Want to improve the Super Bowl? Lose instant replay
The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of American sports. That is a fact and it is not in dispute.
However, just because it captures the nation's attention on the first Sunday of every February, that doesn't mean things can't be improved. In fact, there's nothing more American than tinkering with something that isn't really broken.
So, in that spirit, let's get after it. Here is how we can improve the Super Bowl.
1. Lose instant replay
Yes, I know what a majority of people might say. "Oh, heavens NO! There's nothing more important than getting the calls right!"
Wrong. Here's the thing: We have instant replay right now and we still have no idea what a catch is. Did Dez come down with that ball? Check out any message board and you'll see an equal amount of arguments in both directions. It's ridiculous.
But there's more. The Super Bowl isn't just for homegrown football fans. The game is broadcast all around the world to people who aren't necessarily fans of the sport.
Is this what we want them to see? The game grinding to a halt while a referee goes under a hood -- like some photographer from the turn of the century -- for five minutes, only to emerge and make a ruling that doesn't really clear anything up? The NFL is trying to grow global interest and the instant replay is a blight. It's just not aesthetically pleasing.
The Europeans already mock us for loving a game where it seems people stand around for a majority of the time. And with the halftime show and the national anthem, the Super Bowl can drone on for 4-to-5 hours. Ugh. Let's not add any fuel to their fire.
We can keep instant replay for every game but the Super Bowl. Trust me, it won't be missed. The referees actually get calls right a shocking amount of the time. According to a league study, NFL officials had a 95.9 percent success rate throughout the 2014 season. How many of you can claim the same at your job?
2. Make Adele the permanent national anthem singer
Yes, it's true that Adele is from the UK. But that doesn't matter. The United States of America broke up with Britain a couple centuries ago and we now have a wonderful friendship.
Seriously, there isn't a better singer in the world. And wouldn't it be nice to enjoy a good cry before kickoff? Adele can make that happen. She could sing "three blind mice" and I'd be reaching for the tissues.
3. Hold the Super Bowl in Las Vegas
Just one time. Once, please.
We've heard all the reasons to avoid Sin City and frankly, none of them make sense. The NFL can't be that close to gambling? Newsflash: People are dropping millions and millions of dollars betting on the NFL each season and not just from Las Vegas.
And while Sam Boyd Stadium -- the only real option for the game -- only seats between 35,000-40,000 people, imagine how much the league could get away with charging for each precious ticket.
And it would be worth it to see Super Bowl week live from Las Vegas. Imagine the parties. Imagine the debauchery. Imagine the cheap buffets. Imagine the free drinks. Doesn't that sound like fun?
Like the popular expression: La vida es una.
4. Make the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday
Wouldn't that be nice? Super Bowl Sunday is a day for friends and family to get together, consume food and drinks and yell their heads off during the game. However, all that carrying on takes a lot out of you.
It would be quite the relief to know you're free to party without restraint because you don't have to work the next day. According to a study by The Workforce Institute at Kronos, Inc. that appeared in the International Business Times back in 2012, 1.5 million Americans called out sick the day after the Super Bowl. Another 4.4 million were late for work on that Monday.
May I quote:
"The study also showed that nearly 10 percent of the American workforce will actually think ahead and just take the day off as a vacation day.
"Once other factors like hangovers, water cooler chit-chat about the game and the commercials, and energy devoted to pools and other kinds of betting are factored in, the loss of productivity can be staggering.
"According to SmartMoney Magazine, the hit to productivity could be as steep as $1 billion over the two week period surrounding the Super Bowl with $170 million of that coming on the Monday following the game."
So, why bother? Let's just declare the Monday after the Super Bowl a national day of rest and recovery.
4. Super Bowl rematch in Week 1
The Super Bowl winner gets to kick off the following NFL season with a Thursday night game as the entire football world watches them raise their championship banner.
But what about the Super Bowl loser? Don't you think they would love another crack at the team that sent them into the offseason with a world of hurt feelings? You're damn right.
And the ratings for that game would be sky high. A Patriots-Seahawks rematch in Week 1 of this season would have been a better watch than Patriots-Steelers.
5. Drone cam!
Any Portlandia fans out there? Well, in their Season 6 premiere, Fred and Carrie decide they're too old to attend one of those big outdoor festivals a la Coachella, etc. So, they attend using virtual reality helmet and a drone that flies around the festival.
Most of us can relate to that. Even if we had the money to get Super Bowl tickets, who wants to navigate all that nonsense to actually attend? Now, virtual reality helmets aren't an option, but it would be pretty cool if the NFL.com could stream footage from a drone flying around the stadium. Or better yet, have their Red Zone channel dedicated to that the entire game.
6. Make the Pro Bowl result count for the Super Bowl coin flip
Why not, right? The game is unwatchable anyway. Might as well put some kind of consequence for the result.
So, the AFC wins, their representative team in the big game gets to decide to kick, receive or defer. And vice versa. Maybe that will keep people from clicking to another channel before the first quarter ends.
7. Or, if Vegas isn't an option ...
Stop holding the game at a neutral site. Let the team with the better record host the Super Bowl. You'll get a stadium filled with dedicated fans, instead of the collection of corporate suits who just murmur the entire game and don't even really seem to be paying attention.
And stop with the pointing TV cameras at the stars of whatever network is showing the game. Do you care that David Spade is in the stands? Well, I do, because I love that guy. But most people couldn't care less.