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Commissioner for a Day (cont.)

Posted: Thursday July 6, 2006 11:40AM; Updated: Friday July 7, 2006 12:19PM
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5. Stop the love affair with Los Angeles: Just stop it. I was in L.A. in April and conducted my own unscientific poll at an Irish pub (the L.A. Red Sox bar) in Santa Monica: Do you want an NFL team here? Now, most of the people in there were twentysomethings on their fourth Harp or Red Hook, but I didn't hear one enthusiastic response. And that's half of the demographic the NFL wants. The other half -- the big-moneyed -- will support a franchise. But I don't think the populace will. And the NFL hasn't been hurt by it since the Raiders and Rams left.

6. Put more mikes on players and officials, and put the game on a seven-second delay: There's still an antiseptic feel to games, and you know what fans want. They want to be closer to the action. The way to do that, simply, is to make the field closer to the living room. By putting the seven-second delay on, you'd have a red button in every control truck to knock out the curse words. The game would be more alive, more organic.

7. Let players wear the numbers of their choice -- with an asterisk: Allow players to purchase the number they wish for $250,000. One-time fee. That $250,000, which players could write off, would go into a pool to benefit 10 charities to be agreed upon by the players' association and the league. And once a year, the league would cut an equal check to each charity. So imagine a player changes teams, or a draft choice comes on a new team, and he wants to wear an odd number. Reggie Bush with number 5, for instance. Imagine you've got 20 of those guys per year. And new commissioner Roger Goodell appears in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans to hand a check for $500,000 to Habitat for Humanity, which guarantees to build 100 homes in 30 days with the money. Gee, the more I write about this, the more I like it.

8. Prohibit the moving of the Saints for five years: Make this a "for the good of the game" issue. It's ludicrous to think of kicking a city when it's so down. Now's the time to be a good neighbor and a loyal corporate partner, not greedy.

9. Put two computer chips in the football, and make the goal line, in essence, capable of sending a signal when the football touches the plane of the goal line: Let's just call this "The Ben Roethlisberger Rule."

10. Make the Super Bowl the best two out of three: Ha! Made you look. Just kidding. I may be commissioner, but I'm not that stupid.

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