Monday, March 22, 2010

NFL Does Some Spring-Cleaning

Spring is officially here!  Time to get out the Windex and Swifter for some spring-cleaning.  Even the NFL is getting some things in order.  The NFL’s Annual Owners Meeting started yesterday in Orlando, Florida.  During the next couple of days all of the owners (or designated team representative) of the 32 clubs will meet, discuss and vote to clean up some business issues.  All decisions must receive 24 votes for approval.  Here are a couple of topics that I expect the owners to clean up and discuss this week.

1. CBA – The current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is going to expire after this year and this season is uncapped.  I’m sure a huge portion of this year’s meeting will be about labor negotiations.  In short, 60% of revenue goes towards player’s salaries and the owners want this changed.  Naturally, the players feel like this is fair because they go out on the field and damage their bodies playing the game each week.  Without them there is not a game.  However, owners take all of the financial risk and have expressed that their profit margins are shrinking.  They are responsible for managing an entire business, not just a single position.  Without their investment, there is not a club, a stadium or game.  This issue will not be finalized, but the Commissioner, Roger Goodell, will provide an update on how the negotiations are going with the NFL Players Association. 

2. Overtime Rules – The NFL plays sudden death in overtime.  So, the first team that scores in overtime wins the game.  The team that gets the ball first is decided by a coin toss.  Statistics illustrate that almost 60% of the teams that win the coin toss, win the game with a field goal. This has always been a point of contention, but since the New Orleans Saints won the NFC Championship Game in overtime, there has been a substantial amount of discussion concerning a coin toss deciding a playoff game.   The Competition Committee completed their research and will propose a rule change to allow the other team to get the ball if the first team scores a field goal.  However, if the team that gets the ball first in overtime scores a touchdown, the game is over and the other team does not get the ball.  I don’t like Minnesota and Favre fans whining that a coin toss cost them the conference championship.  (I like Favre, but remember that four quarters of football were played before overtime and Favre did throw a crucial interception.)  But, if you are going to give one team another chance on offense, the other team deserves a shot. 

3. Super Bowl XLVIII (2014) – The three finalists to host the Super Bowl in 2014 are Tampa Bay, Miami and New York City (Giants and Jets).   If New York City wins, the Super Bowl will be played in an open stadium in a cold weather location for the first time.  I love New York and I’m looking forward to visiting the new Meadowlands Stadium, but an open stadium in the winter will not be fun.  I remember walking around Detroit for Super Bowl XL and the snow was miserable.  I can’t imagine sitting outside for the game.  I think that Kick Off Week should go to a team in the North and Super Bowl should go to a team in the South. 

Speaking of spring, the University of Michigan’s new Athletic Director, David Brandon is planting new seeds.  Last week he announced that Michigan is going to have a home game during primetime!  The new Michigan Stadium will hold fans for the very first time at night when my Wolverines host Notre Dame on September 10, 2011 at 8 p.m.   This is the first time Michigan will play at night in the Big House, but it will not be its first night game.  They played in the first ever night game against Marquette in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1944.  They have a record of 22 – 11 in primetime games.   

Heels  & Helmets

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