Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What is Wrong with Football?

This weekend it became apparent to be what is wrong with both the NCAA and NFL variety of football.

Money!

Love of money is the root of all evil and it is clear that the NCAA and NFL have sold their souls for the pursuit of fame and fortune.

Here are cases in point.

The NCAA Championship game played Monday night was watched by 33 million people on a cable channel according to an article published by The Hollywood Reporter. A cable channel that costs extra money for most subscribers to receive and that cannot be received by non-cable subscribers. Why wasn't it on a over-the-air channel? Money. Even though the players in NCAA games receive no pay for their efforts and risk of injury, ESPN paid the NCAA $7.3 Billion to host the championship games for 12 years. 

On to the NFL and the Dallas Cowboy catch that wasn't.

I have looked at the replay of the catch. I have read the rules. I have seen other catches during the course of many NFL seasons that were disallowed because of "failure to control the ball through contact with the ground." 

In the Dallas game--it was a catch. Everyone knows it was a catch--we could see it. The problem is that the rules were written because of the millions of dollars riding on every play and the need to take rational judgement out of the game. Hence the phrase, "by rule." That is a way for the referees to say, "even though I know it was a catch I can't call it a catch because there are too many dollars involved to let me use my best judgment."

The catch was a catch--and the rules need to be fixed. And the Dallas play was not the only bad "no catch" call of the season.

The game suffers and the fans lose interest.

Every time there is a TV timeout in the middle of a drive--the game also suffers. It ruins the flow of the game. TV timeouts should only occur during change of possession situations. 

Look on the sidelines for the person in the big orange gloves. They are not a member of the officiating crew--they are part of the broadcast team and they are the ones controlling the pace of the game. They get paid to maximize profit for the broadcast company because the company has already paid an incredible fortune to the league for the right to broadcast the game. Their motivation is purely profit oriented.

What is being broadcast in TV and digitally is no longer football, but a game designed to generate profit. The game bears little resemblance to that being played on the sandlots and by the high schools across the country.

The game needs to be fixed and the impact of the money controlled.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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