I've been hesitant to criticize any of Commissioner Goodell's moves this offseason, since these problems don't really apply to the Saints. But this is just too much.
Apparently, the commissioner, in all his infinite wisdom, wants to put radio receivers in the helmets of offensive player to block out crowd noise in opposing stadiums:
A proposal to put radio receivers in the offensive players' helmets to offset crowd noise has been floating around for years in the NFL, rejected each time. [...] According to CBS analyst Charlie Casserly today on Inside the NFL, the proposal is on the agenda for NFL discussion this week.
"That’s what our game is about: our athletes and coaches playing at the highest possible level and being able to execute their game plans," Goodell said in his first press conference as commissioner. "To some extent right now, I think we are hindering that a little bit, because they come into an opposing stadium and they are not able to put the full offense in, they are not able to run plays in, they are not able to change the plays at the line of scrimmage."
With the escalation of ticket prices and the successful implementation of HDTV, fans who watch games in their homes already get a comparable experience to those who watch games in person. The only advantage that in-person-viewership has over the at-home variety is the visceral sense that "I was there, I made a difference." Crowd noise is a large part of that.
Here's an idea: instead of allowing offensive teams to block-out crowd noise, the NFL should start playing games in empty stadiums. That way, there would be no home field advantage given to anybody, save for weather and time differentials. And I hear they're working on those.
Get real. This is football, not tennis.
[Thanks to Foul Balls]