Mrs. Amy Adams Strunk, first, let me say how wonderful you have been for the Tennessee Titans and for the fans of the team. Perhaps the best thing to happen to this franchise since the Super Bowl appearance back in 2000 is the day you became the controlling owner of the team. Prior to that moment, the Titans had become a laughingstock in the league. It had gotten so bad that even after three consecutive winning seasons (2016-2018), the team has not been able to completely overcome their previous and well-earned reputation.
You have changed the course of the Titans
Your decisions set the stage for all of that to change. You have made great hiring (and firing decisions). Your vision for the team spearheaded the new uniform unveiling and the recent NFL draft in Nashville. You have opened a line of communication with the fans and are doing everything you can to make the fans feel valued. Those things go a long way. So, thank you for all of that.
A Unique Opportunity
I don’t want to waste too much of your time, Mrs. Amy Adams Strunk, so I will get to the main point of this letter. I realize that as a woman you are a minority when it comes to NFL owners. You are also relatively new to the NFL owner’s club. So, you probably have your work cut out for you when it comes to influencing the other owners and franchises. I’m sure those are not easy waters to navigate.
With that said, I believe you need to take a stand. From all appearances, it seems as if the owners are dead-set on increasing the number of regular season games. It also seems like they will use cutting out some pre-season games as bait to make that happen. I’ll put this as plainly as I can: Expanding the regular season to 18 games is a giant mistake.
We have reached a point where players are no longer willing to put their bodies on the line like they used to. The money being what it is has made it possible for many players to walk away from the game while they can still walk. An 18 game regular season will only see more injuries, more retirements, and more marquee players throwing in the towel. 16 games is the maximum number of games needed for an NFL season. More than that and you risk destroying the game we all love.
A simple proposal for the health of the sport
Mrs. Strunk, I ask you to get out in front of this insanity and put your foot down. I would go one step further. Lead the charge and offer an option that will help both sides.
First, do away with one pre-season game. Three is enough. The fans don’t care about the preseason. The teams barely care about them. The only people that seem to want them are the ones making money off them: The owners.
Second, add one playoff team per conference. This allows the playoffs to expand, gives the league a few more games, but does not force every team to play two more games. (In this scenario, only the Number One Seed in each conference would get a bye. It would make that number one seed matter even more to teams fighting it out at the end of the season.)
The future of the NFL depends on these decisions
I don’t want to tell you how to run the team or limit how much money you can make off the Titans. It’s a business and you are entitled to make as much as the market will pay. But, I am confident the long-term health of the league is in jeopardy if the owners force the regular season to expand. It might look good in the short-term but over the long haul, it will backfire. The league will get weaker, not stronger. That might be hard to see now, but it will happen. These men you are paying to risk their health every Sunday will not stick around forever. Their bodies will not allow it. Just ask Andrew Luck.
Final thoughts and another “thank you”
Mrs. Amy Adams Strunk, once again, thanks for all you have done for the Titans. Thank you for making them respectable again. Hopefully, you can take all the good you have done for this team and use it to help the league become the best it has ever been. I think you are more than capable of leading this charge. I’ll stand behind you 100% if you do.
- The Playoffs Start Now - January 1, 2021
- Podcast: Episode 4 - October 17, 2020
- Podcast Episode Three - October 13, 2020
2 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Amy Adams Strunk”
I love, love, love this Phill! Two things. 1). The proposal is solid . . . It’s a win-win-win. Makes good business (revenue), good for the fans and good for the players. 2). Strong leaders have vision, courage and empathy. The vision for a better future, courage to make the decision and the empathy for all the right partners to make it work. Spot. On.
Thanks! It is a win-win. I have to give my brother some credit with this proposal. We discussed it a few weeks back and this was sort of where we landed. If the league really wants to expand the schedule, then adding a playoff team is the best way to do it. They CANNOT add regular season games. It will kill the league in the long run. But, one more team per conference in the playoffs gives the league more revenue, adds more excitement for the Number One overall seed at the end of the season, and gives one more team hope for a playoff run. And, it will remove one preseason game and that’s a plus to everyone.
I’d love to see Mrs. Adams Strunk champion this sort of proposal. Be the voice for it. Be the owner that stands up and says, “player safety and the integrity of the sport are the most important considerations.” And then, present this as the optimal compromise. I think she would have the public rally around her if she were to do this.