Wayne Root: An Open Letter to the NFL and NCAA

Written by:
Wayne Allyn Root
Published on:

I just don't get it. Who runs football in this country? Are they asleep at the switch? Are they perhaps blind, deaf and dumb? As I write this commentary, the NHL season has just ended. It starts in October and runs 9 months. NINE MONTHS for a sport that no one cares about (outside of Canada). How about the NBA- the same ridiculous length of season. Nine long months for a sport that remarkably few fans (outside of Jack Nicholson and Dyan Cannon) care about.

Yet it is football that is the "King of American Sports." Football is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world...and television ratings. And yet they play what amounts to only 3 months of college football (September, October, November) and only 4 months of NFL- plus 2 weeks of NCAA Bowls and 4 weeks of NFL Postseason. Only five months of pure unadulterated football joy? Are they kidding? With ratings like THAT? With devoted and addicted fans like THAT? Did NFL and television executives notice the ratings this past year? In the middle of a depression fans watched football like never before. The single highest rated cable TV show in history is now a NFL game. Ratings for all forms of football were through the roof in 2009. If the Great Depression II can't stop football, nothing ever will. So why won't they give us more?

Here's my proposal. I'm not asking for anything unrealistic. If I was just dreaming, I'd ask for 9 months of football, just like NHL and NBA. But that's never going to happen (due to the physical nature of the game). However let me present a realistic plan for the NCAA and NFL to implement...

I propose extending the college football regular season by adding one more regular season game...and then 2 wonderful, exciting weeks of NCAA conference championships. That appears to already be happening with the just announced switches of Nebraska to the Big Ten, Colorado to the Pac 10, and Boise State to the Mountain West. By early next week we'll hear the exciting news that Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A &M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State are headed to the Pac 10. All of this will create 12, 14 and 16 team "super-conferences" with season-ending championship games. Those games should be staggered so that the NCAA football regular season ends in late December.

Then the real fun begins- I propose we start a month of incredible joy, nonstop action, unadulterated fun, and pure adrenaline rush with Bowl Season combined with a 16-team Playoff Tournament that would take up the entire month of January. I'd call it "JANUARY MADNESS!" It would blow away March Madness in excitement, ratings and sponsorship revenues. It would be the greatest month of sports in America EVER! Are the people that run the NCAA not seeing what is right in front of their eyes? Do they realize the kind of money that is left sitting on the table without implementing a 16-team (minimum) playoff tournament? If you can play a month of Postseason college basketball in March, why can't you play a month of Postseason college football in January? Are there 100 fans in all of America who wouldn't love this format? Ohio State fans? Nebraska fans? USC fans? Notre Dame fans? Alabama fans? Texas fans? Florida fans? Who wouldn't want an extended NCAA football regular season and a national championship playoff format? Even President Obama could figure this one out (if he had his teleprompter).

What a January! Instead of dreading the day after New Years knowing that college football is over in a few days...and dreary, grey, boring winter has set in...we'd all have an extra month of sheer joy to look forward to, as Christmas would give way to the joy of "JANUARY MADNESS!" But I'm not done yet. I have a plan to turn 30 days of extended NCAA football bliss into three months of nonstop action. Christmas could actually become the start of the greatest 90 days of sports action anywhere on the planet. But even more importantly, my idea would eliminate "post-holiday blues" forever more.

Here's how...

By the time "JANUARY MADNESS" ended in the last week of January, it would be time for the NFL Postseason to begin in my dream scenario. Yes, I would extend the NFL by a month with 3 extra games, plus 1 extra bye week. So the NFL would play regular season games throughout January. While the NCAA "JANUARY MADNESS" Tournament was going on (with games on Thursday nights, Friday nights and Saturday)...the NFL would continue playing on Sundays and Mondays throughout January. Then just when "JANUARY MADNESS" ended, the NFL Postseason would begin. Sheer joy Part II.

And while they are at it, let's please expand the number of teams that make the NFL Playoffs (by adding 4 teams). Instead of 8 teams playing 4 Wildcard Round games, let's expand to 12 teams playing 6 games in that first round. That gives fans, TV viewers, and sponsors more games, on more days. And that produces more money for the NFL and its players. Adding only four extra teams will not dilute the quality- to the contrary it will keep more NFL playoff scenarios alive until the last weekend- meaning games are more interesting, emotions run high, more fans around the country are rewarded with a chance at the postseason. Play that Round #1 of NFL Wild Card playoff games on Thursday night (1 game), Friday night (1 game), Saturday (2 games), and Sunday (2 games). WOW what a month of February! Then finish up by playing the Super Bowl on the first Sunday in March, instead of the first Sunday in February.

With the timing of my plan, the moment the NFL season ends in early March...instead of withdrawal and depression for several weeks...it's immediately time for March Madness. Sheer Joy Part III.


Think of the number of games played and the intensity level for 90 straight days of pure Postseason HEAVEN in 3 different sports! Think of the amount of games on TV...the money involved for the NCAA, individual conferences and colleges, NFL teams, leagues, sponsors, TV networks, players, players unions, retired players, and of course Las Vegas casinos and sportsbooks. And no one would be happier or more thankful than the fans! They get to enjoy 90 consecutive days of nonstop action after Christmas. My gosh, with my plan Christmas would become forever known as "the gateway to 90 consecutive days of the greatest action on earth!"

My dream is a grand slam home run for everyone involved. Billions of dollars would go into the pot to be divided up: Everyone wins! And all it would take for all of this to work is  an extra NCAA football game and/or a more robust Conference Championship schedule (which appears to already be happening)...combined with a college football championship playoff tournament...plus an NFL season extended by one measly month (with 3 extra games and a bye week). Oh and while you're at it, mix in a few new slots for Wild Card Playoff teams.

The big bonus is no more post-Christmas blues for America. We'd go from Christmas in December...to Christmas in January for college football fans...to Christmas in February for NFL fans...to Christmas in March for college basketball fans. What will be created is quite simply nonstop sports action for 7 straight months (from September through March)...and 90 straight days of the most exciting and meaningful Postseason Extravaganza ever- starring America's three favorite sports.

That's it. It's that simple...it's that easy...billions of dollars are created out of thin air...and everyone wins!

Oh and shorten the NBA and NHL seasons. C'mon, who really cares?

Wayne Allyn Root is the Former 2008 US Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee

 Wayne Allyn Root, Special Contributor to the Gambling911.com Website


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