Saturday, February 24, 2007

An Idea for the NFL

I had an idea for the NFL this morning. A problem that not many talk about is the rapid physical deterioration of the bodies of retired NFL players. Today's players with their million dollar contracts should be much better equipped to pay for future medical expenses but some of the games older players weren't paid much in the past and today their medical costs are out of control. Here's my idea to help alleviate the situation.

Each pre-season there would be a single night set aside where the players of each team would pick their best offensive lineman and best defensive lineman. These linemen would do a televised one-on-one drill where the O-lineman has to block the D-lineman. The D-lineman would have 5 seconds to get to a quarterback 5 yards behind the O-lineman. If the D-lineman gets to the QB within 5 seconds - he wins. If the O-lineman blocks the D-lineman for 5 seconds - then he wins. It would be a best of seven drill and the drill would take place at each team's training camp.

The NFL could sell the broadcast rights to this and the price could well end up north of $25 million with all the money going to a fund to defer medical expenses for retired players.

The NFL teams would get nothing from this - all the money would go into the fund. Even the participating players would get nothing - they would just get a trophy for the winner and the satisfaction of knowing they are helping those who went before them and those who made their current huge contracts possible. I don't think the risk to the players would be that great since they would just be doing a drill they do in camp anyway.

There are three main selling points to this idea:

1. It's a charitable cause and people love charitable causes. The PR for the NFL and the players would be tremendous. At a time when people like Pacman Jones are making headlines - the NFL needs some positive media coverage. Former NFL great players like Earl Campbell could be brought forward as a testament to why the fund is needed.

2. It gives the linemen a chance to be the stars. This would be the one and only time in an NFL broadcast where the spotlight is on the linemen alone.

3. You could bet on it! You could bet on the individual team best of seven match-ups and the overall O-lineman vs D-lineman over/under. The betting aspect could boost the ratings through the roof.

Seems like a winner of an idea to me. Who should I talk to at the NFL to make it happen?

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