Roger Goodell recently sent out a letter to NFL fans explaining some changes he'd like to see this season.
Below are some key points (with our reaction/interpretation in italics).
GOODELL: Here at the NFL, we have a relentless drive to improve -- particularly when it comes to the way fans experience our game.
(And REALLY particularly when our ratings are down and it'll be costing us money. Then you'll see relentless.)
Next week clubs will vote on a change to centralize replay reviews. Instead of a fixed sideline monitor, we will bring a tablet to the referee...
(Uh-oh, how'd you like to be the I.T. guy in charge of that?)
....who can review the play in consultation with our officiating headquarters in New York, which has the final decision.
(Wait, we thought the on-field referee had final say.)
This should improve consistency and accuracy of decisions and help speed up the process.
(Jeff Triplette and Jerome Boger will be heavily supervised from now on.)
Regarding game timing, we're going to institute a play clock following the extra point when television does not take a break...
(When would that be, exactly?)
...and we're considering instituting a play clock after a touchdown.
(We didn't already have that?)
We're also going to standardize the starting of the clock after a runner goes out-of-bounds, and standardize halftime lengths in all games, so we return to the action as quickly as possible.
(We didn't have that either? Some halftimes were longer or shorter than others? Based on what?)
Together with our broadcast partners, we will be working to meaningfully reduce down time and the frequency of commercial breaks in our game.
(Yeah, that'll go over well. Will you be refunding some of their rights fees?)
We will also be giving our broadcast partners increased flexibility to avoid untimely breaks in the action.
(When would be a "timely" break in the action?)
For example, we know how annoying it is when we come back from a commercial break, kick-off, and then cut to a commercial again. I hate that too. Our goal is to eliminate it.
(Key phrase: "Our goal." So when the networks say no, we'll blame them.)
We also know that you feel there are too many elements in the broadcast that aren't relevant to the play on the field.
(Interesting. Like what?)
With our partners, we will be looking to instead focus on content that is most complementary and compelling to you–whether that is analysis, highlights or stories about our players.
(Goodbye pink towels, pink shoes and "raising awareness"?)
All of these changes are meant to give you more of what you want: a competitive game with fewer interruptions and distractions from the action.
(And what WE want -- more money.)
We hope that you will continue to give us feedback on how we can improve.
(Would now be a good time to bring up domestic violence?)
Thank you for all that you do for our players, our teams and our game.
(Namely, spending money.)
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