Solutions Not Problems
Too often we focus on the problems rather than brainstorming solutions. This leads to a lot of complaining but not a lot of problem solving. This is especially true in the world of football. We spend more time talking about how it hurts the women NFL fan base than we do practical ways to help the situation. There is massive outrage that the Ray Rice suspension was too weak of a punishment. The player safety movement creates a buzz that transcends sports talk- mothers worried about their child playing football- medical professionals getting on a soap box- its a problem that everyone is talking about. In college football groups of players are rallying behind the. Idea of forming a union and getting rid of the “student athlete” model. This is met with such scrutiny because people just keep bringing up all the problems that this could cause. We have problems coming from left and right but its tough to find a solution. We’re too busy complaining to think or listen to any line of thought that focuses on fixing the very thing we are complaining about.
From a moral standing, what Rice did (we all know what he did, excuse me for not regurgitating it to you for the millionth time) deserved a heavier punishment than a 2 game suspension. From a NFL conduct policy stand point it fit the precedent for first time offenders. Instead of focusing on one offender out of many, lets zone in on the conduct policy itself. Let us delve into the way things always have been done, lets shred the status quo and let us find a system where right and wrong is congruent with the applied consequences. The NFL justified this by precedent, by procedure and by covering its buttocks in case the Players union decided to make Roger & company pay. Telling them they were wrong fixes nothing. The league thinks they are right. Explaining how we can fix the system in the future might actually be productive.
If Roger Goodell is going to be the all powerful trinity of judge, jury and executioner the system will always be a touch unfair. Absolute power corrupts absolutely; its an old adage but its always a wise and poetic phrase. Here is a solution. Let Roger Goodell be a judge but incorporate others into the process. Create a panel filled with a couple of players (appointed by players vote), a three coaches (appointed by the owners vote) and one people appointed by Goodell. The panel along with the commissioner makes 7 people. Into the decision making procedure we include players, coaches and owners.
This will create conversation and each group of people involved (Commissioner, owners, coaches & players) will be represented. The system should be less based on precedent and procedure. It should be guided by the question: what is just in this situation (taking each case as a completely separate issue)? I hypothesize that this will do three things:
1.) Make people perceive the system as fair and less likely to spew bad NFL publicity all over the internet and sports radio.
2.) Lead to suspensions and fines that are more representative of the misconduct.
3.) Make the commissioner’s life easier. He may have less power but he will be able to focus more attention towards public matters.
You may be thinking that this will not solve anything. To which I will ask you for your solution. I will encourage you to explain your quick fix! Because that is the entire point of this article. We want to generate and brainstorm ideas that focus on actually changing something. We need to generate conversation, not whining. Football is to awesome to be hindered by such simple problems. Put on your helping hats everybody lets fix it!
So here is what I’m asking you to do; a little homework assignment if you will. Give me a list of every problem you can think of in the world of football. You can rattle off everyone or just one that is important to you. Then through social media we will generate potential solutions to each problem. When we have thought up every issue we want to see fixed and have thought up every solution we can think of, I will make an animated whiteboard video of it. Let us come together and make the football world even better!
Here is how you can contact me: