Author Archive

NFL Lawyers Run Amok

January 30th, 2009 Comments off

I just don’t get what the NFL is doing with putting time restrictions on television stations showing highlights and interviews from games and not allowing the words “Super Bowl” or “Super Sunday” to be used in marketing.  It seems to me they are hurting their own product by limiting exposure in areas that might reach fringe or even non-fans.  I know they want to have control of their products and try to generate more revenues from these decisions, but I think they are hurting themselves in the long run by making the sport less relevant to people that are not already fans.

With the Super Bowl (I’m not marketing anything with it, so I can use it) coming this weekend, I just don’t get why they don’t want to allow a pizza company to advertise that you should call ahead to get your pizza for the Super Bowl.  It’s a free advertisement that also suggests that you should be watching the game this weekend because everybody else is.  How can that not be good for the NFL?  The tickets are already too expensive for most families, especially with the down economy.  You would think that they would love trying to draw new viewers to watch the games, and the Super Bowl is probably the best way to hook new fans.  I just think it’s silly.

Station Web Sites Miss NFL Highlights
Off the Team: NFL’s infringement suit contends Coors is not a player.

Originally posted on my personal blog:  Odd Thoughts and Rants

Categories: Features Tags: ,

CBA Opt Out

May 20th, 2008 1 comment

The owners unanimously voted to opt out of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement that gives 59 percent of the total football revenues to the players. This wasn’t unexpected, as the rookie salaries have gotten out of hand. I also believe the owners want to ensure that they have more options when players do things off the field that limit their availability to the team. With the Vick fiasco and Goodell coming down hard on the players, the owners are looking for assurances that they are not on the hook when players mess up.

I believe that there will not be a lockout, as the union isn’t as strong as it once was, and there are several teams in debt that cannot afford to miss out on TV/gameday revenues. I would expect that they will do away with the franchise tag in exchange for a rookie pay scale, similar to the NBA’s with new rules governing signing bonuses for players that get into legal problems or are otherwise unable to play(as with the tragic Sean Taylor killing). I don’t see the 59% moving up or down, just distributed more heavily to veterans.

I guess I am the eternal optimist, but I don’t see this ending badly for the fans, and there are some easy ways to make this a win-win for the current players and owners.

Categories: Features Tags:

Is A Winning Season Possible?

August 5th, 2007 3 comments

As you all know by now, Vick was indicted last month on conspiracy charges related to the dogfighting case. I am truly torn on this. Part of me wants him to be cleared and come back, but the other part is ready to move on. I have been defending the guy for years regarding his ability on the field, and he winds up having even more issues off it. I have a Vick jersey, a couple of shirts, and some memorabilia with his image/name on them that I am not willing to display anymore. I was a Falcons fan long before Vick arrived, so it is not like I will be changing allegiances, but I am truly disappointed that the player that I believed would be our best shot of winning a Super Bowl is likely done in Atlanta.

What now? Well, this season is exciting in that there will be a lot of unknowns. We will have a new offense, defense, and several new starters. Jim Mora Jr. managed to take this team to the NFC Championship a few years ago as a rookie head coach, so it would not be unheard of for Bobby Petrino to guide the team to a great season. Personally, I think the team is capable of 10 wins if things fall into place, but anything more than that is very unlikely.

Regarding Joey Harrington, I view him as another Bobby Hebert or Chris Chandler, in that he has been bouncing around in the last couple of years and we are hoping that things ‘click’ for him, as has happened with many veteran QBs after they have enough experience and find a good situation for their skills and personality. If it doesn’t happen, we will be in a good situation to draft Brohm, who played for Petrino at Louisville, and is widely regarded as one of the top QBs in college, and will likely be a first round pick. It is not often that a team can draft a QB and expect him to fully grasp the offense before training camp even starts, so this would be a no-brainer if we were in need of a quarterback next season.

So that’s it, my prediction is 10-6. Am I wrong? Time will tell.

Categories: Features Tags:

Fandom in the Free Agency Era

June 24th, 2007 5 comments

Being a Falcons fan has been tough over the years. It has been beaten to death that the team has never had consecutive winning seasons. We have seen so many promising starts end with disappointment. Some have asked me why I was a Falcons fan to begin with, and my answer is that I lived near Atlanta when I was younger, and started following the team because of it. The NFL has fans that have no such association, so I began to wonder why they attach to a certain team.

For the older fans, they may have liked a particular player, be it that the player went to a nearby college, or just had a personality they liked. Prior to free agency, these players would have been with the same team for a long time, so it would have been easy to keep up with the player and grow fond of the team.

For the younger fans, they tend to be children of NFL fans, may follow the team because their parents/alternative role models do. I know this to be true with my own children, as they can identify the Falcons and many of the players on the team, due to my fandom. If it were not for me, I doubt they would have any interest in the team whatsoever.

It begs the question, how does the NFL draw fans that live away from an NFL team and have no family or friends to draw them in? I strongly believe that free agency has hurt the league in this aspect. It is very difficult for those that are not truly invested to keep up with the players constantly changing teams, and the team doesn’t truly have an identity, unless it employs a long-term coach, which is also rare.

I believe that the NFL should restructure the salary cap and free agency rules to allow teams more flexibility in keeping players that were drafted by the team and players who have been with the team for a long period. Basically, the cap hit for these players should be smaller than it would be for another team if they switched. This will still allow players to change teams if they desire, but would give the teams that draft well the ability to retain their own players and keep an identity. There is nothing worse than seeing a Jerry Rice playing for the Raiders or Emmit Smith playing for the Cardinals due to a cap number. I think this would be good for the veteran players, as they could finish their careers where they are comfortable, and it would be good for the league, as fans would be able to follow the core players throughout their careers with the same team, and the league would benefit from having identifiable teams to the casual fans.

Categories: Features Tags: