Dumbest ideas the NFL had

Re: Dumbest ideas the NFL had

Postby Reaser » Fri Jan 28, 2022 2:43 pm

Bryan wrote:I had forgotten this one, and it's not an NFL idea, but the stupidity needs to be mentioned. Does anyone remember about 10 years ago the University of Michigan was commemorating something or other, and they made their QB wear #98 for the entire season because that was the number Tom Harmon wore back in the late 1940's? It made absolutely no sense, and I felt bad for the QB who had to wear #98 because the team wasn't any good and he got slaughtered all year. It's not like the QB knew Tom Harmon or had any connection.


That was Devin Gardner, I believe he played football in Japan after that. It was some legends or legacy jersey thing they were doing. Where players got retired #'s. Like 98 for Harmon, 21 for Desmond Howard, 48 for Ford, 11 and a couple others and there was a patch on the jersey. e.g. for 21 it had a patch saying Desmond Howard's #21 or something like that. I like college football traditions, and uniforms/numbers traditions, legacy numbers, etc. But that entire thing was cheesy. Glad it only lasted a handful of years. They were/are fine with kids wanting to wear Woodson's #2 and probably the main one, WR's wanting the famous #1. Didn't need to do the legends jersey thing.

UVA has been doing something with their numbers last couple years, I believe players earn the choice of numbers in some order and they pick so you get players with weird numbers. Plus, especially a couple seasons ago, they were using a lot of different QBs so saw QB's with #99, #98, #36 and #25 all in the same season. #36 switched to #5 and he was their starter, when not injured, so didn't see it as much this season but still a thing there.
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Re: Dumbest ideas the NFL had

Postby RichardBak » Fri Jan 28, 2022 5:13 pm

Devin Gardner was no Tom Harmon. But there's a kind of 8-degrees-of-separation quality to them. Garnder played for Nojima Sagamihara Rise in Japan's X-League (he was voted Rookie of the Year). The original Ol' 98 was piloting a P-38 when he was shot down by a Japanese Zero. Harmon, of course, survived, and went on to play some pro ball before moving into broadcasting.

There's still a good book waiting to be written about Harmon. Gardner, not so much....
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Re: Dumbest ideas the NFL had

Postby racepug » Fri Jan 28, 2022 6:02 pm

7DnBrnc53 wrote:14 games and five playoff teams

I like the 16-game schedule. Very "binary" and scheduling was easy (with the rotations through the divisions and the way they came up with the "extra" two games). Very consistent. But the 7 playoff teams per conference is too much, in my opinion. Really, with four divisions per conference they could just stick with division winners for the playoffs and leave it at that. But that presents its own problems (in my view) and the N.F.L. will never go back to a time when there were fewer games to broadcast (and therefore make a profit from).
Last edited by racepug on Fri Jan 28, 2022 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dumbest ideas the NFL had

Postby SixtiesFan » Fri Jan 28, 2022 7:09 pm

RichardBak wrote:Devin Gardner was no Tom Harmon. But there's a kind of 8-degrees-of-separation quality to them. Garnder played for Nojima Sagamihara Rise in Japan's X-League (he was voted Rookie of the Year). The original Ol' 98 was piloting a P-38 when he was shot down by a Japanese Zero. Harmon, of course, survived, and went on to play some pro ball before moving into broadcasting.

There's still a good book waiting to be written about Harmon. Gardner, not so much....


Tom Harmon, one of the most famous college football players of the 20th Century, never has attracted a biographer. He was one of the first ex-players to make it big in broadcasting. Harmon was unusual in doing play by play.
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Re: Dumbest ideas the NFL had

Postby Bob Gill » Fri Jan 28, 2022 9:43 pm

7DnBrnc53 wrote:As for the NFL, Chuck Noll was right. 14 games was fine. 14 games and five playoff teams, with no Thursday or Sunday Night Football (just have MNF. Make Monday Night Great Again!!!!).


At the risk of nitpicking, I don't think there was a time when they played 14 games and had five playoff teams per conference. There were four in those days: three division winners and a wild card team. (To my mind, the best arrangement the NFL had.) They added the second wild-card team the same year (1978) they extended the season to 16 games.
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Re: Dumbest ideas the NFL had

Postby Zero26 » Sat Jan 29, 2022 2:07 am

Using totals for official statistics instead of averages like the NBA does. If you're going to keep the number of games stagnant totals are fine(even then I prefer averages) but if you're going to change them averages adjust for this and allow for a fair comparison(barring the issue of different eras and things like that).

What's the most frustrating is hearing people complain about how all the records are going to be broken with more games as if it's this enigma there isn't a simple easy solution for. There is little no downside if the NFL really was attached to their traditional statistical benchmarks they shouldn't have changed the number of games multiple times. For career numbers I get the appeal of totals over averages(though again I still prefer averages) but in terms of single season it just makes life easier IMO.

Only issue I can see is having to make arbitrary cut offs for what does and doesn't qualify but that seems more academic to me.

Another one is the pro bowl. First I think the current pro bowl alternate system punishes players for having team success. If a player makes the Super Bowl they will not be an alternate. I think the main purpose of the pro bowl is as an honor not as a literal game that very few people watch and in this case you're letting the logistics of an event impact official honors and that doesn't make sense.

While all star games are bigger events in other sports football is a more physical game where players are compensated less. The risk of players getting injured in what is supposed to be a celebration of their season seems like a big risk there is very little benefit to for any party. If the experience in Hawaii was special I think they should just give the pro bowlers an expenses paid vacation to Hawaii as some sort of tradition. If expanding the season to 18 games is an inevitability maybe the 18th game takes the place of the pro bowl(though the pro bowl is an exhibition not everyone takes part in, maybe cutting that along with another pre season game evens it out?).

A very similar sort of dynamic is leading to the decline and possible downfall of the minor college football bowls as NFL bound players only are willing to take the injury risk for playoff games. But I see more merit to those as for most college football players(who will not be going to the NFL) they still will be a very important lifetime acheivement that is worth the risk of getting hurt. I don't see similar merit in the pro bowl as a game.
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Re: Dumbest ideas the NFL had

Postby 7DnBrnc53 » Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:25 am

Bob Gill wrote:
7DnBrnc53 wrote:As for the NFL, Chuck Noll was right. 14 games was fine. 14 games and five playoff teams, with no Thursday or Sunday Night Football (just have MNF. Make Monday Night Great Again!!!!).


At the risk of nitpicking, I don't think there was a time when they played 14 games and had five playoff teams per conference. There were four in those days: three division winners and a wild card team. (To my mind, the best arrangement the NFL had.) They added the second wild-card team the same year (1978) they extended the season to 16 games.


I know. 14 games may be better for player safety,though. I also liked the five-team playoff system. It may have been the best.
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