This is the final installment chronicling my glorious reign as Sports Czar. Today I work my magic with the National Football League. It was somewhat problematic because the NFL is easily the most popular of the four major sport leagues in North America. Although I did make drastic changes with the National Hockey League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, the alterations that I have made with the NFL could have me charged with heresy. Hopefully, people will realize that as Sports Czar, there are no sacred cows. Not even the NFL.
After considerable deliberation, I decided not to shrink the size of the league. The current amount of teams, 32, is too ideal to mess with. Even as Sports Czar.
While the number did not change, I did feel it necessary to add, eliminate, relocate and adjust the divisions and conferences. Here is the new alignment:
National Football Conference
New York Giants
Green Bay Packers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles Rams
San Diego Chargers
San Francisco 49ers
American Football Conference
New England Patriots
New York Jets
St. Louis Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs
New Orleans Saints
With the addition of the Racers and the Oilers, there will no longer be teams named Ravens or Texans. Putting a team back in Los Angeles meant the demise of the Arizona franchise. Sorry, Bill Bidwell.
Another obvious revision is the moving of several teams into different divisions or conferences or, in some cases, both. All of these adjustments were made in the best interest of the NFL and it’s fans.
The regular season will remain at 16 games and will continue to use the current scheduling formula. The only minor change will be that all bye weeks will take place during weeks 7, 8, 9 and 10.
While the regular season design is basically unchanged, the same cannot be said for the playoffs.
As Sports Czar, only the eight divisional winners will qualify for the playoffs. This format does away with four wild card teams and the need for any byes. It also eliminates an entire round of playoffs.
There will still be a “media” week prior to the Super Bowl. During this time the Pro Bowl teams will be officially announced, but no actual Pro Bowl game will be played. In it’s place there will be an Hawaii Five O marathon featuring Jack Lord and James MacArthur.
There will only be a couple of other significant changes. No domed stadiums. None. Indianapolis, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Minnesota and St. Louis will have three years to make the necessary “modifications” to comply with this rule.
In accordance with the No-Dome rule, crappy artificial playing surfaces are a thing of the past. All teams will have three years to resurface their fields with the Kentucky bluegrass reinforced with DD GrassMater system used at historic Lambeau Field. This includes the extremely frugal McCaskey family.
The only other immediate change would be the method used when regular season games are tied at the end of regulation.
It will be simple and straightforward. The game will continue with a fifteen-minute overtime period played to its entirety. No Sudden Death. All regular fourth quarter rules will be used with each team receiving an additional timeout.
The score at the end of the extra session will be the final score. If the score is still tied, the game is officially declared a tie and hopefully your sister is good looking.
That’s it. My work with the NFL is done. A committee made up of Dick Butkus, Conrad Dobler and Bill Romanowski will be established to administer all other necessary rule changes.
Fortunately the Brewers have an off day, this Sports Czar stuff has worn me out. Until next time…from the booth.