I have just sent off a proposal to the NFL rules committee regarding the bye week system. For those of you who need explanation: A bye is a week off, -- the team is not scheduled for a game. My proposal addresses two important issues.
#1) We need more bye weeks!
I know this flies in the face of popular sentiments, but please hear me out. The way things are right now; the football season ends just as we enter the month of February. It's bad enough that February is the single, most dreary month of the year. We have to go cold turkey without pro football? God help us. Sometimes, and I know I'm not the only one; I am so desperate for a football game in February that I'll even watch the Pro Bowl! That is if my team of brain care specialists can roust my wretched, seasonally depressed, Schlitz infused body out of my underground hibernation chamber. In order to ease the melancholy associated with a football deprived February, I am recommending to the NFL rules committee that, starting next season, every team is to get 4 bye weeks. This would give us our gridiron fix right up to March. And I think we all agree that March would be an infinitely easier month to suffer through the pain and distress of Pro Football Withdrawal Syndrome. Or PFWS (pa-fews) as it is officially called.
#2) The NFL needs a better scheduling system for the additional bye weeks.
Okay, you got 4 byes. Now, here's the revolutionary part that only the true genius of me, S. Lyle OConnor could devise.
The bye weeks will no longer be scheduled by the over bearing administration of the NFL. They'll be called by the coach or players, just like a time out. A big time out! Under my rules a coach or player(s) will have the option of calling a bye week, as the needs of his team dictates. And to really blow the lid off this thing I'm recommending that a team can even call a bye during a game! So there is no misunderstandings or mistaken calls. The hand signal for a bye will be designed so that two players (4 hands) are needed. It'll take two people, just like those guys that launch nuclear missiles. The proposed hand signal is hard to describe -- think shadow puppet of a rabbit being eaten by a giant spider. It looks kind like that, only different. This will prevent a temperamental player from throwing a tantrum and calling a bye week in a fit of rage. Think about that for a moment I'd imagine a player would need some pretty big cahounahs to make that call without the coaches' consent. Not even the great Bret Favre would get away with that. Or would he?
If a bye is called during a game the clock stops and the score will stand. Then it's just a matter of rescheduling the remainder of the game later the next week. No doubt, the fans will love this. Gee, I got to go back next week and tailgate all over again?
My plan is simple and foolproof. I have given the matter a lot of deep thought and I don't see any roadblocks to getting this punched through the NFL rules committee. The only minor issue is the simple matter of rescheduling games at a moments notice. Now-a-days with computers and all, how hard can that be? My written proposal will be on commissioner Tagliabue's desk in a few days; no doubt I'll soon be getting a call. I'm sure they'll want to meet with me. I'll give them a Powerpoint presentation -- if I can get my powerpointer working. (She keeps fouling plugs; I think I got some bad gas in her.) Like I said, this is a no-brainer and I'm expecting little or no dissension, however I am going to bring my pepper spray. Just in case it gets ugly -- like the time I was dickering at Tee Vee mart. (see "Feeling Flat" --December archives)
And by the way, how helpful would this rule change be to the Green Bay Packers? Very helpful! As a matter of fact, it is my contention that Green Bay would have been in Super Bowl XXXVIII if only this rule was in already in place. Here's how things should have played out in the championship semi-finals at Philadelphia It's 3 minutes into overtime; the Packers just forced Philly to punt. We have first and 10 with decent field position. Just one play away from that infamous pass to Philly's Brian Dawkins. Well, instead of letting an emotional Bret Favre fire the ball up at the moon, (or was it Mars?) Sherman could have called the bye week, right then and there. Hell, everyone was worn-out anyway. This would have given Favre a week to settle down. Then the following week, the Packers could have strolled back into Philly where they could hand off to a fresh Amond Green a half dozen times and then trot out Mr. Longwell for a chip shot. Add 3 points and go home! Done, no problem! The next week it's a simple matter of whopping up on the Panthers, and then Houston, Texas here we come! The Packers could have easily handled the Patriots. Right??? Jeepers why the hell didn't I get into coaching back when I was younger? I'd be a killer at it, I'm sure. I can see it now
S. Lyle OConnor, NFL Coach Extraordinaire! It's got a nice ring to it. (A Super Bowl ring!)
An historical side note:
It's not a coincidence that February is the shortest month of the year. It used to be 31 days long until the ancient Romans shortened it back in 137ad. The Roman leaders long realized that they had a marked increase in suicides during the month of February. However, this wasn't much of a concern to the "leadership group". They operated on the Doritos principle: "We'll make more." But then the official statistician noted something profound in the morning meeting of Feb 23rd . I'll read from the record: "These seasonal suicides effect every social group across the board, be ye master or servant, soldier or farmer, housewife or vestal virgin. They all succumb to this seasonal malady with a statistically equal occurrence of suicide" The record is illegible for the next paragraph, but it appears that something caught the Emperors attention, because in the next legible entry he immediately summoned an emergency council on the matter. By days end, they had a proposal chiseled into stone. I'll paraphrase: "As a measure to reduce the number of February suicides, we officially recommend shortening the month by 3 days, -down to a more manageable 28 days". The imperial committee of greater Rome ratified the proposal the very next morning. They even found a loophole to cut an extra day every 4th year! And the rest is history. I'll betchya!