Home > NFL > Problem Vs. Bigger Problems

Problem Vs. Bigger Problems

One of my favorite sports writers, Peter King, recently wrote about the controversy of starting and sitting players at the end of the regular season. The controversy really took off when the Colts sat some of their starters during the Jets game and, as many have stated it, handed the game to the Jets. The Jets went on a run into the playoffs, beating out other teams that had to play their games against starters. Peter King writes that the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell are very concerned about teams not starting their best players.

I can understand the problem that it creates and that there is an issue about the integrity of the game. So it will be interesting to see how the NFL handles this situation. I am against any form of rule aimed at forcing starters to play late in the season. There are three main reasons why:

1) The biggest issue would come when a team with a super star QB locks up their division but is forced to continue playing its starters. It is

Imagine Brett Favre going down with an injury due to a rule forcing to play starters late in the season.

a very real situation that a team, for example lets use the Vikings and Brett Favre is still playing, locks up their division and is playing a meaningless game against the Lions. During this game the unthinkable happens and Favre goes down with a season ending injury a week before the playoffs start. I can tell you one thing for certain, the angry fan reaction about starters not playing at the end of the season would be nothing compared to the mayhem that would ensue in Minnesota. I say by fixing one problem you open the door for a much larger problem.

2) I realize as a fan that everyone wants their team to have the same fair chance at winning it all as every other team. That was the reason that the NFL instituted revenue sharing. At the same time aura around NFL football is supposed to be one of greatness, toughness, and a drive to be the very best. This situation seems to be more like a well we should have taken care of our own business and if we had we would not be in this situation. However, because we are lets go ahead a whine about how unfair it was. Well it goes back to the old saying that many seem to forget these days: Life isn’t fair.

3) The last thing that would make it difficult to implement some kind of rule would be teams looking for loopholes to find away around the situation. One situation I can foresee is teams declaring players injured and having them benched. Teams would start accusing other teams of lying, so many players are actually injured at the end of the season that the NFL would have a difficult time proving anything. It just seems like an opportunity for  controversy to arise. If there is one thing Roger Goodell has shown during his tenure as commissioner its that he does not like controversy being affiliated with the NFL.

I would like to know your thoughts on the situation. Please let me know anything that I did not think of or possible solutions that did not occur to me. I look forward to reading them.

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