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Thread: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

  1. #1
    Member redsfandan's Avatar
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    NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    I saw this on yahoo a couple days ago and I thought it was interesting. lol

    Goodell says NFL will look at Colts case
    By STEVEN WINE, AP Sports Writer Steven Wine, Ap Sports Writer
    Sun Jan 3, 5:30 pm ET

    MIAMI Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL will consider offering incentives to teams playing late-season games to discourage them from resting their starters for the playoffs.

    Goodell said the league was sensitive to criticism of the Indianapolis Colts' decision to use backups a week ago in a game they lost, ending their bid for a perfect season.

    "It is something we'll look at," Goodell said Sunday. "We heard the fans loud and clear. It's something our competition committee has looked at in the past, but we're going to ask our competition committee to look at it again in the future. We want every game to be competitive."

    The league's position has been that playoff-bound teams enjoy the right to rest their starters to prepare for the postseason. Goodell said he didn't blame the Colts for their decision.

    The commissioner spoke before the game between the Dolphins and Steelers. Later, in an interview with CBS, Goodell said various incentives to prevent teams from benching starters will be considered.

    Such incentives could include awarding draft choices.

    "We are considering a lot of different things," Goodell said on CBS. "I don't think you can punish them for not playing. The other thing that has to happen is you have to make it clear to the public that you are not going to be playing someone, like we do with our injury reports."

    The Colts already had clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs when coach Jim Caldwell sat Peyton Manning and other starters in the second half, and the Jets rallied to win. NFL purists were upset the Colts didn't go all-out with a shot at a perfect season.

    "We want to make sure the integrity of the NFL is first and foremost in everyone's mind, and try to find ways to make sure our games are competitive at all points in the season, including the preseason," Goodell said.

    Goodell was in Miami to take part in an 80th birthday celebration for Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula. The Colts' loss to the Jets preserved Shula's status as the only coach to lead a team to a perfect season. His 1972 Dolphins went 17-0.

    Shula said he didn't recall ever facing the kind of decision Caldwell had to make regarding Manning and other starters a week ago.

    "What you've got to do is do what's best for your team and be willing to take the flak that goes with it," Shula said. "If you think it's right to rest the guy so you're sure he's ready and rested for the Super Bowl, then you've got to do it."
    "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."

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  3. #2
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    What's an NFL purist? They tinker with the game every off season. It's a different game than 10 years ago. Ask any defensive player who's cradled the quarterback to the ground wrong.

    How about giving the lousy teams extra draft picks.
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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    Rewarding draft choices is a really stupid and impractical idea and is against the idea of reverse order drafting so that weaker teams get a chance to immediately strengthen their team. How does making the rich richer fit into that scheme?

    I think Goodall is saying this to appease the fans, nothing more. The Patriots lose Welker in their finale. So they get some kind of reward because they played him, while the Colts get blasted for protecting their guys? Of course the NFL wants every game to be as "competitive" as possible. When they figure out a way to keep key guys from getting injured throughout the season, then they can address sitting guys at the end of the season.

    If the interest is competition, what about that midseason game where both starting QB's are out and several other injuries make both teams play a lot of backups? Do I get a discount on my ticket?

    Also, I think the NFL is more interested in their playoff games having key players taking part in them than some end of the season game that has little to no bearing on the standings. Or at least they should be.
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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    Yeah, I think it was just a PR gesture. I can't think of any practical way to incent teams to do this.

    Its not like baseball where there is an unwritten rule that teams out of the race still play their topline players and try hard to win against teams still in the race. Baseball is a grueling sport, but more from the length of the season. Playing a game isn't that hard on your body. In the NFL, there is a very real and fairly likely chance of a season-ending injury every time a player steps on the field.

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    Mr.Redlegs is my homeboy Eric_the_Red's Avatar
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    How about instead of rewarding teams that have clinched fo rplaying their starters, reward them for winning the games? That way we get no mystery injuries that force them to pull their starters after 2 plays, and competitive football games (which is what fans were griping about anyway).

    I disagree with using draft picks though. Playoff teams are already good and giving them more draft picks will only make them stronger. How about letting them pick their opponents in the playoffs?

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    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    Goodell is just upset that the Steelers didn't make the playoffs, and is spouting off. Any idea they could come up with would be impractical. Besides, even if you put the starters out there, it doesn't mean you're trying to win the game. Sunday's Bengals game is evidence of that.

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    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    There's really no feasible way to do this that would be fair.

    Would Colts fans really prefer to be, say Lions fans, where they'd never have to worry about benching starters late in the year to get ready for the playoffs?

    And I have no sympathy for the Texans, Steelers, etc. they had the opportunity to go 10-6 and make the Jets a moot point, but they didn't.
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    Quote Originally Posted by macro View Post
    Goodell is just upset that the Steelers didn't make the playoffs, and is spouting off. Any idea they could come up with would be impractical. Besides, even if you put the starters out there, it doesn't mean you're trying to win the game. Sunday's Bengals game is evidence of that.
    I think it has very little to do with the fact that the Steelers did or did not make the playoffs and more to do with the league's plans to expand the season to 18 games and the need to figure out how they can do that without turning the last 4 games of the regular season into exhibition contests for many teams.
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    I think it has very little to do with the fact that the Steelers did or did not make the playoffs and more to do with the league's plans to expand the season to 18 games and the need to figure out how they can do that without turning the last 4 games of the regular season into exhibition contests for many teams.
    I think it would still be just the last one or two games. I mean the only team that rested for two games was the Colts. I think an 18 game season would mean there would be 16 or 17 games were every team is playing all out to win.

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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    Yeah, I think it was just a PR gesture. I can't think of any practical way to incent teams to do this.

    Its not like baseball where there is an unwritten rule that teams out of the race still play their topline players and try hard to win against teams still in the race. Baseball is a grueling sport, but more from the length of the season. Playing a game isn't that hard on your body. In the NFL, there is a very real and fairly likely chance of a season-ending injury every time a player steps on the field.
    I think baseball also suffered a lot of stigma from the influence of gamblers early in its history such that the notion of teams not giving their all to win games leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many associated with the game. Even sitting a star player so that he can pass a major milestone at home creates a stir among many about the "integrity of the game." If a playoff team decided to sit its starters and play all the players it called up in September, you might actually see the commissioner step in and order that team to play its starters. The idea of a team not trying to win as many games as possible is anathema in baseball.

    I think this problem with playoff bound teams sitting starters causes a real problem for the NFL as it considers going to an 18 game season. It might not matter much to the owners on the surface, who can look forward to 1 more home game to sell tickets for. However, the TV networks might start crying foul at paying more to air meaningless games at the end of the season.

    If you want to create an incentive for teams to go full out to win all their games, my proposal would be to change the way playoff seeding is done. One way is to penalize teams that take the foot off the gas at the end of the season. If the Colts sit their starters, tell them they drop 1 seed in the bracket. The problem is that it can be hard to tell if a team is not trying and you'll have teams' top players suddenly coming up with mysterious injuries late in the season to avoid being penalized a seed.

    The other idea I have is to change seeding to a lottery. The more wins you get, the more ping-pong balls you get in the hopper. Each win over 12 wins gets you bonus ping-pong balls. And if your team happens to go 16-0, they get rewarded with an automatic 1 seed. At the end of the season, the NFL has a big show where the ping-pong balls are drawn out of the hopper and the teams find out who they play and where. While I realize this system would probably wind up forcing a top team like the Colts to miss out on a top seed, I think it evens out some of the other luck that team have during the season, such as playing in a weak division or having the played another team when their starting QB was out.
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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    Quote Originally Posted by Razor Shines View Post
    I think it would still be just the last one or two games. I mean the only team that rested for two games was the Colts. I think an 18 game season would mean there would be 16 or 17 games were every team is playing all out to win.
    With more games, you increase the likelihood that top teams in weak divisions will clinch even earlier in the season. It works both ways, but I imagine the thought of all the division races being wrapped up by Week 18 is a scary one for the networks. That would mean a minimum of 4 games (if they all played each other) which should be marquee match-ups turning into ratings bombs as teams field backups with their division and playoff seed wrapped up.
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    Quote Originally Posted by Yachtzee View Post
    The other idea I have is to change seeding to a lottery. The more wins you get, the more ping-pong balls you get in the hopper. Each win over 12 wins gets you bonus ping-pong balls. And if your team happens to go 16-0, they get rewarded with an automatic 1 seed. At the end of the season, the NFL has a big show where the ping-pong balls are drawn out of the hopper and the teams find out who they play and where. While I realize this system would probably wind up forcing a top team like the Colts to miss out on a top seed, I think it evens out some of the other luck that team have during the season, such as playing in a weak division or having the played another team when their starting QB was out.

    That's probably the best scenario. However, if you knew you already clinched a playoff berth is there a larger incentive to rest your players or to keep playing and risk injuries? Even if you're 15-1, there's no assurance you'll get a top seed. It's almost a disincentive for the top teams to play their starters since they don't know if they will be a top seed, a last seed or somewhere in-between.
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    I think it has very little to do with the fact that the Steelers did or did not make the playoffs and more to do with the league's plans to expand the season to 18 games and the need to figure out how they can do that without turning the last 4 games of the regular season into exhibition contests for many teams.
    Oops, sorry. I should've put one of these in my post because I was half kidding. There is speculation that Goodell keeps a Steelers sweatshirt in his closet, but I have no way of knowing. He lived and went to college in Pittsburgh, so I'm sure that's where the speculation comes from.

    And I hate the idea of expanding the regular season to 18 games, if for no other reason it (again) distorts all the all-time season records.

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    Member hebroncougar's Avatar
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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    How about this.........make all the division games the last 6 games of the season?

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    Re: NFL may give incentives to prevent teams from tanking games

    Quote Originally Posted by hebroncougar View Post
    How about this.........make all the division games the last 6 games of the season?
    That's a pretty good idea.

    I'm also thinking that making a division champ's schedule a little tougher the following season might make the point moot.
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