Monday, January 13, 2014

Football, as it should be played.

Since the NFL Conference Championship games are next Sunday, I thought I'd take the opportunity to offer Commissioner Goodell my suggestion for the improvement of the game of football.

Let's back up a little bit. Paddy is a big fan of football, and I like watching it, too. When I was a lot younger, my little brother (Shout-out: Ashton! Hey! Oh!) taught me the basics using the framework of the original Ninetendo's TecmoBowl. Remember this?

Image from here

We played game after game, Ashton teaching me about downs and how to cheat by peeking at the other person's play choice-- when he wasn't too busy oogling the cartoon cheerleader still-frames that lit up the screen every time he scored. I later used that skill (cheating on plays, not looking at cheerleaders) to solidly beat my college friend Guillermo every time we played on my roommate's old gaming system.

College didn't do a whole lot to expand my knowledge of the game, since at the time my beloved Aggies were--how do I put this delicately?--not exactly the bowl-game winning program they are today. After we got married, though, Paddy was able to build upon my rudimentary knowledge of the game to create in me a football fan who at least most of the time understands what is going on in the game.

Armed with this history, I have developed a brilliant plan to improve the excitement factor in every football game we view. I submit to Commissioner Goodell (who I hear is really into taking suggestions from strangers) the following changes, illustrated for his convenience.

The change would involve altering some of the hardware of the game, as follows:

 A small platform would be anchored to the side of the uprights in each end zone. Also, a framework of bungees (not pictured) would be installed.

The improvement would also require the addition of one player position on each team. A member of Special Teams, the player might often find himself in this position during the game, relaxing on his perch.

The real excitement, however, comes each and every time the opposing team attempts a field goal or point after goal. Then, the new player (I lovingly refer to this position as "Keeper", but will defer to Comm. Goodell's judgement on the official title) springs into action, leaping from his platform in an energetic attempt to block the ball.

Image not to scale. Obviously.

Right? RIGHT?! Tell me this isn't brilliant! If the Keeper is able to successfully bat the ball out of the uprights, no good! When the football hits the turf, the ball is dead. The kicking team can recover the ball by catching it on the way down (interception-style) but not advance it (if they recover it in the end zone, it is not a touchdown, but will result in a fresh set of downs from the 20 yard line.) The defense can recover and advance the ball, recorded as a turnover against the kicking team. After the kick and block attempt, the keeper, who is bobbing gently in his bungee harness, is hoisted back up to the platform to either climb down and move to the other end zone or await his next opportunity to leap in to infamy.

I know, I know. It's awesome. I eagerly await response from the NFL legal offices. I'll accept payment in the form of SuperBowl tickets for my husband, fathers, and brothers. Oh, and a convenient Patriots loss next week as a signing bonus.

You're welcome.

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