8 Ways the Olympics Could Improve Football
Posted on August 7, 2012 by Lena & Jules
Newsflash TV networks: if Sunday night football was as much fun to watch as the Olympics, waaaay more of us would watch it (without taking a nap). Olympic fever is somehow contagious even though apart from a few stars, no one had heard of any of these athletes before the games began. But host a track suit parade, light up a torch and suddenly there is an army of national heroes hurling themselves toward gold as we hold back tears.
The bad news is that the Olympics last for just a heartbeat and when it’s all over we fall right back into stop, start stagnation at the line of scrimmage. You have no doubt seen the NFL commercials during the Olympics coverage for anyone worried that there will be nothing else to watch when the torch goes out. Since we will soon be saying “Goodbye podium, hello Imodium” here are our suggestions on what football can borrow from the Olympics to be more watchable:
8. Get a Team Balance Beam
There is no event more gripping than the physical and emotional drama played out during women’s Olympic gymnastics. These miniature running backs could add a new element to the football team by back flipping over the defensive line, peppered with intermittent sobbing into their spandex when they miss a landing or a touch down. For the record, we are crying right along there with you girls so rock on.
7. Less Blubber More Bolt
Let’s all accept that a 400 pounder huffing and puffing to take three steps toward a tackle cannot be called an athlete. A person also stops being an athlete when any part of his/her body develops rolls that cannot fit into the team uniform. What football needs is a blast of speed and real athleticism from a charismatic sprinter like Usuain Bolt who would gladly even DJ the Super Bowl party.
6. Michael Phelps as Quarterback
We thought no man could be as perfect as Tom Brady, but then came the golden boy in a bathing suit. Michael Phelps has nothing on Tom in the looks department, but occasionally when he remembers to close his mouth (breathe through your nose please) he can look almost handsome if a ripped Amazon-long torso is your thing. As part fish and national hero, Phelps is so good at a range of events; he could probably out throw Brady with a little practice and his iPod. Imagine the bling if he racked up 22 Super Bowl rings to match his Olympic medals.
5. Start the Season with a Fashion Show
An NFL opening ceremony would be a great way for fans to take notice of new uniform color schemes, team logos and of course see players before they are grass-stained and sweat helmeted. We can skip the fireworks and the historical reenactment scenes unless the Spice Girls are still looking for work.
4. Cut the Replay Turn on the Home Video
Forcing us to watch a fumble 13 times from every imaginable angle after the fact is not changing the fact that there was a fumble! Enough with these replays. Most of us in modern times can press rewind on the TV if we really want to see it again. Now show us some blurry VHS footage of the same guy fumbling in his high school championship game in 1989 and you have our attention. Having a glimpse into the personal lives of players is far more interesting than delaying the game with slow motion special effects. We could watch the tape of Missy Franklin crushing a bunch of fellow six-year-olds at her local swim meet all day.
3. Only Play for 4 Weeks Every 4 Years
Sorry London but you are special because we only want to see the Olympics once in a while. How refreshing to get into the excitement every four years. Year-round Olympic events? Not so much. There is a limit to how much televised judo we can handle. Football should do a similar strip tease and try out the benefits of less is more. There would only be one way to describe a condensed 1-month long football season: a beauty.
2. Bring the Crowns to Town
Your event is a bust these days without an appearance by the royal family’s hip new duo Willy-ton or Willy in the Middle as we like to call them. We have yet to see Kate and William at an NFL game (likely forbidden by the royal code of civilized behavior) but maybe they’d make an exception with an invite from the Obamas. Let’s just not invite Victoria Beckham to the NFL season opener because she used up all her minutes bored-texting during Wimbledon.
1. Less Beefcake More Handshake
One of the most refreshing things about watching Olympic athletes is that for the most part they are driven by heart and not by paycheck. Having a football season where no one is paid more than the average public school teacher or water polo hopeful might allow players to focus more on what matters and just play the game. Just ask Olympian Oscar Pistorius what matters – he has no legs but he can still run faster than you (and most of the NFL for that matter).
August 12th London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony – Follow @WhileMenWatch live tweeting throughout the ceremony
Lena & Jules broadcast commentary
during the US Open September 9th 4pmET. Cancelled Due to Weather
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