Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not like my old days....

Football is king on America. However, a lot of it has changed. Players are bigger & faster, coverage is 24/7, and the Super Bowl has become one of the top-viewed events around the globe. However, some things are going away that added to the charm of the game. I think that by the time my son is 20 (he's 5 now), certain things I saw will be nonexistent. They are....

1. Natural grass fields

AstroTurf  was always a favorite sight of mine whenever the Redskins played a road game at the Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys. But nothing compared to natural, well-manicured playing grass. All of the grass stains, games played in the mud (RFK "seat cushion game"), and Super Bowl games played on a picture-perfect bed of green blades. AstroTurf would get the much overdue boot due to the toll knees and ankles took from playing on them, and FieldTurf was invented. While it is infinitely better than AstroTurf, it takes away the visual of seeing uniforms caked in dirt, mud, and grass. Yes, FedEx Field's surface takes a beating, but maybe it means calling a new turf farm or installing a new drainage system. Call it a silly complaint, but i love seeing grass fields. 

2. Open roof stadiums

Maybe not all 32 stadiums, but there are currently 9 stadiums that are either domed or have a retractable roof. Some older stadiums I expect to stay with tradition and keep the open-air experience (Lambeau, Soldier), but some cities have venues that will soon need to be replaced. Super Bowl bids are important, and the new retractable roof stadiums are a nice bargaining tool. A lot of Redskins fans feel the next stadium will feature it, but I hope not. Football is meant to be played in the elements.

3. 16-game season

More games that count means more money for the league. As for the players? More risk of injury. The game is already faster and the players are bigger & stronger. Lord knows the physical specimens that will be around in 2027, but I doubt they'll be able to hold up to an 18-game regular season for the 3 1/2 years an average NFL player does nowadays. I hope these NFL contracts become fully guaranteed soon. For  a multi billion dollar machine, long-term player safety is still in preseason mode for the most part.

Oh yeah: Sean Bishop for NFL Commissioner

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