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Competition Committee will look at playoff teams resting starters

The Colts have been doing their best to ignore the criticism of their decision to tank it against the Jets.

The league office, however, is listening.

According to, the league office will ask the Competition Committee to review “integrity of game” and “competitive-balance” concerns arising from the practice of playoff teams treating the final weeks of the regular season like the final weeks of the preseason.

“This is an issue that we have reviewed in the past,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.  “The position
of the Competition Committee, and affirmed by the clubs, when it was
reviewed in 2005 was that ‘a team that has clinched its division title
has earned the right to rest its starters for the postseason, and that
preparing for the postseason is just as important as protecting some
other team’s playoff opportunity.’  That is the current policy.

“We are aware of the fan reaction and that is a factor to be
considered.  Some teams that have everything clinched,
like the Giants and Patriots two years ago, choose to play all out to
continue or gain momentum for the playoffs.  We expect to continue to
review this issue.”

When the Competition Committee takes up the issue, Colts president Bill Polian should recuse himself.  Given the harsh reaction that his team has faced after laying down in the second half of Sunday’s game against the Jets, any change to the policy possibly would be interpreted as a concession by the league that the Colts undermined the integrity of the game.  So Polian is incapable, in our view, of being objective on this point.

If a change is made, the league should ensure that the new rule also compels teams to make their best efforts to win.  Two years ago, the Colts failed to use their time outs in order to get the ball back for a meaningful shot at beating the Titans.  The victory by Tennessee kept Cleveland out of the playoffs. 

Titans quarterback Kerry Collins told WFAN radio after the game that Fisher and Dungy had “some communication” regarding Dungy’s decision not to use his timeouts.  Dungy seemed to be pleased by the qualification of the Titans for the postseason.

“I have to congratulate the Titans and I think it is a feather in the cap of our division to get three teams in the playoffs,” Dungy said at the time.

That said, it would be difficult to force a team to try to win a game it doesn’t want to win, especially when a team that wants to pull a starting quarterback would simply have to tell the starting quarterback to get up limping the first time he’s knocked to the ground.  So then the league would have to decide whether to look the other way, or to risk generating evidence that one of its teams has cheated. 

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78 Responses to “Competition Committee will look at playoff teams resting starters”
  1. KingKunal says: Jan 1, 2010 5:01 PM

    Can’t be enforced. And it’s a shame. I am not saying that the Jags NEED to be in the playoffs, but to see the Jets get in because two teams laid down is redonkulous. They suck! Flat out, especially since they already lost to the Jaguars.

  2. Gautam says: Jan 1, 2010 5:04 PM

    teams have been relegated in England due to similar practices by the bigger clubs …. the Premier League couldn’t do a thing about it even though the clubs that were relegated would lose 20m pounds the following year

  3. MarkNickolas says: Jan 1, 2010 5:09 PM

    When the Competition Committee takes up the issue, Colts president Bill Polian should recuse himself. Given the harsh reaction that his team has faced after laying down in the second half of Sunday’s game against the Jets, any change to the policy possibly would be interpreted as a concession by the league that the Colts undermined the integrity of the game. So Polian is incapable, in our view, of being objective on this point.
    Why would a GM who supports resting starters as less objective on this issue than a GM who believes a team should play all of its starters throughout? That’s goofy logic. Both points of view present an objectivity issue. Silly argument.

  4. Slow Joe says: Jan 1, 2010 5:09 PM

    I just don’t get how any team could not make their best attempt to win every single game. Aren’t these people supposed to be competitive?
    I had so much respect for the Patriots and the Giants at the end of 2007 for playing all out in the season finale. The game meant nothing as far as the playoffs were concerned, but it was a regular season game, so they both went all out to try to win it.

  5. Favre On HGH says: Jan 1, 2010 5:10 PM

    So Fisher and Dungy deliberately “threw” a game. By Dungy’s comments it doesn’t seem he wanted to win the game from the start.
    Stay classy Dungy.

  6. bigdawg24 says: Jan 1, 2010 5:14 PM

    The teams earned the choice to make this decision by winning. If they want to rest their starters, so be it.

  7. Favre On HGH says: Jan 1, 2010 5:14 PM

    I they sit starters they need to pro-rate tickets to pre-season prices and send fans a refund for the difference.
    Players don’t play to win as much as they play to get paid.
    To be honest it is just a knee jerk reaction by the league to all the uproar. “We will discuss it” is often used and serious action is rarely taken.

  8. HarrisonHits says: Jan 1, 2010 5:18 PM

    I don’t see how it’s possible to make any changes in this respect.
    What are they going to do, start dictating how many plays each starter must play each game no matter what ? Not even possible because the number of plays changes week to week depending on the team you are playing and their personnel.
    And forcing teams to use timeouts ?
    Ugh, the current system can be frustrating for the fans but that’s how its going to be sometimes. If the goal is going to be win the SB at cost of everything else, the teams have to be free to manage their personnel as they want.
    If they want to be a perfect jackass like Polian that’s they’re right. If they want to play out like the Pats did a couple years ago that’s their right too. Or anywhere in between. Fans are free to vote their approval with their wallets.
    If the Indy fans aren’t happy they should be writing the team front office and letting them know they won’t buy merch or spend other money on the team until the policy approaching the playoffs changes. Or turn in their season tix is they’re really unhappy.

  9. SpartaChris says: Jan 1, 2010 5:18 PM

    As disappointed as I am over the Colts decision to flip the bird at history by not trying to win last week’s game, there is an argument to be made regarding the health and safety of the players. I mean, how do you tell a team that has essentially nothing to play for in the final weeks of the season that they need to risk the health of their star players in an attempt to win what are, for all intents and purposes, meaningless games?
    On the other hand, as a fan, I’d be livid if I paid full price plus any travel expenses to see half a game. Not to mention there’s just something off about intentionally rolling over for a team, whether it be to let that team make the playoffs or to keep another team out. That’s a direct violation of the spirit of competition.
    From a fan standpoint, I think a fair compromise would be for teams who are planning to sit their starters for part or most of a game to come clean about their plan in advance so I have the option of not spending tons of money to watch only half a game.
    From a competitive standpoint, it’s iffy. Truth is I don’t see how the competition committee makes changes to the current standing policy. It should be a team’s right to protect it’s best players in meaningless games, but it also sucks when teams deliberately throw in the towel.

  10. pft rocks says: Jan 1, 2010 5:19 PM

    Polian thinks he IS the competition committee. The league should just recuse him, then he won’t have to step down.
    He is feared in the league, so he should be nowhere around the discussions to allow him to intimidate anyone.
    To be frank, because of all of his behavior and antics alone, he should no longer be allowed on the committee at all.

  11. KrazyTrumpeter05 says: Jan 1, 2010 5:19 PM

    What a ridiculous mess this has turned out to be…good lord.

  12. Klytus says: Jan 1, 2010 5:23 PM

    Well, the players and fans would rather have the best players in the game. It may seem irrelevant to management but the fans are essentially paying for 1 or 2 more exhibition games in December.

  13. mrzazz41387 says: Jan 1, 2010 5:25 PM

    this is incredibly stupid. You can’t make teams risk their stars if they don’t want to. Everyone always says that they could get hurt in the 1st play in the playoffs just as easily. That is true, but the point is, it’s the playoffs you play for in the 1st place. The injury is bad either way, but would you rather them getting injured in a game that means nothing, or a game that means everything.

  14. stnmmc says: Jan 1, 2010 5:25 PM

    This is one reason why the English Premier League schedules all of the last two games of the season at the same time. Teams cannot see earlier results and adjust their play to help the league table in any way they see fit.
    I know this is not viable in this case because money speaks more than credibility and honesty.

  15. habibfromnewdehli says: Jan 1, 2010 5:25 PM

    How is this even an issue? The only team responsible for a team getting into the playoffs… is THAT team! (and the officials, of course).
    This is so stupid. The fact is, the Jets won enough games so that they are in this position to control their own destiny, and those other teams did NOT.
    And if you’re talking about not fair to the fans who paid to see the game?
    Ummm… how about we fix the season ticket holders who commit all that money up front, and then are forced to pay FULL PRICE for PRESEASON games?
    That’s what’s not fair. How about we correct that before worrying about teams who won enough games to earn them the luxury of not having to worry about the end of the regular season?

  16. Bob S. says: Jan 1, 2010 5:29 PM

    Re: “That said, it would be difficult to force a team to try to win a game it doesn’t want to win, especially when a team that wants to pull a starting quarterback would simply have to tell the starting quarterback to get up limping the first time he’s knocked to the ground. So then the league would have to decide whether to look the other way, or to risk generating evidence that one of its teams has cheated.”

    Yes, like it would in any game the team wanted to FIX. That is the slippery slope you’re on if you allow any “NOT trying your hardest to win the game” for whatever reason such as trying on 4th and 2 on your own 28 up 6 points with 2 minutes left in game when you just gained ZERO yards on 3rd and 2 and called a timeout so defense would be NOT surprised you were doing so.

  17. Deacon Blues says: Jan 1, 2010 5:29 PM

    make the last 2 weeks of the season all divisional games ………..
    that should stop some of this

  18. LovinBlue says: Jan 1, 2010 5:32 PM

    I agree that something needs to be done so that teams are required to give their all, and we face this dilemma every year. One fair way I read on another post was to do some sort of reverse-seeding so that early qualifiers would get the WORST seed in the playoffs and either have to work their way up from there, or be happy with having to play the first weekend of the playoffs. Another way is to elevate the importance of points scored (or maybe margin of victory?) in the determination of playoff seeding so that the incentive is to not pull someone like Manning for someone like Painter.

  19. nps6724 says: Jan 1, 2010 5:35 PM

    Impossible to enforce and stupid to boot. If you’re a potential wildcard team that has to rely on other teams to lose for you to make the playoffs, it’s your OWN fault for not securing a playoff spot on your own. Get it yourself and there’s no problem. If you’re not good enough to do that, then let the chips fall where they may. A team that does that should have the right to play who they want however long they want. How can the league force players to play or force a team to call a timeout? I would tell the other 28-30 teams to play better during the season and those top teams wouldn’t have the option to sit guys.

  20. Brewster says: Jan 1, 2010 5:35 PM

    And the esteemed commissioner Roger Gooddell keeps talking about going to a 17-18 game season, with several games in London.
    So we could possibly see teams “rest” their starters in week 14 or so and play 3-4 meaningless games?

  21. Blue Horse Shoe says: Jan 1, 2010 5:36 PM

    Here is one of the points for the Indy fans. Why did they play to win the Jags game when it did not count??
    Also, why did the starters play the 3rd quarter at all? They can’t get hurt the first half or the first part of the third?
    In reality, Polian is very dismissive to the fan. He says things and basically to say we are not smart enough to understand football. This was our time to pay him back for his disrespect.
    If he was so right he would NOT have ended his show early. Most likely he blew up to his purple self and could not contain himself any longer.
    He is a bully, and now he is a quitter.
    That is Hall of Fame material right there….

  22. scrapdawg12 says: Jan 1, 2010 5:37 PM

    Each year when tickets come out we know what teams have a chance to rest players at the end of the year. This is one reason why I will never buy tickets after week 12 of the season. It is pointless. If I wanted to watch a preseason game, I’d of bought preseason tickets. I do not find it fair and it should not be allowed. Benching players must become a thing of the past if the NFL is to succeed in drawing in more fans instead of pissing them off.

  23. The RBM says: Jan 1, 2010 5:47 PM

    What’s funny is that if the League changes it’s rules, forces teams who have nothing to play for and wants to rests their starters in weeks 16 and 17 (or at some point 17 and 18) and makes them play, and a key player (from any team… except the Pats) gets hurt, the same posters who blasted the Colts for “selfishly taking their chance to witness (or participate in @ Deb, lol) history” will blame the League for the players’ injury because of the change, especially if that player is from their team.
    Franchise owners arent elected officials and isn’t obligated to follow the concept of a Democracy and operate based on the ever-changing opinions of fans depending on the week. Additionally, franchises don’t owe competing franchises anything. If teams the Steelers wouldn’t have played down to their competition during the regular season, the Florio-inspired conspiracy that is “…play (or not) to keep the Steelers out of the playoffs” wouldnt be an issue as would the Bengals and/or Pats resting their starters to keep ’em out.
    Compelling a team to risk, however minimum that risk is, the health of a key player in a meaningless game (for that individual team) for the sake of “integrity” or because fans wanna see them play, is lunacy.
    Tell you what “competition committee”, recommend to have Goodell dictate to the individual teams to slash the prices of preseason games by 3/4, then by 1/2, then by 1/4 for the sake of “integrity” rather than charging full-price. Didn’t think you would (even if you were reading this). The League needs to stay out of this and instead focus on hiring full-time refs, clearly defining what a catch is and isn’t, educating players and announcers on the rules of overtime, and confirming how many timeouts each team really gets.

  24. mrzazz41387 says: Jan 1, 2010 6:14 PM

    it would be stupid not to get tickets for the last few games of the season. If your teams is fighting for something, then you miss out on some of the most important games of the regular season.

  25. Favre On HGH says: Jan 1, 2010 6:15 PM

    On the same token, since a majority of the teams have been eliminated from the playoffs the might as well sit their starters too. The game is meaningless.
    Playoff teams have the playoffs to look forward too, but a career ending injury can happen on any play.
    Save your guys for next year.

  26. IronCityChampions says: Jan 1, 2010 6:16 PM

    The big issue here is the NFL flexing games that give teams the luxury of making decisions like these in advance. Moving the Bengals-Jets to the night spot compromises the integrity of the game because not only does it allow the Bengals to essentially control who they play in the playoffs, but it also allows them to control who else gets in the playoffs. And no, I’m not just saying this because I’m a Steelers fan.
    Teams can play anyone they want, if they want to rest starters, let them. But don’t let them control the fates of other teams, or choose their opponents.

  27. chunky soupy sales says: Jan 1, 2010 6:23 PM

    People will always be able to find away any rules that will force the resting of starters.
    Here’s something I would like to see. If you rest starters for an ” injury” during the final game, they should not be eligible for the first play off game. Sadly, some times real injuries happen and this would punish that, but it’s a tough world I guess.
    I know I can’t call in to work and say I want to sit out today because I am afraid of an injury.
    And Deacon Blues has an excellent plan..
    “make the last 2 weeks of the season all divisional games ………..
    that should stop some of this”

  28. SuzyKolberIsAwesome says: Jan 1, 2010 6:24 PM

    Isn’t that the point of the late season Sunday Night Flex Schedule, that when you get to the end of the season, games that looked good in April, may look like DUDS in December, so isn’t it a given that you may need to switch games to give viewers the most compelling games? The reason those games are more compelling, depends on whether or not teams are fighting for playoff spots, IF teams like the Colts wrap everything up by the 14th week of the season, more power to them, IF a team with 7 LOSSES is worried about another team LAYING DOWN, MAYBE a team with 7 LOSSES should not be in the playoffs. These things have a way of working themselves out, just imagine going to an 18 game schedule, and having teams shut things down for an extra two weeks? The league ought to be more EMBARRASSED by charging fans FULL PRICE for two EXHIBITION GAMES.

  29. jetermkt55 says: Jan 1, 2010 6:31 PM

    I understand the frustration, especially for Jaguar fans, that the Jets would make the playoffs, but any team not in the playoffs can ultimately blame themselves, and as a Jet fan I’m just happy they have a shot at it this week.
    On a separate note, no team that leads the NFL in rushing offense and total defense sucks.
    This whole issue seems like it would be a waste of time to actually discuss, so I bet this is nothing more than an attempt to quiet the masses.

  30. lezmaka says: Jan 1, 2010 6:38 PM

    Good luck trying to regulate that…

  31. mrzazz41387 says: Jan 1, 2010 6:39 PM

    Hey Chunky, the difference is, one day of work is no different than any other day of work for you. It would be senseless to risk your players health before some of the most important games of the season. If they get injured in the playoffs, well then at least they made it there. I would rather have my star player in the playoffs and get injured, than not have him at all.

  32. lezmaka says: Jan 1, 2010 6:47 PM

    @ Blue Horse Shoe
    If you bothered to get the whole story, not just the little bit that Florio (who has openly acknowledged that he doesn’t like Polian and Manning, and previously Dungy) spoonfed you, it didn’t end early.

  33. bigrig says: Jan 1, 2010 6:47 PM

    Go back to playing 14 games. While your at it, cut the pre-season down to 2 games.
    Gives the NFL a nice, tidy 20 week start to finish season.
    First pre-season game first weekend in Sept, SB last weekend in Jan.
    The NFL is starting to look like the other 3 sports. Too many meaningless regular season games.

  34. Akron Rules says: Jan 1, 2010 6:51 PM

    make the last 2 weeks of the season all divisional games ………..
    that should stop some of this
    That’s not a bad idea.

  35. Little Tommy says: Jan 1, 2010 7:07 PM

    Reminds me of the MLB all star game. That used to be “meaningless” too. Now the league that wins that game garners home field advantage for that year’s World Series! Guess what…it’s no longer a meaningless mid-summer game.
    If MLB can do it, so can the NFL. Put your noggins together boys and come up with something, otherwise offer fans a prorated refund when the games they’re paying primo $$$ to attend are declared meaningless.

  36. EskinSux says: Jan 1, 2010 7:13 PM

    The competition committee is a league sanctioned joke…..They say we will look at the issue, do nothing, and then say we looked at the issue and no rulings have been rendered….Meanwhile, the officials who are also under the leagues guise, seem to get worse with each passing year, and yet the fact the owners don’t want to pay them as full time officals isn’t a subject the so called competion committee seems to want to tackle……Go figure, the men hired to judge the competition aren’t on the competition committee’s radar. Whatever they suggest will be based on one thing……$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  37. wvugrad00 says: Jan 1, 2010 7:14 PM

    good lord I cannot believe this is even a topic of discussion. Teams have the right to rest their starters, they have 0, thats ZERO, obligation to go after history.
    So by this rational, does this mean every time the eagles are on the wrong side of the 50 yard line, they try one bomb to Jackson in an attempt to get a 50+ yard TD? Because god forbid he could break a record with that single pass

  38. ModHairKen says: Jan 1, 2010 7:14 PM

    Make home field advantage based on a weighted scale that gives more priority to late season wins. Make the last 4 games count 50%, and the first 12 50%.
    When the Colts lose their first playoff game at home, we’ll see what “You’ll get your turn, Smart Guy” Bill Polian says then.

  39. bwisnasky says: Jan 1, 2010 7:23 PM

    make the last 2 weeks of the season all divisional games ………..
    That is actually one of the most intelligent ideas I’ve ever read on this board…. That said, why does nobody seem to take into account that maybe the teams just want to get some reps for players that don’t normally play, just in case they have to actually play in a playoff game? Seems like a reasonable idea to me.

  40. dlmcc0909 says: Jan 1, 2010 7:28 PM

    This is dumb to even attempt. Teams that have nothing to play for will rest their starters and should have that right. They earned it by playing great for the first 14 games. If your a fan of one of these teams, simply do not buy tickets for the last 2 games. Its called common sense, something we are struggling with in this country lately.

  41. King of Queens says: Jan 1, 2010 7:38 PM

    Favre On HGH says:
    January 1, 2010 5:14 PM
    I[f] they sit starters they need to pro-rate tickets to pre-season prices and send fans a refund for the difference.
    Aren’t pre-season game tickets the same price as regular season game tickets?
    Season-ticket holders are currently roped into buying tickets to 10 games, at least 2 of which are meaningless. The nonsense that goes on with Week 17 (and occasionally with Week 16) pushes that number to as many as 4 home games that are not played at full strength.
    Something clearly has to change here.

  42. dawgtalon says: Jan 1, 2010 7:47 PM

    Funny how all these people are crying about teams resting their starters now when during the regular season you see it all the time. Teams up by 30+ points in the 4th quarter or when they have the game won rest their starters for the following game. So what’s the difference?

  43. Blue Horse Shoe says: Jan 1, 2010 7:47 PM

    For all I know is that Blue stampede is run/paid for by the Colts. They are not a source in my book.
    I know that Polian blows up all over the place, (even just ask Starbucks ) he did not want a Jay moment again!!!
    As a matter of fact, for all I know you could be part of the Colts!!!!
    I don’t care who Florio likes or dislikes. My real impression of Florio which I like, is he calls it like he sees it, and that sir, just PISSES Polian right off!!!
    Love my players, but I do not like my upper brass. As a matter of fact, I believe that Polian stole from Peyton. It was very obvious that Peyton wanted to win and should have been given the option for history. However, Peyton showed his class and did what he was asked to do.
    Hands down the best QB in the league.

  44. ButchD says: Jan 1, 2010 7:50 PM

    some of you guys dont get it. the players on the field are still trying their hardest to win. theres no way they will ever make any kind of rule against this.
    there’s no integrity of the game issue at all. everyone knows going in, if a team has clinched stuff, its probably going to rest guys. win your games so you dont have to count on anyone else.
    if they did make some addinine rule on this, THEN you would have some integrity issues because teams/guys would then be faking injuries and lying. and in most cases there would be no proof to do anything about it.

  45. jdigga420 says: Jan 1, 2010 8:09 PM

    If the Lions, Browns, Cheifs decided to rest their starters this week there would be a problem. We cant have teams throwing games it screws with the integrity of the game. If a players is not on the injury report he should play. If a team lies on an injury report they should be punished. As a season ticket owner I shell out big $$ to go to these games and I expect my team to do everything possible to win. I already have to waste my $$ on preseason games.

  46. SoFlor Steeler says: Jan 1, 2010 8:21 PM

    C’mon guys – this is easy…
    Make seeding for the playoffs independent of qualifying for the playoffs – seeding could be based on the last 4 games of the year – tie breakers would be based on going back a game until the tie is broken – so teams who want to have the first week off would need to go 4 and 0. Want a home game – win out…

  47. Blue Horse Shoe says: Jan 1, 2010 8:22 PM

    So are you saying any way we look at it, the NFL are going to cheat?
    I just do not see Peyton faking an injury. Maybe I am niave.
    But I bet Peyton starts Sunday, because he wants to set a record. ( fyi – I’m all for it)

  48. slipkid says: Jan 1, 2010 8:26 PM

    when i look at the games this last week, i actually dont think the bengals will “lay down”… the colder it is, the schittier sanchize will plau.
    and i dont think pitt will slam miami either.
    the night game should be dallas/philly. u know it will be a bloodletting no matter what. also, as some want, it is a division game.

  49. Deb says: Jan 1, 2010 8:28 PM

    How can the league justify two coaches getting together and deciding to throw a game to ensure two teams from the same division make the playoffs and a third from another division is excluded? (Interesting behavior from someone with Dungy’s professed ethics.)
    Teams have to play to win. If they don’t, they’re throwing the game. Isn’t that illegal? People bet on these games. I thought it was against the law to deliberately alter the outcome of a sporting event. How is playing to lose a football game–as the Colts did Sunday–any different from a fighter throwing a boxing match? How does a “competition” committee justify condoning a team’s decision to suspend competition for a week in order to rest starters for a championship?

  50. MrHumble says: Jan 1, 2010 8:31 PM

    Gotta buy preseason scrimmage tickets in order to get a ticket to regualr season game, totally ignoring the “injury report” rule, forsaking the integrity of the game, ignoring the competitive balance by resting starters, skirts on qb’s, etc. etc……the NFL should change it’s name to NEL (National Entertainment League). Each year I find another reason to care less about a league that I grew up on 50 yrs ago. The NFL might be all powerful and popular now but they better be aware of the momentum swing that has started because the entire integrity of the game has been forsaken in the last decade.

  51. Blue Horse Shoe says: Jan 1, 2010 8:40 PM

    Fans in most NFL cities do not have the option in the beginning of the season to pick their games. Most teams, a fan is on a waiting list to even get season tickets. Someone dies or sells their rights, so you get all the games as a package.
    Indy is not one of those cities.

  52. littlekaps says: Jan 1, 2010 8:49 PM

    I have NO problem with teams resting their players. They have EARNED the right. If you want to get into the playoffs, win more of your games and stop worrying about what other teams HAVE to do to HELP you.
    Then again, i am a Lions fan and haven’t seen a meaningful game since game 4 of our preseason in 2008 so we could win the preseason championship by going 4-0! Before that, it was 1991.

  53. Reptar says: Jan 1, 2010 8:51 PM

    You want to get in the playoffs? Win enough damn ballgames not to rely on other teams. Jesus tapdancin’ Christ, how difficult is this to comprehend? If you need help to get in the playoffs, you probably don’t belong.

  54. thehoodedone says: Jan 1, 2010 8:52 PM

    The plaintive whine of the Steelers fan.

  55. chunky soupy sales says: Jan 1, 2010 9:30 PM

    “Hey Chunky, the difference is, one day of work is no different than any other day of work for you. It would be senseless to risk your players health before some of the most important games of the season. If they get injured in the playoffs, well then at least they made it there. I would rather have my star player in the playoffs and get injured, than not have him at all.”
    No different from another day? Speak for yourself. You don’t know what I do, so how can you say?
    What if I’m a porn star, and I want to sit out the sensitive couple scene and not risk the dreaded” wang sprain” so I don’t have to worry about sitting out the coveted triplets danish ski team sisters with me playing the ski POLE repairman scene? Huh? What if? hUH?
    wackacicka wackacjicka wackachicki ( Cheesy porn wah wah inspired porn music.)

  56. tHe_KiNg says: Jan 1, 2010 9:39 PM

    I saw someone mentioned the last couple games should be division games. I have brought that up myself. Barring something ridiculous, there should be some meaning in those games. Even if it’s Lions/Packers it is a rivalry game and the Lions have a chance to knock the Packers out of the playoffs.
    I’ve said just make it 3 games, the last 3 weeks are intra-division games for each division, round robin style. Then just alternate years, year 1 you have 2 home games and 1 road, year 2 vice versa.
    For example in the NFCN:
    YR 1
    Packers – @MN, @CHI, home vs DET
    Lions – @CHI, @GB, home vs MN
    Vikings – @Det, home vs GB, home vs CHI
    Bears – @MN, home vs GB, home vs DET
    Then the next year switch it around so the Packers and Lions have 2 home games while Vikings and Bears have 2 road games.

  57. redsquare says: Jan 1, 2010 9:41 PM

    @Deacon Blues – Brilliant idea. I could see teams maybe doing some selective resting before that final stretch, but they could never afford to lay out like the Colts do.
    And your idea gets right to the real core problem–that there are meaningless games in a 16-game season. That should be ridiculous, but it seems to happen every year. By specifically scheduling a string of meaningful games at the end, problem solved.
    Maybe the NFL would worry that the end of the season would then resemble the playoffs too much, making the playoffs less ‘special’. In that case, might be time to bring in Gregg Easterbrook’s open-seed tournament idea…

  58. zllabnkcoc says: Jan 1, 2010 9:56 PM

    Stay with me on this one.
    What if the draft order was changed slightly? The worst teams still pick first and the SB teams pick last, but with the remaining playoff teams the order is flipped, i.e. the playoff team with the best record picks 21st and the worst wildcard team picks 30th.
    I know this is far from a perfect solution, but this or something similar can be built upon, because they need a solution.
    The Colts essentially forfeiting against the Jets, a team figthing for a playoff birth, was the best thing for the team to do, however it greately damaged the integrity of the competition and playoff selection. This needs to be changed.

  59. DocBG says: Jan 1, 2010 10:24 PM

    Simple solution: after week 12, of the players that have played in a game, only the winners get paid if their team has clinched their division, or a playoff berth. If a player doesnt play at all, not related to injury, they only get 25% of their normal salary. This way, good teams are still going to compete, and they will still rotate guys in and out, or the players will complain about the pay cut. IR is an obvious exception.
    You’ll have guys like manning writting directly in his contract that he starts EVERY game, unless he is injured. Put the impetus on the players, and let them solve the problem when writting their contracts.
    Having some overly bueacratic response to this isnt going to help or fix a damn thing. If something like this was adopted, just make damn sure that the new language states plainly that sitting a player DOES NOT effect the teams salary cap number AT ALL.

  60. sunflower100 says: Jan 1, 2010 10:26 PM

    Another problem with trying to determine if a team throws a game or not. Some good teams do actually lose on their own to bad teams. How would you ever be able to determine the difference?

  61. Deb says: Jan 1, 2010 10:30 PM

    @thehoodedone …
    Cute. But most Steelers fans seem to feel we’ve made our own bed. If we’d taken care of business, we wouldn’t need help. If the team isn’t focused on the Dolphins, help won’t matter.
    I’ve never worried about the Pats–they’ll play to win. And I think the Bengals will, too. But if they lose, we have ourselves to blame for our predicament.
    My bigger concern is the prospect of watching a future Steelers team throw a game by “resting” starters the way the Colts did. I can take losing seven games by less than a TD and missing the playoffs. But I can’t stomach quitting.

  62. danmateus75 says: Jan 1, 2010 10:42 PM

    Phoney Dungy has skated for years with the fans and media because he is publicly a nice soft spoken black man. White america’s ideal of how black men should act.
    This has always been a case of white liberal guilt in the media that has allowed this myth to grow that Dungy is this saintly coach who isn’t dirty like the rest of them.
    Those like myself and some others who really follow the league and don’t just rely Sportscenter for the sports news always knew what a phoney piece of crap that Dungy really is.
    And if his son were still alive he would tell you the same thing.

  63. bornman3 says: Jan 1, 2010 10:54 PM

    Can we agree that both sides make legimate arguments?
    The teams that rested their starters earned the right, and their backups are still “paid professionals”.
    The teams that are left out of the playoffs because a less deserving team wins against a bunch of backups, have to feel bummed.
    But the bottom line is win your games, so you dont have to worry about other teams! I appreciate that most (not all) Steeler fans feel like they have made their own beds.

  64. GoBrowns19 says: Jan 1, 2010 11:03 PM

    Every team starts the season controlling their own destiny. They lose it, they lose it.

  65. Sober says: Jan 1, 2010 11:07 PM

    No true way to enforce. If they vote yes, then teams will fake injuries to avoid playing starters.

  66. skoolya says: Jan 1, 2010 11:19 PM

    funny the league is asking the competition commmittee to look into the integrity of the game again, just like they did in 2005. Hmmmmm wasn’t that the last time Polian ordered his team to take a dive. He’s a coward, loser, and a bully. Big mouth, insecure, has to scream to feel like somebody will take him seriously.

  67. Blue Horse Shoe says: Jan 1, 2010 11:28 PM

    That is one of the problems that Colts fan are having a problem with. We did not rest our starters. Middle of the third quarter is not resting starters … (like they could not get hurt for the part of the game that was already played?????)
    Polian told them to stop playing. He told them to quit AFTER the middle of the game.
    uncalled for last comment about Jamie. You have NO idea what that teenager was thinking. Say what you want about Tony, but bringing a kid into is unforgiveable.

  68. Blue Horse Shoe says: Jan 1, 2010 11:28 PM

    That is one of the problems that Colts fan are having a problem with. We did not rest our starters. Middle of the third quarter is not resting starters … (like they could not get hurt for the part of the game that was already played?????)
    Polian told them to stop playing. He told them to quit AFTER the middle of the game.
    uncalled for last comment about Jamie. You have NO idea what that teenager was thinking. Say what you want about Tony, but bringing a kid into is unforgiveable.

  69. SteelerCJ says: Jan 2, 2010 1:10 AM

    Since you can’t control a team’s roster, the only other way to balance this is to back load all of the NFC vs. AFC games to the end os the year, since these games have fewer tiebreaker ramifications.
    That way an AFC team (Colts) does not have the option to choose who else might be in the playoff field (Jets) in their own division.

  70. ICDogg says: Jan 2, 2010 1:35 AM

    I guess they could do something crazy like not schedule who plays who in the last two weeks of the season until after week 15… and then just avoid situations where a team tanking would affect other teams trying to get into the playoffs. Not sure how that would work exactly, but I’m sure if it was that important they could come up with something. It wouldn’t be one and done, but it sort of would be like a mini-playoffs for those teams that still had something at stake, and of course a bunch of garbage games for those that didn’t.
    Short of that type of solution I don’t think they can really do anything that makes any sense to address this problem, and I’m not really sure they need to. I would probably just take the position that lucky scheduling…happens.

  71. Gautam says: Jan 2, 2010 5:15 AM

    well put stnmmc … that is the only viable alternative that I see for the last weekend of games
    it actually is very fun to follow the last day … one goal here or there and how the table changes accordingly

  72. last starfighter says: Jan 2, 2010 9:04 AM

    I think an interesting solution no one has mentioned is one that has been proposed for other reasons. Make playoff seatings based solely on record, i.e. division winners aren’t guarunteed a home playoff game. This should make for more meaningful late season games.

  73. doug r says: Jan 2, 2010 9:21 AM

    NFL should go to a points (kind of like hockey) system where Total number of points earned determines seeding. Could then weight certain games mire than others, perhaps last 4 games of year, division games, etc- would increase liklihood that teams have something to play for

  74. Audient says: Jan 2, 2010 9:30 AM

    Deacon Blues says: “make the last 2 weeks of the season all divisional games ……….. that should stop some of this”

    The Colts – Titans game WAS a divisional game. They are both in the AFC South.
    I guess Colts/Titans is not a Packers/Bears, a Cowboys/Redskins, a Browns/Steelers, a Bills/Dolphins type rivalry, since the coaches were willing to collude about not using timeouts to allow the other team to win and enter the playoffs.
    I am surprised that so many of you who jumped onto the idea didn’t notice that.

  75. jtigrrrr says: Jan 2, 2010 10:14 AM

    As a season ticket holder, and significant investment into PSL’s and seat tickets every year, I think it is the responsibility for each team to put the “Best” team they have on the field for each team. Anything less is a ripoff, and I would want a refund for the game.

  76. if yer not first... says: Jan 2, 2010 10:35 AM

    So, somebody explain to me what’s the difference between intentionally losing a game because you’ve bet on a your team to lose and intentionally losing a game so you’re team might be in a better position to win the Superbowl. The only difference I see is in the former you have a guaranteed payoff.
    I know it’s an oversimplification but isn’t throwing a game throwing a game?

  77. mrzazz41387 says: Jan 3, 2010 11:17 AM

    I love how fans of all these other AFC teams on the outside looking in, are complaining about other teams laying down, when their own teams have been laying down for teams for the past 5 weeks. How can you complain about any other team but your own?

  78. gocincy says: Jan 3, 2010 8:27 PM

    I think the real issue, is not how it effects the ‘fan’, the real issue has not been brought up, it is so the odds makers in Vegas can make the spread correctly, (in other words, make more money), that is the real deal, all of the other issues are just smoke & mirrors, we as the fans understand that the NFL is a buisiness, so whether or not you start someone, is based off of that, so if you buy a Week 16,17, ticket for the Colts, you know that is a possibility. Give it to us straight !

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