There's been a lot of hoopla lately about some college conferences playing games on Sunday if the NFL season is delayed or cancelled. Regardless of what kind of football we are watching on Sundays in 2011, the NFL will be the king of American sports in 2012, 2013, and so on for the foreseeable future.
I'm going to keep this relatively short; I'm busy, and I know everyone reading this is busy. That being said, I do have to make some points that some of you won't agree with, but that's what this forum is all about, right? I'm operating under a couple of assumptions. First, I'm assuming that American football in some form will remain the pinnacle of sports in the United States. Second, I'm assuming that people appreciate fair systems for determining champions.
Those two assumptions are great, but now I have to elaborate. Baseball is a great game, as is hockey, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, racing, darts, billiards, etc. Here's my thoughts. People don't tend to readily accept change. That's also part of the reason that people are so upset about some of the new rule changes. That's also why people will continue to watch football, regardless of the NFL.
Many people have mentioned that the UFL could make a legitimate attempt to overthrow the NFL, but I disagree. There's not enough teams, recognizable players, or money. I think the UFL might be able to carve out a niche as a developmental league, but it simply can't compete with the NFL for the masses.
My second line of thinking is that people like fair systems. I don't know about the rest of you, but I watch basketball for about one month a year. Sure, I pay attention to basketball via "Sports Center," but I seldom sit down and watch a game. I also only watch college basketball. I greatly enjoy the drama of game 7 situations throughout the tournament. You lose, and you're done. It's great, and the NFL employs the same system. In my opinion, the lack of a single elimination championship tournament is the single greatest factor holding NCAA Division I Football back.
I understand that college football is wildly popular, but who doesn't want to see the top 8 or 12 teams in the nation fight it out for the title for a few weeks? I rarely watch an entire college football game, but I guarantee if they used a playoff system, I would watch it much more closely.
The worst case scenario for fans would be a 2011 Fall without NFL football. The NFL may take a 1 year hiatus, but I can guarantee that it will be there in 2012, and it will still be the most popular sport in America.