After watching games for the third straight week of the 2014 season we are very disappointed in the direction the NFL is heading. Are you?
Here's why. The NFL every year has to add new rules and take something away from the game and players. As a fan it takes away from us too. With all the new NFL rules of what players can't do anymore it causes more penalties, and penalties make the game take longer. It used to be that a game would take just under three hours to complete, now games are thirty minuets to an hour longer. That's not how football is supposed to be played. We all want fast paced, hard hitting, and big plays, very hard to get that when a penalty is called every other play.
The NFL is starting to deliver a bad product to it's fans, but the truly sad part of it is that the NFL does not care about it's fans. The fans are the customers of the NFL and as any business owner will tell you, you can not run a business without customers and a successful business can only be run with happy customers. How long before the NFL starts losing it's customers, the ones that drive ticket sales, buy merchandise, drive TV ratings, etc... We know it may not happen soon, but if they keep up what they are doing it could be heading in that direction. We even have recently head some compelling arguments on the NFL Network and ESPN by certain commentators (to remain nameless).
Let us also look at the entertainment value already taken away from us. It seems that no longer will we see a player celebrate a touchdown. Whether it's the new "Jimmy Grahm" - No dunking Rule, the "Terrell Owens" - Sharpie Rule, or any other rule they have put in place that leads to a player being fined and the team incurring a penalty, the players that score are no longer allowed to entertain us. Isn't that way we pay to go see, Entertainment? If you are going to punish players that score touchdowns this way then the same standard should be held toward players that celebrate after getting a sack. If it's about things that delay the game sacks delay the game more than any touchdown celebration. Players high stepping and running fifteen yards down field is a big delay, especially since the offence can't try a hurry up and get that guy off-sides because now the QB has to wait for a ref to get in a certain place before he's allowed to call for the snap.
All the new penalties are ruining the enjoyment as well. We get you want to protect the players, but here is the truth about it. Everyone of those players new what they were getting into from the first time they stepped into the NFL. Players expect to get hit and some want to hit hard. The NFL needs to stop babying them, especially the QB's. Soon it will become nothing more than flag football at this rate. Come on, isn't everything they are trying to stop the exact reason they wear pads in the first place?
The hands to the face has to be the most penalized this year and the hit to a QB helmet the most since that rule was put in place. They wear helmets for a reason. As long as they don't grab the face-mask and twist what is the problem? The defensive lineman get it the worst, if they can't put their hands up to try a disrupt a QB throwing the ball because it may lead to them hitting the QB in the head then you might as well just eliminate the pass rush from the game. If theses QB's can't take a little tap in the head then maybe they should switch to a less contact sport like ballet.
Is the NFL really that full of itself that it thinks all these changes will not have long term effects to the game? It probably does. From personal experience with former NFL players we know the NFL does not care about the players and it is very clear it does not care about the fans either. It they really are concerned about player safety then maybe they should worry more on the equipment changes they have made that seems to be causing more frequent injuries than years past. Perhaps they should invest in the players after their careers with better medical support or some kind of post career rehab. Again every player knows the risk when they signed up to play, yet they still signed up anyway. These are all grown men out there, let them play real football and not this modified version of what it has become.
Two things we know won't happen; not enough fans have the courage to speak up about what is being taken from us even though it is we the fans that are responsible for the money generated to the NFL, it's players, and teams. The only way the NFL would ever feel a real blow from the fans would be if we went on strike and didn't purchase a ticket, a jersey or even watch a game on TV for an entire season. The other thing is the NFL will not listen, nor will they care what the fans want or think. Be it the NFL commissioner, or NFL owners if it is all their ego's that are running this business then we may see a day when the NFL collapses.
Maybe the best thing that could produce real change would be to change some of the structure of the NFL. One commisiner may not be right with only one man having the final say in everything. Perhaps we need to one for the AFC and one for the NFC. Also wouldn't it be nice just like the players have the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) to protect them there should be a NFLFA (National Football League Fan Association). This way all parties that make up the whole of the NFL can be represented here and there should be a meeting at least twice a year.