Millions and millions of people watched this year’s Super Bowl -- as they do every year. Nothing wrong with the product the NFL is putting on the field with numbers like that, right? It would be like telling Jack Nicholson how to act or Kate Upton how to be perfect. But the NFL is mulling some changes. Some weird ones, at that. So let's give them some ideas, shall we? Here are 10 ways to improve the NFL going forward.
Getty ImagesChristian Petersen
10. Mandatory Super Bowl rematch at losing team's city
Speaking of big ratings, wouldn't it make perfect sense for a Seahawks-Patriots rematch in Seattle on opening night? The promos practically write themselves: "Will the Seahawks actually run the ball inside the 5 this time? Jimmy Graham and Gronk can have a halftime dance-off to decide to the best tight end in the NFL is!" Well, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.
Getty ImagesTom Pennington
9. Bring back male cheerleaders
Does anyone else feel uncomfortable that the NFL continues to have scantily clad women prancing all over the sidelines in this day and age? Sure, sex sells, but it's very "Mad Men" to treat women as objects. So, let's even the score by adding men to the mix! Women in the stands deserve something to ogle as well, so get some guys who look like The Rock. We're thinking they wear tight tank tops and short shorts. Sounds fair, right?
Getty ImagesGeorge Marks
8. Stop charging full price for preseason tickets!
Yes, the four meaningless games in August are extremely important, because teams need to figure out who will make that final 53-man roster and game action is usually the way to make those determinations. But come on, do we have to shell out $80 to watch Tony Romo wear a headset and hold a clipboard?! Then on top of that, pay $30 for parking?! These games don't count and the NFL needs to stop trying to snatch up every dollar that falls on the ground. Take a hint from the Giants, who have already given their fans some good news.
Getty ImagesRonald Martinez
7. Change pass interference to a 15-yard penalty
Fans want more points, but it's like the NBA: They don't want more points via foul shots, just like they don't want flags to set up one-yard TDs based on the assumption a ball would have been caught in the end zone if the receiver's path to the ball hadn't been impeded. Let 50-yard penalties decide games? Madness.
Getty ImagesRob Carr
6. No more blue line on our TV
The first-down yellow marker running across the field? Great idea. Revolutionary. Don't know what we ever did without it. But do we REALLY need to know where the line of scrimmage is at all times? Besides the QB throwing the ball after crossing the line of scrimmage (which happens about as often as a safety), is there really any reason for this? Just way too much crayola on our already-outdated flat screen TVs. And while we're at it, get rid of the "yards to go before we're in the kicker's range" line as well. Did you see the way most kickers all morphed into Shaq at the foul line this year? Unless it's the end zone line, there was no line close enough to be considered in range.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
5. Eliminate ties in the regular season
Even hockey has done away with them. Now, we're not saying the NFL should end with a field-goal kicking contest or anything like that, but they should just keep playing until someone scores. No matter how good defenses are or how inept offenses are, eventually one team will get tired and give up some points. What's more, it seems most NFL players don't even understand that the pro game can end in a tie, why keep it around?
Getty ImagesBrian Bahr
4. Ban commercials after kickoffs
There's nothing more frustrating as a fan than a momentum-sucking commercial break after a kickoff that follows five other commercials after a scoring drive. It's one play (usually an uneventful one unless Trindon Holliday is involved) followed by a cutaway of a QB running onto the field, only to be met with the network's theme and a quick fade to black. You already got up to replenish your snack, bladder, drink, plants, whatever during the previous break 45 seconds ago, only to be made to sit through another block of ads that have a 94.6 percent chance of featuring Peyton Manning.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAChristopher Hanewinckel
3. Let coaches challenge what they want
So, remember that time the Cowboys beat the Lions in the playoffs and every screamed that the refs favored the Cowboys? And then the refs did almost the exact same thing to the Cowboys the following week against the Packers? Right. That was nuts. Coaches can challenge certain things, but judgment calls like flags are not one of them. If you're going to let teams make three challenges a game (if the first two are both successful), then let them challenge pivotal holding calls, or a pass interference that wasn't. Seems only fair if the NFL claims they want to get the calls right, first and foremost.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsTim Heitman
2. Give London the Pro Bowl
It seems that the NFL is going all-in on London. Between tying Super Bowl hosting bids to London games and dabbling with a 9:30 am E.T. London kickoff, we've heard just about enough of this topic. Let's make next season the last year to play a meaningful regular season game across the pond. The field conditions at Wembley make Heinz Field in December look like a red carpet event. The travel (long flight, 5-hour time difference) is ridiculous and shouldn’t be forced on any team coping with the usual rigors of an NFL season. And guess what? No one in the U.S. cares if the game is played in London (except for season-ticket holders of the "host" team who lose a game). Preseason games are fine. But the regular season, when one game could make the difference in playing golf or playoff football? Not a bloody good idea.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsKirby Lee
1. Bring the NFL back to Los Angeles!
Hey, Raiders, Chargers and Rams fans, we hear you loud and clear. Sure, there are people in this country who love to squawk, "The NFL was already here and L.A. didn't support it! They don't deserve to have a team!" Those people are silly. Los Angeles CAN and WOULD support professional football and the fact that the league hasn't been in the nation's second-largest media market for almost two decades is a travesty. What's more, the NFL is denying itself another excellent Super Bowl site. This has gone on long enough. Stop using L.A. as a pawn so other teams can get their cities to build new stadiums. Get committed and make it happen. NOW.