Thursday, September 6, 2012

NFL, AOA (all over again)

So it's football time again. The first NFL game was on Wednesday night. The replacement refs did a pretty good job. Today's Wall Street Journal online had a quick quiz to see if you could be a replacement ref. Six scenarios. I got them all right. So, should I be a replacement ref? No, I got them right but I had the reasons all wrong. The rules are complicated! I guess the replacement refs have a tough job. Chances are good they will not have many easy nights like they did last night. Hurry up and get the real ones on the field!

What are the other big questions of the new season? Will the Giants repeat as Super Bowl champs? (not after watching them last night!). Will Manning be an improvement over Tebow in Denver? (we'll probably know after he takes a hard hit or two). Who will be the most exciting new QB? (Wilson in Seattle, or RG3 in Washington, or Luck in Indy or Romo in Dallas - he's not new but he looked it last night). Will all the money the Bills spent help them win and/or keep them in Buffalo? (I'm betting yes on the first part of that question and no on the second part). Will the Pats be back? (yes they will play the Packers in the Super Bowl if you believe the preseason hype but we know it will be the Bills - Seahawks in the Big Game.Don't we?)

And one long term question: will the NFL survive it's success? No, the controversy over concussions will force the game to change too much - it will have to become slower, with more rules to protect the players, and more penalties, and fewer big time hits that the fans love. (Remember the "Jacked Up" segment of ESPN - kinda makes you cringe now). The studies will continue to show that former NFL players suffer more neurological problems than the average and the expensive lawsuits from former players and their families will make the biggest hits on the league until major changes in how pro football is played are implemented. Flag football, anyone?