As the 2013 NFL season winds down, as like every other season; we hear about the possible or inevitable changes to the league. First off; I am not a big fan of a lot of commissioner Goodell's proposals and ideas. What fans are witnessing this year is an even worse travesty to the Pro Bowl than how much the level of play in the Pro Bowl itself has dropped off in recent years,(outside of Adrian Peterson). What seemed like to many, a possible good idea of changing it to an unconferenced game, picking teams much like playground rules. But, watching the "Pro Bowl draft," I was a little let down, and so much that I found myself channel surfing because of disinterest, and BTW; I am football fanatic much like most of you. But what I felt we had here was a problematic situation that has been made far worse. We have yet to watch the actual game, but with it not being ACF vs. NFC; which that in itself to me almost defeats the purpose of the game. Also throw in the fact that as much as many want to see Deon Sanders and Jerry Rice line up in the game; that it is another indicator that this game will be even less like a real game than previous Pro Bowls of late. I think with the direction Goodell went with the Pro bowl this year; that it could end being so bad that it could end the Pro Bowl for good.
When the game was moved to the week before the Super Bowl; it was a move that was really hard to argue, as their needed to be some kind of an NFL event filler to put in the middle of the two week wait for the Super Bowl. It was obvious then that the best players from the two best teams would not play in the Pro Bowl even though in year's past many of the players from the teams that played in the Super Bowl would elect not to go, especially players from the team that lost. However, this move itself completely removed that possibility and in turn took away from the Pro Bowl. But nothing like what I believe is going on this year. What Goodell has done could make this Pro Bowl, the last Pro Bowl. The fact of the matter is that there is the AFC and the NFC; the two best teams of each conference play for the championship in the Super Bowl and the best players from each conference play each other in the Pro Bowl for the bragging rights of the best conference. And now that's over, as this year there will be no conference winner. The possibility of this new concept in my opinion might have only worked if the captains picked their teams right before the game, but the league was not going to miss the chance to drag it out as long as possible to maximize profits while in turn making the whole thing an epic fail. But that's what the new NFL does is over do everything to point of taking a large part of the genuine qualities away. Of course, I don't even like the way they moved Total Access to primetime and changed the format making it extremely lame compared to the show not that many years ago when they had Rich Eisen as host, kept it simple, but had solid personalities that made it more interesting.
Another recent move Roger Goodell is talking about is the elimination of the PAT. And his take on it in my opinion does nothing to make the game more exciting; it takes away. Taking away a point if failing on the two point conversion, really? Bad idea, making changes every single year on top of the always suspect officiating takes away from the game. Make no doubt about it though, when the NFL starts talking about it, that's just them letting people know it's happening in some form or another. And since the change is coming, as the NFL has a commissioner that insists on changing the game of football little by little every year for the sake of profits much more than to build a more quality game, the only sensible move that should be considered is what Minnesota Vikings' former head coach Bud Grant said years ago, and that was to move the kick back, maybe have it at the 20 or 25 yard line.
Though, as long as Goodell is the Commissioner fans know there will always continue to be changes every year. Now, obviously there had to be changes made in regards to concussions and overall player safety, but where Goodell puts the game of football at risk is by questionable motives that many believe are financially driven more than to actually make the game better. Most do not want the PAT taken away, or the kickoff eliminated to have teams start at the 20 yard line. People do want a more competitive Pro Bowl, but they want AFC vs. NFC. And what people want the most of all is for games to be called more fairly. There are too many grey areas in which the wrong calls, or no calls at all by the officials influence the game, and in some cases have dictated which team won the game. Yet, every year when we hear about all the changes Goodell wants to make; we never hear about how the games are going to be called more fair. Though, the league seems very content on leaving the officiating pretty close to how it is where 'human error' by officials can change the outcome of games. After all the NFL has enough money, it wouldn't hurt them financially a bit, and likely profit if they did something like put sensors on the field and more cameras all over the field, and put sensors in the ball itself. The technology is there to create a computerized system that could correct a large majority of officiating mistakes made game after game. And there are many different avenues to go to make a much better officiated game that most logically can think of or have thought of years ago, but the NFL always drags their feet and is always much more interested in making other changes to the game.
If the league really wants to make the game better, and bring in more fans, while keeping their existing ones; they should make the game better by actually making the game better officiated. Whether officials are made full time employees who are subject to fines and suspensions as well as rewarded for consistently performing well officiating. The league I'm sure has think tanks of individuals that have likely thought of every possibility most fans have thought of, but for some reason are not interested in those kind of changes; Goodell and company are more interested in moving the draft back to May to maximize profits, or talk of removing the kickoff or the PAT, or playing more games in London in attempt to tap into another market to make more money. Not to say all other changes are not good, as I am a fan of Thursday night football, and think that adding two more wildcard teams to the playoffs would also be a good move, but with all the focus from Goodell to change the game of football; I would like to see the league focus at least half as much of its agenda of change on actually making the game itself better by making changes that attempt to minimize and eventually eliminate mistakes that influence the outcome of games made by officials. I know the league avoids this kind of attention, but if positive changes were made to improve officiating, the result would be a much more superior product on the field and bring in a lot more new fans while keeping their current fans than any other changes that are being proposed every year outside of player safety.