Good whatever time it is you're reading this folks. I'm David. Former NFL Fan long time Eagles fan, and someone who is tired of excuses and finger pointing. In the words of one of the greats of our time 'I Embrace Solutions' But to understand the solutions you need to understand what has actually happened here.
This is not as simple as the National Anthem protests. Its a bit more complex than that. There is has been among certain groups of fans; what is best described as a dark undercurrent. This flow of darkness stems from one key point. The actions of the NFL Commissioner from the moment he took control. This undercurrent in recent years got exposed as Superbowl Ratings started to drop and attendance was shaken around the country.
From the destruction of the spygate tapes, to questionable referee decisions. Games while this man has been the comissioner can be questioned. Superbowls can even be contested. There were problems under Tagliblu concerning players. There were never this many problems concerning the integrity of the sport. Paring that with a wave of political sponsorships from Black Lives Matter to Susan G Komen. Has put fans who were already annoyed over game results into an active state attacking the commissioner and talking about their friends. That and insulting Police across the country to the point some police departments would not participate as security at NFL games. The St. Louis Rams front office nor the Commissioner would penalize their players for standing with BLM in the darkest times of their rioting and insurrection.
This has all resulted in a downward trend that was poised to explode. It only needed a trigger. Enter a combination of Riots, and teeth gnashing when Trump took the Presidency. Trump's twitter feed after taking office was just what was needed to send the NFL front office and teams into a Tizzy. Perhaps as Trump wanted. Who can really say for sure. The long and short of it is. What had been a growing problem was made to explode and gave it no place to hide. It affected nearly every team in the NFL and fans across the country have been shutting games off and protesting the best way they can. With their wallets.
That brings us to right about now. 11/26/2017 when i'm writing this article. Because that date is gonna be important. The NFL thanksgiving slate of games was reported to have a 10% drop compared to last year. Thats not a small number at this point. Only one player knelt over all 6 teams playing that day but that reaction has been vicious by fans. This is affecting businesses tied to the NFL. The owner Papa Johns went public in a conference call slamming the NFL for its lack of action on the Kneeling during the Anthem. This man has Reneged on his original statement and his cowardice has been noted.
This all leads up to what could be the most important not being talked about event for the NFL. The current extension of the contract of the commissioner. They're trying to keep this under wraps in no small degree and the press both sports and national have given almost zero airtime to this. But the solution to fixing the NFL starts right at this point. This moment right here.
Step 1. FIRE the Commissioner.
Ignore Spygate ignore the early years. Ignore the questionable referee decisions the almost Vince McMahon windup in narrative and results. Focus on just the last 3 years. In Which Ratings have dropped across the board, and active dissent has increased. This all centers around the front office of the NFL and its Commissioner. The stances and actions taken have made this an easy choice by fans to walk away. That in of itself says the Commissioner of the NFL is NOT doing his job. This guy gets paid more than a large portion of the athletes that play in the NFL.
He can at this point not just have his contract merely lapse. He needs to be ejected.
Step 2. A Ceremonial Closing of the Book.
The NFL Commissioner is typically chosen by the 32 teams. In the wake of step one. The Owners as one voice should come out united and say 'This chapter of the NFL has ended' It is time to write a new one. Things will need to be swept clean. And it will need to be clear that from whatever date this happens on forward. Things WILL change. Which leads me to step 3. Probably the second hardest step forward.
Step 3. The First Fan Commissioner
This is not a joke. The Next NFL Commissioner can not just be some high profile name. It needs to be a 29 week watches every game he can FAN. Maybe a Season Ticket Holder. There would be a lot of volunteers who would do it for a lot less than what the commissioner is making right now. One possible way, ask Trump and NBC for help. Love it hate it, the first run of the Apprentice changed the landscape of television with its ratings. A single TV season during the off season Search for the next head of the NFL would be incredibly compelling television. The fans would not have to be involved on choosing who gets in. That is the prerogative of NFL ownership. But the FANS seeing the process would go a long way to repairing damage done. Whoever gets chosen however it is done. It should be first and foremost a FAN of the NFL.
Step 4. Mea Culpa.
Mea Maxi Culpa perhaps. Owners in several cities need to set things right. There is more than one reason the Rams are no longer in St. Louis. To be quite frank after what happened in the wake of the Riots in that city and who stood where? I dont think the city wanted the NFL there. Owners need to get out in public in their local markets and make right by the Fans. If nothing else at the bare minimum hear them out.
Step 5. End the Politics
The C.B.A. needs to have a few lines put in. And its coming up, this would be a perfect time to make one very important thing clear:
NFL players while not on the field have the right and if they feel such the responsibility to speak up. During Pre Season, Regular season or Post Season while on the field however is NOT that time. This is at the CORE of the large majority of fans who have flat out given up on the NFL.
I would go so far as to say the NFL Players Union if it wanted to be should be an active political force. That is their choice. But that voice should represent the entire league. Not one section of it. And if Players feel so strongly that they need to speak up. They have the money to buy air time. It is beyond simple for someone to create an account like this and spout off. It is beyond easy for an NFL player to get a camera sit in front of it do a bit of editing themselves and make a video to post on youtube.
Because you see, the NFL players are hypocrites. They talk about it on the field. They want it there with everyone watching and
there the owner cant exactly fire them in this political environment. But can someone tell me other than Kapernick an NFL player going on TV and doing spots? Actually Wading into the political waters? Are they willing to dedicate the time and money to have the appropriate research done so they can be properly informed?
The answer is no folks. Or i wouldn't be writing this. The NFL needs to divorce itself from every cause it is currently advocating for and not touch them with a twenty foot pole.
Step 6. ESPN NBC CBS Fox and Direct TV
These networks can be seen as nothing less than part of the problem. ESPN has become C-Span with a side of sports. While NBC and CBS have been widely documented. Fox has been the same only for a progressive wing of the 'right' All five of these networks broadcast the NFL. It is time to take the NFL network, RedZone, and your Internet package to the next level. End the Deals, Broadcast exclusively on NFL network, RedZone and your Internet service. If you've reached this point. You've re-ignited fan love of the sport. You've taken the steps that the fans will want to Flock back screaming thank yous and Cheers. Now would be the perfect time to lock them in. Requests for the NFL network would make it required on every cable package level in the country. The Internet streaming options (Assuming you're serious) Would only swell your numbers especially among Cord Cutters who want to leave the providers behind. By doing this you FREE announcers from network constraints. You force the other groups to cover the NFL from the outside. Giving an environment that says 'We're about the damn GAMES' not the politics. And that folks is the message that needs to be sent.
The NFL can right the ship. It wont take mass suspensions or crazy bullcrap. But a quiet dedicated effort to prove the NFL is NOT a political football 32 men hold the key to this. It all starts with Removing Roger Goodell as Commissioner.