Fake Football – Phill Lytle
Football is back!
Preseason football is here!
After the long, long offseason, we finally have actual football to watch.
Except, it’s not really football. Not in the true sense of the word. During the preseason, teams don’t game-plan, they don’t strategize, and they don’t really care about winning or losing. The starters will usually only play a series or two, and the rest of the game is filled with a bunch of players that will rarely play when the games finally count for something.
Doesn’t matter though, if you are a die-hard NFL fan. We still watch. I watched every second of the first Titans’ preseason snorefest. It was ugly. Neither team looked good. The Titans looked disinterested and bored. The Jets looked incompetent. The final score resembled an MLB game, but was less action packed and slower paced than any baseball game I have seen in some time. I’m sure the ratings were spectacular – no sarcasm intended. People love NFL football.
Here’s to three more meaningless preseason games with no injuries!
In our continued effort to get more voices and perspectives for our NFL coverage, we have asked Ben Plunkett to occasionally contribute his thoughts to various NFL matters. Disclaimer: Ben does not watch football, knows nothing about the current players, and literally does no research. But he stands by every word he writes! We proudly present:
Behind the Headlines
by Benjamin Plunkett
I have always admired personalities who have risen above adversity to greatness. For Marshawn Lynch that adversity came in the form of being an unexpected and unwanted child. Few people know that Marshawn is the second of identical twins. His firstborn brother, Shawn, was really all his parents expected. Then to the complete surprise of everyone present—including the medical staff—came his brother. They named him More Shawn because they were, like, “Hey, more Shawn!. Over time this became Marshawn. But for the purposes of this article to avoid any confusion we will simply call him More Shawn.
At birth, More Shawn bore gifts:
A nerf football in one hand and a video of Raiders of the Lost Ark in the other. By seven years of age he had mastered the fedora and bullwhip. By ten he vowed an unbreakable vow to wipe every last Nazi from the face of the earth. And by 15 he had grown a lifelong hatred of snakes. All this considered, it is an understatement to say that after high school, More Shawn was ready to join the Oakland Raiders. Plus, he still had his nerf football, which he could throw, like, really, really far.
I’m a big Harrison Ford fan.
So it makes perfect sense that More Shawn should always be a poster child of greatness to me and my kind. Sadly, More Shawn’s career was cut short at the age of 21, just after he had joined the Raiders. During that year some random lady he had just met shot him. This drove him out of the game for about 15 or so years. Now, girded with his prize nerf football which he has named “Wonderball,” More Shawn is at 36 just now triumphantly returning to his beloved game.
In my opinion, More Shawn isn’t that old.
I think the rabid football fans of Ephesus of Paul the Apostle’s day would agree. In that culture, anyone under the age of 40 was considered young. No, I don’t think it will matter as long as he can throw “Wonderball” up to the top of the stadium and hit the lights. As long as he is able to do that and make sparks dance all over the field while he runs in slow motion, everything should be hunky dory. And despite his “advanced age”, he has proven himself more than capable of doing so. The team mascot has been cited as declaring, “That boy can throw like really, really far.”
No, there is not one iota of doubt in my mind that More Shawn could throw a football over them mountains. I think if Coach would have put him in for the fourth quarter, they would’ve been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind.
Anyhoo, let me know what you think about all this. Can More Shawn still throw, like, really, really far? Does he still have skills with a bullwhip? What about a bow staff? All that can be known for certain is that the future of mankind rests on his shoulders. I also know that More Shawn will prove to be the best thing since Baby Gays changed its name to Q-tips.
A Possible Solution To an 18 Game Regular Season
by Phill Lytle
The buzz term for the NFL the past few years has been Player Safety. Rules have been changed. Fines levied. Research done. All in the name of Player Safety. Yet, the league office continues to float out the idea of an 18 game regular season. I won’t regurgitate what I’ve already written about this awful idea – you can that here. And I won’t belabor the point too much, because plenty has been said about this issue. But the truth of that matter is that the owners want more revenue and they believe adding games to the schedule will make that possible, so this idea is not going anywhere.
At the same time, I do believe the owners would be willing to forgo adding games to the regular season if they could add more teams, and therefore more games, to the playoffs. And for the sake of the integrity of the game, that is actually an idea I am willing to entertain. Perhaps it would dilute the quality of the playoffs a bit. As of now, only 12 teams make it to the postseason. If you added two more teams per conference, that would mean that half the league would make it to the playoffs. Maybe that is too much. I don’t know.
What I do know is that plan is far preferable to adding more games to the regular season – risking more injury and more attrition. If I were in charge of the players union, I would only agree to more playoff teams and games in exchange for less preseason games and whatever other items they deem important. I actually think this scenario is not only possible, but would considerably reduce the chances of any work stoppage at the next collective bargaining meetings.
Just my two thoughts. What do you guys think?
- The Playoffs Start Now - January 1, 2021
- Podcast: Episode 4 - October 17, 2020
- Podcast Episode Three - October 13, 2020
3 thoughts on “The NFL on REO: Football is Back! Sort of.”
I like your ideas, Phill. But I am really opposed to an 18 game regular season for each team, and I think most fans, players, coaches, and GM’s would be too. The only ones who want and 18 game schedule are the owners. So here are 2 scenarios that I think could work.
Shorten the pre-season by one week, and give everyone 2 bye weeks during the regular season by extending it to 18 weeks (still only 16 games per team). The regular season would end at the same time it currently does.
Then have a 14 team playoffs, by adding 2 teams (one in each conference). The top seed in each conference would still get a bye in the first round plus have home field advantage throughout the conference playoffs.
Shorten the pre-season by one week, and keep the regular season at 17 weeks with each team getting one bye week. The regular season would ultimately begin and end one week earlier than it does currently due to the pre-season being shortened one week.
Then have a bye week in between the regular season and the opening round of the playoffs to give all playoff teams a week’s rest. Have a 16 team playoff by adding 4 teams (2 in each conference) with no bye weeks for top seeds. The higher seeds would still be awarded home field advantage through the conference championships.
In each of these two options, the 2 Super Bowl teams would get an extra week between the Conference championship games and the SB. And the Super Bowl would still be played at its current calendar location on the first Sunday in February.
Good suggestions. I think making the regular season 18 games is one of the dumbest ideas ever. 16 games is perfect.
I really do not think the NFLPA is going to come to terms with the NFL on an 18 game season for every team. If the overwhelming concern is player safety, I don’t see how adding 2 games helps the problem. Surely, the owners make enough already.