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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Pro Football, Reinvented.

Since it is the new year, it seems only fitting that this post address the goals for the coming year, or the achievements of last year. Having made it through 2016 seems like quite an accomplishment, so that is enough. As for goals for next year, I plan on making it to 2018. It will not be easy, but with a little luck and some planning it should be reachable.

Mostly New Years day is about football. Since it is on Sunday, which is the day the NFL plays the bowl games have been moved to Monday, which is when most of America (me) goes back to work there is college basketball. Pro sports are not really sports to me. They are much more business like, cut and dried. Not like a real business with spreadsheets, and memos, emails and faxes, but not like a game, either. It is hard to get excited about a guy who makes more in an afternoon than most of us will make in a year.

It might be a lot more entertaining if they had to forfeit part of their pay if they performed poorly. “Well, Chip, dropping that pass was sure costly. He is writing a check to the league, now. Just look at all those zeroes.” But, they can play awfully and still have a big paycheck waiting at the end of the tunnel. Yes, the coach may be facing a hostile press corps, and possible job loss, the players are insulated by dollar signs.

But, that would probably not make it that much better. Neither do the pregame shows, where they talk endlessly about tactics, matchups, and game plans. All with a warm smile, some jokes, and a few friendly jabs at each other. It is easier to make bold predictions when there is nothing lost. If they had to answer for each glaring mistake they might use more guarded optimism. But, people don’t want reasonable assumptions, they want fearless predictions, no matter how far in error.

We have groups of people that are paid to perform, paid well, with easily “quantifiable metrics,” with no retribution. Imagine, though, if the “experts” consuming all of the air time, making brash statements, were held accountable. “Last week you claimed the Cowboys were going to beat the Indians. You claimed it would not be in doubt. The Indians have not played so well since Little Big Horn. How do you justify such a wildly inaccurate guess?”
 
“Well, Cowboy safety Ian Klackbury played like poop, he couldn’t stop the run, and he let them pass
over the top all day long. And the whole offensive line was missing in action. It was humiliating. They should be ashamed.”

“For rebuttal we bring in the the Cowboy offensive line, and free safety Ian Klackbury. How do you plead?” At this point the coaches and players would have to justify their poor play, or lacking the ability to marshal sufficient arguments challenge the show host to a no holds barred cage match. Pro sports could be entertaining, they just don’t do it properly.