been a recurring problem for years. The NFL needs to put stricter penalties in place for off field behavior and really figure out a way to change the perception that its players are criminals.
2. The playoff system
I have never been a fan of the NFL’s playoff system. The bye week for top teams during the wild card round often turns out to be a big disadvantage. The NFL is all about momentum and bye weeks hurt momentum. I would get rid of the wild card teams, 10 wins or less does not deserve to be competing for a championship. I would also eliminate the week between the conference championships and Super Bowl, and use the extra two weeks to make the Super Bowl a best of three championship to ensure more likelihood that the best team actually wins the Super Bowl each year and not some scrub 10 win team that happened to get on a roll right before the playoffs.
1. The Fundamental Flaw
Football is a game fundamentally based on tackling. When you are slamming people into the ground every week during a three-hour game, there are bound to be long-term effects. We are realizing this more now, with information coming out about brain damage from concussions. The NFL has tried to make the game safer but in the process is just ruining it to the point where it will eventually be flag football. It is a lose-lose situation here, and one way or the other the NFL is not going to be able to sustain its current format of play.
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