Last week, two of the best teams in the NFL (Chiefs and Rams) played one of the goofiest games of all time on Monday Night Football; Final Score: 54-51.
Now some of the media are trying to framed this as a good thing, that having this severe imbalance of offense is exactly what the fans want.
I really hope this is not the case.
What makes football great is the balance of offense and defense; the level of sophistication on both sides of the ball is important to maintain the quality of the product. The variety of ways teams play is valuable to the league; some are run heavy, so air it out, some rely on defense, some blitz a lot, etc. Regardless, there are many ways to win in the NFL. If the game gets distilled down to just plain offense, then the rich tapestry that is football is harmed greatly.
Now I understand that this is only one game, and the media loves to jump on things are overreact all the time (remember the 9-7 Alabama LSU ‘Game of the Century’ that critics were saying would be the death of college football…..yeah…..), so I know as much as anyone that this Rams/Chiefs freak show will not be the norm.
But what I find more discouraging is that this seems like what the casual fans want; the young short-attention spanned Millennial who just wants action and no setup. And to make matters worse, all sports cater to the casual fan (eg: NBC and their Olympics broadcast) because…well…the hardcore buffs like myself are already sold.
As a side note, I always find that principle insulting. The people who make your league, your product, etc, are pretty much dismissed to attract the casual guy for business reasons. So odd that the people who know and care the least about your prodcut have the most say about the direction the product should go.
To make matters worse, heavy offensive football is a safer way of playing the game. No relying on big hits and hard contact; letting players run free in space limits the probability of concussions. So yes football fans, the NFL will do everything in their power (eg: rule changes, advertise the high powered offenses) to make their product look like the Big 12. I bet within 10 years, offensive holding will be a thing of the past.
But fret not true football fan, as I said earlier, the line of scrimmage is where all teams have the excel. And the line of scrimmage will always have contact, force, and strategy to it. That will never change.