NFL football is America’s favorite sport. Nice work on that. But even the NFL has problems. Your league has made some unpleasant headlines recently due to a series of ugly concussion injuries. Last week, it seemed like every Philadelphia Eagle took a concussion test at some point during the game. This week, a parade of high-profile New York Jets superstars made their way to the locker room with various injuries.
I have a revolutionary proposal to turn the injury issue into a real asset for the NFL. Here goes:
1. You’re currently thinking about expanding the NFL season to 18 games. Good idea, but you haven’t taken it far enough. Make the season 28 games.
2. Make games 90 minutes, not 60. Think of the additional revenue from all the extra TV timeouts!
3. Here’s the kicker: Restrict teams so they can have only 53 players on their rosters at the beginning of the season, and they must play the entire season with that roster. You can’t sign free agents or add guys from the practice squad. You get 53, and you play the whole season with those guys. Or whoever’s left.
Think injuries are a big deal now? Imagine a Week 27 matchup between the Ravens and Bears where the Bears have only one offensive lineman who hasn’t suffered a debilitating injury. Seems like a big edge for the Ravens! But wait: The Ravens’ entire defensive secondary — including all backups — has been felled by ACL and MCL injuries.
Here’s the postgame summary for this hypothetical Week 27 barn-burner:
“Johnny Knox had 17 receptions for 233 yards and 6 touchdowns from seventh-string quarterback Brian Urlacher as the Bears beat the Ravens 77-53. Knox also had three quarterback sacks and four interceptions as a safety, and blocked two punts by Ravens punter Haloti Ngata.
Knox was outshined only by the Ravens’ Ray Lewis, who received Player of the Game honors. Lewis turned in a dominating performance on defense as he alternated between defensive tackle and linebacker, intercepting 5 passes and notching an astonishing 8.5 sacks. Lewis also played every down on offense, catching 12 passes from Tom Zbikowski for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns as a tight end, while adding 245 yards and 3 touchdowns as running back. He also kicked 5 extra points and handled the long-snapping duties for punts.
Ravens head coach Jim Harbaugh expressed confidence that the Ravens (17-10) would have the personnel necessary to finish the season next week against the New England Patriots. After four Ravens suffered concussions today, only 17 of the team’s 53 players have not been lost to season-ending injuries. ‘We’re professionals, and we’ll get the job done. If things get really bad, we’re experimenting with a variation on the Wildcat formation where Ray Lewis throws passes to himself.'”
How can you pass this up, Roger? You’re thinking big, and the NFL’s success speaks to your steady hand and wise stewardship. But it’s time to go big or go home. Implement the proposal.
Very truly yours,