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Author Topic: A modest proposal for the 2020 NFL season  (Read 284 times)
Spider-Dan
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« on: July 29, 2020, 09:25:00 pm »

First off: under the plans currently on the table, I don't think the NFL will make it past week 3.  There will be too many outbreaks.  However, the NFL has too many cash-poor owners (like Mark Davis) to be able to absorb a cancelled season.  So here's my idea:

NFL March Madness

A 6-week, 32 team single-elimination bracket culminating in the Super Bowl, held in the bubble at Disney World.  No seeding, no records; AFC on one side of the bracket, NFC on the other.  Survive and advance, with the losers immediately going home.

Week 1, round of 32 (8 games):
Saturday games at 1p/4p/8p EST on Fox/CBS/Fox, Sunday games same time on Fox/CBS/NBC, Monday games at 7p/10p on ESPN.

Week 2, round of 32 (8 games):
Thursday night games at 7p/10p on ESPN/NFLN, Saturday games at 1p/4p/8p EST on CBS/Fox/CBS, Sunday games same time on CBS/Fox/NBC.

Week 3, round of 16 (8 games):
Saturday games at 1p/4p/8p EST on ABC/CBS/Fox, Sunday games same time on Fox/CBS/NBC, Monday games at 7p/10p on ESPN.

Week 4, round of 8 (4 games):
Saturday games at 4p/8p EST on ABC, Sunday games at 3p/6p EST on CBS/Fox

Week 5 (conference championships):
Sunday games at normal times/networks

Week 6:
Super Bowl LV, CBS

---

Some possible objections:

A single elimination bracket is too random!
March Madness is random as hell and people freaking LOVE it.  Every game will matter, and if there's a Cinderella, people will lose their minds with excitement.

There aren't enough games for the partners to get their money's worth!
Every game will be the only NFL game on, and there will be no excruciating Thursday night JAX-CLE matchups that no one cares about.  These tournament should be some of the best NFL games of all time when it comes to per-game TV rating.[/i]

Fantasy football won't work!
Degenerate gamblers will figure out a way to get their fix.
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Spider-Dan
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 09:33:25 pm »

Almost forgot about the selection show:

ESPN broadcasts an hour-long prime-time show with two ping-pong ball hoppers, one for the AFC and one for the NFC.  Each team has a ball with its logo in one of the hoppers.  Two ping-pong balls are pulled from the AFC hopper, the logos are filled in the bracket as the match, and the talking heads are given 2 minutes to discuss the matchup before the next pair of ping-pong balls are pulled from the NFC hopper.  Wash, rinse, repeat.
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Fau Teixeira
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 11:32:07 pm »

Do it like Fifa does it for the world cup. It's already a well established format.

Each division plays 3 round robin games, top 2 finishers make it to the knock out rounds .. that's sweet 16 right there. 32 teams, 3 games each, then knockout rounds 16, 8, 4, 2 a total of 63 games

that's 7 weeks if you play 16 games the first 3 weekends .. or 10 weeks if you split them into a max of 8
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Dave Gray
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2020, 11:40:11 am »

I'd watch the shit out of this.  I might watch every game if I had a team that was actually any good to follow.
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Phishfan
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2020, 12:40:41 pm »

Interesting idea. How do you handle rosters and the inevitable signing of players to replace the injured and Covid positive?
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Spider-Dan
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2020, 04:42:30 pm »

Do it like Fifa does it for the world cup. It's already a well established format.

Each division plays 3 round robin games, top 2 finishers make it to the knock out rounds .. that's sweet 16 right there. 32 teams, 3 games each, then knockout rounds 16, 8, 4, 2 a total of 63 games
There are three significant reasons why I didn't go this route:

1) Every game is the only game on.  This ensures max eyeballs for the broadcast partners.

2) Every game is an elimination game.  By definition, there are no meaningless clunkers.

3) Single-elimination means you kick teams out of the bubble quickly.  Fewer teams, fewer players, fewer chances for infection.  31 games is the minimum possible that allows all teams to play (and crowns a champion without tiebreakers).

Your round robin plan has all 32 teams in the bubble for 3-6 weeks.  That's a lot harder to keep locked down.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 04:47:20 pm by Spider-Dan » Logged

EDGECRUSHER
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2020, 04:50:12 pm »

The NFL will just soldier on because they make too much money, but it will get to the point where I am sure the players will hide positive tests or just mess with the tests like they probably do for steroids. They play through broken bones, they will play through this.

They just have to watch out for the older coaching staff members, those guys should absolutely be off the field away from the players.
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BuccaneerBrad
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2020, 09:50:33 pm »

Do it like Fifa does it for the world cup. It's already a well established format.

Each division plays 3 round robin games, top 2 finishers make it to the knock out rounds .. that's sweet 16 right there. 32 teams, 3 games each, then knockout rounds 16, 8, 4, 2 a total of 63 games

that's 7 weeks if you play 16 games the first 3 weekends .. or 10 weeks if you split them into a max of 8

The beautiful thing is, the NFL already has that type of setup.  32 teams, 8 divisions with 4 teams in each.   For the qualifying round, you could have each team play each other at a neutral site with no fans.  One site per division, with half the teams playing on Saturday and half on Sunday for the first three weeks. 
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fyo
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2020, 04:59:26 pm »

The beautiful thing is, the NFL already has that type of setup.  32 teams, 8 divisions with 4 teams in each.   For the qualifying round, you could have each team play each other at a neutral site with no fans.  One site per division, with half the teams playing on Saturday and half on Sunday for the first three weeks. 

This also has the advantage of having 8 smaller bubbles rather than 1 impossibly huge one. Since there would be significantly fewer weeks, it would be possible to shut down a divisional bubble to sort out an outbreak and reschedule the games.

It's really not necessary that each "bubble" is a single, physically cohesive bubble. You could have a primary bubble where all teams (in that division) are based and then "remote" bubbles (stadiums) where games are played. Simply seal all parts of the stadiums where players and team personnel would need to go (field, locker rooms, booth, etc) and have strict transport protocols to move people between different bubble parts.
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Spider-Dan
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2020, 05:27:39 pm »

If 8 bubbles are better than 1, why wouldn't 32 bubbles be better than 8?  If you have 1 bubble at Disney World, it is much easier to monitor who goes in and out from that location.

Quote
Since there would be significantly fewer weeks, it would be possible to shut down a divisional bubble to sort out an outbreak and reschedule the games.
There would be exactly one fewer week in this divisional proposal.  You would have 8 games each on Saturday and Sunday of the first week, and 4 games each on Saturday and Sunday of the second week, arriving at the round of 8 at week 3.  The proposal I suggested arrives at the round of 8 at week 4.

Running 8 games a day puts the NFL in competition with itself, which kills a lot of the value of this style of tournament.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 05:40:14 pm by Spider-Dan » Logged

MyGodWearsAHoodie
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2020, 06:09:38 pm »

The other plus is it ends the season sooner. 

The schools will reopen and the transmission will spike and while this wont result in 10,000 dead 3rd graders those kids will spread it to adults who will die.  As the daily fatality rate keeps jumping the pressure to shut down sports will grow. 

And even if the current administration cares more about sports than health, the current plan could end right after division weekend if Biden makes his first priority ending the Trumps epidemic.

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