Trent Dilfer said it best: the NFL product sucks. What we continue to see week in and week out is just disgusting as commissioner Roger Goodell has taken the most sacred game to man and turned it into a glorified flag football league.
Rule changes have affected the culture of the NFL and it's plain to see. Guys are scared to lead helmet-to-helmet nowadays (just like they were taught) and are opting to go low for the knees. That would probably explain the drastic increase of season ending ACL-related injuries this year.
Players are getting frustrated with it too. They know what they're capable of doing and restricting them from playing the game a certain way is like telling them to forget everything they've ever learned! It's just counterproductive.
Of course with concussions being at the forefront of many discussions in sports, a lot is being done to help prevent players from post-career problems, which includes memory loss, muscle regression and even death.
To protect the athletes, the game is taking a serious hit. The players can feel it and the fans can see it. With such a strong emphasis in creating a "safe league," the integrity of the game is going to have to suffer, just like we've been seeing in recent years.
And if that trend continues, we can only see one foreseeable fate -- extinction. These are 10 reasons why the NFL won't exist in 10 years:
Only offensive players benefit from the rule changes
Over the years, we've seen the NFL evolve into an offensively-biased game. That, in turn, has made it entirely unfair for defensive players. They've been forced to change the way they hit, how they pursue and execute their plays all because of the rule changes that protect "defenseless" receivers.
As a result, we've seen higher scoring contest and unjust calls that go beyond just the passing game. Check out this touchdown call by BenJarvus Green-Ellis. It's clear he was tripped up by a defender and was just short of the endzone, but after further review, they say he never touched him. How can you call that ref?!
Quarterbacks get preferential treatment
Back in the day, being a quarterback in the NFL meant taking shots in the pocket, but still finding a way to launch 40-yard bombs to your receiver. Nowadays, they stand pretty tall and wait for the slightest breeze to knock them down so they can get 15-yards from the penalty.
Guys like Dan Marino and Joe Montana used to wear the ultimate badge of honor by being the toughest guys on their team and playing through pain. Today, that just doesn't exist. How quarterbacks were able to take the abuse was what truly measured their greatness. These days, it's about who can throw the prettiest spiral and kiss their biceps.
The league office singles out players
With 32 teams in the NFL, how is that the same players are always getting targeted for fines? Sure they're warranted, but these "illegal" hits occur in every single game on any given NFL Sunday. James Harrison is one of the league's most wanted when it comes to paying up. The front office is never just in their decision-making and fail to see the league as a whole. They're too busy just trying to set examples.
Too many concussions
It's why they made the rule changes. With modern advancements in medicine and technology, we can really see what type of ill-effects taking big blows to the head can have. Just look at Brett Favre. He already made the scary admission that he's suffering from memory loss and who can forget Junior Seau?
He took his own life after having mental complications that doctors weren't even aware of. Roger Goodell's worst fear is for someone to die during a game, but is precaution coming at a cost of the game itself?
Parents won't let their kids play
Because of the concussion issue, we can expect to see a great increase of parents prohibiting their kids from playing the game. Fewer kids means less competition, which means the quality of the game may have to suffer. The way parents are raising their kids these days could be the deciding factor in the future of the league. What are we going to have a bunch of professional gymnasts?
The rules are too convoluted
As Trent Dilfer mentioned in the radio cast, there are simply just too many rules in the NFL handbook. There's no way an official could legitimately make the correct call every time and to do that, we'd need at least a one-minute review after every single play.
But with the way things have been shaping up in the league lately, this solution wouldn't surprise me. Officials pretty much just throw flags for rough housing -- which is the essence of the game. When you have bogus calls affecting the outcome of the game, that takes away from everything it stands for.
Going to games actually sucks
With all of the TV timeouts, play reviews and drunk assh*les, the only good time you'll ever have at an NFL game is if you're completely wasted yourself. And even then, you'll still probably be disappointed. The No Fun League has done everything it can to make the at-the-game experience miserable and have proved what it values the most -- advertisers.
Players are more worried about getting fined than making plays
What kind of a world is it where players are worried about getting fined while they're trying to win for their team? It's this principle that takes away the integrity of the game as football is meant to be played at full speed with reckless abandon. A dirty play is a dirty play, but if refs are going to throw flags for every hard hit in the game, then the NFL is truly doomed.
Fantasy football is the best thing about the NFL
The NFL is really about the players, and when we play fantasy, we get just that. No stupid bullsh*t, bogus calls or wack egos. Just football stats being compiled to help you take down your friends. But when fantasy is the best part of the game, you know there's a serious issue.
Just look at how it's changed the way everyone looks at the sport. People aren't worried about their teams, but individual performances and touchdown stats. When you look at the NFL like that, it's not really much of a game anymore. Just numbers and live updates.
People are going to be too busy playing Madden and jerking off
Let's be real. With the epic release of the Xbox One and PS4, people are just failing to really care about real football. We are all evolving, and soon most of us won't even go outside, let alone go to an NFL game. Instead, most dudes will spend their time playing Madden and jerking off. Look at what technology has done to us!
Top Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images