What do the NFL Annual Meeting & "The Bachelorette" Have In Common?
I have a feeling that the 2015 NFL Annual Meeting taking place next week will strangely resemble the first episode of every season to date of ABC's "The Bachelorette."
The TV guide summary: Team owners will discuss and vote on 23 rule proposals (19 submitted by teams and 4 by the competition committee), four bylaw changes, and one resolution. Will any proposal earn a "yes," or will everyone leave empty handed?
32 team owners submit proposals to rule and procedural changes (i.e., the lucky contestants) for one last chance to find amelioration. Whatever rules and system they were using was not working for them, and they each have their own depressing or hilarious background story. The owners each receive the message to come to Phoenix, and they do so open to new ideas and the possibilities that lie ahead for the 2015 season. They all arrive in their limos (at least in my vivid imagination) for the "cocktail party" and meet the NFL competition committee (i.e., The Bachelorette). There, they discuss the proposed changes to the game's rules and procedures with each other and the committee. The real fun begins when you can immediately judge the contestants and their respective proposal(s), and whether or not you own up to it, us viewers begin to smack on the labels.
The Crazy Psycho - The "extra (extra) point" rule, the Indianapolis Colts. In an effort to address the nearly automatic extra point conversation (in 2014, teams made 99.3% of their extra points), this proposal would allow up to nine points per touchdown. After the initial six points, if a team elected to go for the two-point conversion rather than kick the extra point and converted successfully, the team would have a chance to kick an extra point from the 32 yard line (i.e., a 50 yard attempt). It is supposed to encourage teams to go for the extra, extra points more frequently, but that just takes things in a comical direction.
- The Party Animal - The "retractable roof at halftime" rule. This resolution would allow all teams with retractable roofs in their arenas to open them during halftime shows. Let's get some fireworks prepared, Katy Perry style.
- The Dad - The "let's play fair in OT" rule, the Chicago Bears. Under this proposal, both teams would have possession in overtime. Right now, if the team who gets possession first scores a touchdown, the game is over because whoever scores a touchdown in overtime first automatically wins.
- The One Who Does Something Last Second to Delay the Rose Ceremony Because He is Smart at Playing the Game - The "challenges should be allowed in the final two minutes" rule, the New England Patriots. Currently, there is a ban on such challenges in the final two minutes before the half and overtime.
- The Creeper - The "cameras everywhere" rule, the New England Patriots. This change proposes that there be fixed cameras on the sidelines, end lines, and goal lines in addition to the broadcast network cameras to guarantee coverage of all boundaries.
- The Fighters - The "we should be able to challenge more" rule proposals, e.g., the New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins.
- The Average Guys - 13 of the 19 rule proposals concern review alterations, probably led by the Detroit Lions. There are a lot of different suggestions to implement better instant replay to correct blatant officiating errors since improved technology is available, and the Lions also want every penalty to be subject to review. Because there is a wide variety of very different proposals and because the committee has not endorsed any of them, 0 of the 13 will probably pass.
After contemplating the other ideas that everyone claimed to be considering, everyone votes on each proposal (i.e., the rose ceremony). Unlike "The Bachelorette," where there is a designated number of roses The Bachelorette can distribute per ceremony, they could collectively vote to pass all, some, or none of the proposals. Admittedly, unless the committee shows some sign of interest or endorsement of a proposal, it is unlikely to pass, and the owners can decide which proposals to be nice to or gang up on and corner into leaving the competition. At the vote, some will pass, getting to stick around, while many will fail to get a rose and, instead, will be sent back into the real world for self-reflection and reevaluation.
I bet that half of you are wondering where the proposal on game ball regulation is. Well, there is not one, and that is likely because the NFL is waiting for a report to rule on "Deflategate." The NFL is focusing more on what the Patriots did on the field against the Baltimore Ravens in the post-season with the Brady-to-Edelman-to-Amendola "receiver ineligible" touchdown play. One of the proposals would "[m]ake it illegal for an offensive player with an eligible number to report as ineligible and line up outside the core of the formation." This is one of the few proposals the committee has endorsed, and this proposal will likely pass.
It will be interesting to stay tuned throughout the week and see how the drama plays out. I am hoping to see a change in the additional "catch-or-no-catch" rule that is not being publicly released until Monday when owners receive the information on it.