Neutral Sites For Conference Title Games?

With the NFL possibly expanding the regular season and with the NFL not inclined to start the regular season earlier than it already does, the conference championship games could be moved deeper into each new year.
As Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal reports, there’s a chance that the AFC and NFC title games could land in February, during one of the all-important ratings “sweeps” periods.
(As we’ve previously pointed out, the Super Bowl also could end up being played on President’s Day weekend, giving many football fans the ability to stay up late and/or get snockered without having to worry about getting up for work the next day.  Reports surfaced last week that such a move likely would prompt NASCAR to move the Daytona 500, which historically occurs that same day.)
Given that the weather only gets worse in cities like Green Bay and Chicago and New York and Foxborough and Pittsburgh and Buffalo as January gives way to early February, Mullen points out that the championship games could be moved to a neutral site.
We don’t like this possibility.  Not one bit.  Especially since the teams that regularly play in the potential neutral sites would potentiall have an unfair advantage, if they qualify for one of the games.
The only way to avoid such an outcome would be to send the AFC game to stadiums in which an NFC team normally plays its home games, and to send the NFC game to an AFC stadium.
Even then, it might be a challenge to sell the games out in a neutral location — and it would be grossly unfair to the fans of the team that secures the right to host the championship game.
Besides, winter is football weather.  And if anyone thinks that freezing conditions create an unfair advantage for the home team, ask Packers fans what they got in exchange for free-drying their cajones for three-plus hours in January 2008.
PFT Planet, feel free to chime in on this one.  (As if you ever need an invitation to do so.)

102 responses to “Neutral Sites For Conference Title Games?

  1. good arguments against moving the season forward, instead of back.
    but what about the players & injuries ….if you go to 17 games, don’t you need to increase the active roster from 53 to 60? And maybe change the DL rule so an injury won’t punish the team so much?

  2. I would love to see the change. Fans in Cincinnati would have a shot at seeing football in January!

  3. This is stupid. Teams sometimes build their teams around their climates. It is bad enough that the Superbowl has to take place in a neutral site, but to extend that to the conference games really starts removing the real fans from the game.

  4. As a Patriots fan, there is no doubt in my mind that Bill Polian is behind this. What is with the cr*p these guys are pulling?! If it aint broke, don’t fix it. I hope all jockying this offeseason aimed at putting more dollars in owners’ pockets blows up in their faces. They are ruining the game. Who do they think they are? The US gov’t?

  5. This is CRAP!!! They are already taking games away sending them to London. Screw this. I pay for season tickets with the hope of getting one of these games at home some day.

  6. How about this as a solution- Don’t change a damn thing. 16 games, same playoff format. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  7. If this rule was already in place, it would have made two of the most anticipated and (arguably) best games of last season (TEN vs. PIT and NYG vs. CAR, both for top seed in the conference) pretty much meaningless.

  8. WhoDeyThinkGonnaBeatDemBengals
    please Youtube Jim Mora’s playoff rant

  9. Worst idea I have heard in a long time. I already get ticked off that the Super Bowl gets “sissi-fied” this way, why do it to the Conference Championships during which some of the greatest NFL games have been played. The Tuck Game, The Ice Bowl (not technically a conference championship, but is by today’s standards). Why take that excitement away? The writer of this article should never talk about football again.

  10. Every team is given the same opportunity to host their conference championship game and therefore have “homefeild advantage” It would be unfair for the Steelers, if they were a #1 seed to have to play indoors vs the Colts in a dome in Feb. Would the Superbowl be moved to a neutral site if Texas Stadium were hosting it and the Cowboys made it? Not that they would.

  11. Horseturds… I already don’t like that philly, ny etc never gets to host a superbowl. Also, this will make the later games in the regular season even more meaningless since it essentially won’t matter if you are ranked 1 or 2 in the conference.

  12. This would make the difference between #1 and #2 seed absolutely 0, and no team would play hard to get #1 seed if they have a bye locked up.
    #1 and #2 seeds would both only get 1 home game in the playoffs….

  13. THIS IS F’ing INSANE! TV dictating how football is being played?! Mark my words, if this happens I am done!

  14. This is quite possibly one of/ if not the most stupid suggestions I have ever seen. Teams compete all season to get home field THROUGHOUT the playoffs. Taking this away from them (not to mention their fans) would be a travisty.

  15. This is dumb, I totally agree that weather is a part of the game of football. Hell, I would like to see the Super Bowl and College Bowl games played outside in the snow from time to time.

  16. I don’t like it. But since it is fun to argue, I am going to play devils advocate here. You want the marquee games of the year to be played at it’s highest QUALITY. Only lame douchebags that don’t know dick about auto racing like to watch the races because of the wrecks. Well, I dont like watching football where there is 5 TURNOVERS because of the snow. I don’t like watching receivers slipping on routes and the ball sailing over their heads. Or running backs not being able to make cuts. I hate sloppiness. In fact I loathe it. I wanna see the best and most athletic teams win. More importantly, I want to watch good quality football. So, I can see that side of the argument.

  17. I know it’s been said before, but if the NFL really, truly cared about player safety and the long term health of their athletes as they claim, they’d never, ever propose to lengthen the season.

  18. Terrible idea!! Teams EARN home field advantage! Don’t expand the season and don’t change the format. We all wish it was NFL season 12 months year but really, it’s great the way it is.

  19. Some of football’s greatest games have been played in nasty winter weather. The Super Bowl makes sense – two conferences are playing on a neutral field, and it brings in fans from all over the country. For playoff games within the conference, man up and deal with snow. It’s part of the tradition. Teams play for the best record and highest seed for a reason.

  20. As someone who has attended 3 Super Bowls (working) and a variety of playoff games, I would rather pay to attend a playoff game in ANY round than the Super Bowl. The reason is simple: fans. The Super Bowl atmosphere, for my money, is all show and no game (that said, like Mardi Gras, it’s certainly worth attending at least once in your life. But once is quite enough). The raucous atmosphere of a stadium filled with passionate fans is the greatest element of any live sporting event in my humble opinion, and it’s something the Super Bowl is sadly lacking. It would be a bizarre act of corporate pandering for the NFL to move Championship games to a neutral site. I can’t imagine that they would consider the idea longer than the few milliseconds it takes a room full of committee members to uniformly formulate the word “no.”

  21. Yeah this can’t happen. Being the highest seed to be the HOME team of the conference championship would have ZERO advantage then. And what exactly would be the point of working that hard to be the highest seed?
    But you know, I guess the weather has become just too “dangerous” to the players…We can’t have them slipping on snow, or getting too cold for that matter. The next rule will be that you have to have a dome or be located in a city where it never snows to be a part of the NFL.

  22. This completely changes the game as we know it. Teams start out on day one trying to get to the superbowl. Part of that is to to get as many home games as possible or home feild advantage. Take that milestone out of the equation, it changes the whole season. Just imagine everyone doing “just enough” to get into the post season. You have to give these whinny brats a reason to fight all season. I’m telling ya, they are driving the NFL into the ground. Hopefully it will resemble the old NFL when they revive it.

  23. 17, 18 games?
    neutral site conference championship games?
    overstretching travel with international games while proven US sports markets (Los Angeles, San Antonio, Portland etc) go untouched?
    A plethora of Roy Williams, Tom Brady, and Hines Ward rules?
    Can’t we just play football again?
    I mean really, you have the best sport in the world, why mess with it? The UFL is going to have some killer ratings and support if this keeps up.

  24. Why do they delay the start of the season until afte Labor Day?? That is foolish!!
    Get the season started on time and there is less of a problem.
    Neutral locations are just plain wrong. Teams earned the right to host those games!!! Season ticket holder buy a lot of games in bad years for the occaisional reward of a big game.
    More revenue is earned by the home teams for the NFL than they would at some pussified site. More revenue is always good for the league.

  25. Increasing the number of games? Hate it.
    Moving conference championships to a neutral site? Despise it.
    Likely to stop watching football because of either change being implemented? No.

  26. Wow.., this one marks a new high of imbecilicity.
    Let me see if I have this one right. The League is considering the idea of rewarding fans who’s team(s) succeed to the Championship level, by taking the games away from them? That’s the brainstorm here…, yes? And how is this in the best interest of the Fan? Can someone justify that?
    With some of the rules changes and now this…, it’s starting to sound a lot like this league is being run by executives who don’t know the game, never played the game, don’t know or understand the fanbase and don’t really care. How much longer before ALL the games are played at neutral sites, so there’s a fair balance for all the teams. How far are we from new rules that limit the number of downs a player can play, so that ALL the guys get a chance to be on the field?
    It’s getting to be re-goddamn-diculous

  27. Much as I like to disagree with you, Mike, (and call you silly names), I have to agree. This is such a bad idea it qualifies under the ‘ludicrously stupid’ idea categroy (other ideas in this category are Custer’s idea to divide his forces in the face of Sitting Bull, the French idea that the Maginot line only had to face the French-German border – no one would EVER think of going around it, etc.)

  28. No way this would ever happen. If the league were to do this I think I might just give up on football. As a Packers fan, if another team were to come to Lambeau field I wouldn’t have any interest in watching the game, so who would fill the stadium? Are all the other teams fans going to pay for plane tickets or drive hours and hours just to watch their team play at this neutral site? Whoever came up with this idea should have just kept quiet and never told anybody that it was an idea…DUMB!!!!!

  29. djn21 said it all. Although, don’t underestimate the amount of corporate pandering that’s already taking place in today’s NFL. More non-Sunday games than ever before (to maximize ad revenue). More international games (to build towards international teams). Flex-scheduling, which many people praise as a way to get better matchups on TV late in the season.. I see flex-scheduling simply as a way for the league to get more ad revenue than otherwise.
    Nearly every decision the league makes these days is a decision that makes it more profitable. Not that there’s anything wrong with making the league profitable, but watch out when they make decisions that are good for revenue but bad for the sport.

  30. NO! No No No. Nononononononononononononononononononononono.
    Did I mention NO!

  31. Lock the scum up. Break the law, do the time. Tough break… there’s always FUBU.

  32. I was at that Packers game in Jan 2008. By the end of the game, my pants and the back of my shirt was caked in ice. You would sit on the ice covered seats, body heat would melt the ice, get wet and then refreeze when you stood up. I never felt cold at the game (-2 at kickoff, much lower with the windchill)
    Teams earn homefield advantage, and the fans that support them with their money buying season seats, and with the devotion they show year round.
    Taking the championship games away from the people who support the league and allow everyone from the players to the coaches to the commisioner and moving them to neutral sites where the bulk of the seats will go to the same corporate bigwigs that go to the superbowl not caring about the outcome because their company had seats for them would disgust me.

  33. STUPID LADY!! Since most teams (including mine (Vikings)) make you buy both potential playoff games when the tickets go on sale, it would make no sense for the home team to give up that stadium revenue and the area bars would lose out too. Also, I am not going to another stadium to watch my team try for a SuperBowl appearence when they won the right to play at home.
    (Writers Note) Yes, I do realize that the Vikings have not been in a Supebowl since 1979. Yes, I do realize that we have not ever won one. Yes, I do realize that if we do not get a new stadium soon, LA will have another MN team (See Lakers Basketball).
    Either way, JUST SAY NO to neutral AFC/NFC Title game sites!!

  34. I agree with your article and with some of the comments on here. Teams here home field advantage. Although the NFL is great at squeezing ever dollar out of everything they can, this goes too far in my humble opinion.
    I also wholeheartedly agree with the comments about player safety. The season is long enough already. Heck, one of the main reasons they voted down changes to the OT rule was because of the length of the season already. This is another area where cooler heads need to prevail and not agree to this.

  35. wow dumb.
    personally i think the weather restriction for the super bowl should be lifted as well. Why is ok to play a game in cold weather outdoors unless it is a super bowl? o wait thats right, the super bowl is aobut money, not football. the fact that lambeau has never had a super bowl is criminal.

  36. inmymind: Where would you like the Superbowl to be played?? A neutral site for the is fair for both teams.

  37. this is just dumb
    for devoted fans that attend games to not have their team play at home when they deserve it is pointless. I hope the nfl is smarter than this one.

  38. This is a terrible idea.. I want to see playoff games played in the freezing cold. That’s part of the fun of playoff football.

  39. In 1972, the 15-0 Miami Dolphins had to go on the road to Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship game because of the rules at the time. They still won and wrapped up their undefeated season against the Redskins.
    Whining about home field is for pussies.

  40. One of the worst ideas ever. Talk about screwing the fans of the home teams in those games.

  41. “As someone who has attended 3 Super Bowls (working) and a variety of playoff games, I would rather pay to attend a playoff game in ANY round than the Super Bowl. The reason is simple: fans. The Super Bowl atmosphere, for my money, is all show and no game”
    Unless the Steelers are playing in the SB. Then it’s just like any other Steelers home game.
    This is all just another example of Roger Goodelll ruining the league. To him it’s not about sport, it’s about $$$$ and “quality content”.
    Thank god for NCAA football, my new favorite brand of football.

  42. As a season ticket holder I’d be outraged. WE SEASON TICKET HOLDERS ARE THE MAIN $$ SUPPORT OF THE TEAM! We go to the games, buy the gear, etc.
    To take the best games away from us would be BULL.
    I do not like what the NFL is doing now with the international games and the other $ decisions that completely disrespect the season ticket holders.

  43. If the NFL is so worried about weather being an issue if playoff games played in February in an expanded schedule then why don’t they just play the two newly added regular season games in the place of the 3rd and 4th preseason games at the end of August?

  44. I think they should play the Super Bowl in Iraq. Since these spoiled, whiny a-holes don’t have the sack to drop the game for a year or two to defend their country like players in the 40’s did, the least they can do is go over and entertain the troops that are putting their ass on the line so these jackholes can make millions.

  45. What does it matter? With an 18 game season and more wild card teams, all that will be playing will be back-ups come game 21 of the season for these teams anyway…
    Might as well move all of the teams away from cold weather cities and play two hand touch. they could probably crank out a 30 game season that way.

  46. …and the bad news is, that neutral field is in London.
    I hope all this is just providing grist for the contract negotiation mill.

  47. I am a season ticket holder that has benefited from having my team host the championship several times during my tenure. if the nfl took this game away it defeats the purpose of home field advantage and takes the games away from the fans. it will never happen.

  48. Who the Hell started this idea?
    The only reason they do this is to stuff the seats with more corporate suits…It’s just as cold in Foxboro in January as it is in February…It would have nothing to do with the weather.

  49. All the more reason to rest the starters at the end of the regular season. Who cares if you are a wild card or not ?
    Also would the sites be determined by the league before the playoffs begin, or before the season begins ?? Example, if Tampa or Jacksonville is considered, and both teams make the playoffs, would there be a bias if Minnesota or Indianapolis has the best records and makes it to the championship game and has perfectly good indoor stadiums ??

  50. If this is “thinking outside the box”, put it back in the box! Awful idea, Goodell.

  51. The neutral field should be used anytime the words “and the 2nd tiebreaker is…” when the teams have the same record. It should also be used when one of the teams gets a weather advantage. Turn advantage? Fine. Fan advantage? Fine. But you can’t expect a good warm weather team to play well in Green Bay. Bad football is played in bad weather. It sometimes comes down to whoever has the slowest, fattest RB who won’t juke himself. It’s boring and the NFL wants high-scoring games.
    I have no problem with neutral sites at all. Both sides enter with an even playing field. If you lose, you can’t blame anything other than your own bad play.

  52. what is the nfl’s issue with starting the season earlier? If they are cancelling two of the pre-season games then why not use those weeks to have the start of the regular season games.

  53. The only change in the post season is that the team who wins the super bowl should host the following year. This would give change the dynamic of the following season and generate tax revenue in cities who’s fan’s embrace them all the time i.e Cleveland, Green Bay, Chicago.

  54. They would be foolish to make the conference games to be played at a neutral site. What would be the purpose of finishinh 1 or 2 and not getting home field advantage witch teams worked hard for during the regular season.

  55. It’s a bad idea. Besides is the weather in NE, GB, Pitt., etc really any worse at the beginning of Feb. than than in Jan.?

  56. F that! Regardless of the NFL’s popularity, the games won’t sell out. Who in say Tampa is going to watch/pay for an Eagles/Giants game or whatever. Stupid is stupid does

  57. It’s ridiculous that cold-weather cities are seen as having an unfair advantage during the winter. Any advantage they have merely offsets the advantage San Diego, Miami, etc have in signing free agents. There’s nothing unfair about it.

  58. Neutral sites would be the stupidest change of ALL TIME! The Superbowl should be played at coldweather sites and even possible at one of the teams home stadiums! Does someone get paid to come up with these ideas?

  59. his is all part and parcel of the pussification of America. Championship games are played in the snow and in the wind. Who the f–k is coming up with these ideas??? The Home team gets to hoist the Championship trophy in front of their fans if they win. COME ON. What a travesty. The Superbowl is already half a joke because of the neutral site, the two week wait, the f–king media circus.

  60. I LOVE this proposal and it seems TOTALLY FAIR.
    If East Coast teams only have to travel to the West Coast once per year (new rule), then West Coast teams shouldn’t have to play in 9-degree snowing weather for a championship game.

  61. For that matter, why in the heck is the Superbowl only played in warm cities or in domes? How great would it be to see a Superbowl played at Lambeau, Soilder, or Heinz? All the casual fans and media are welcome to stay home and save space for the hardcore fans.

  62. The weather has been a HUGE factor in FAR too many conference championship games.
    Case in point: Bengals vs. Chargers in 1981. With the wind chill factor, it was like 50 degrees below zero in Cincinnati. The Chargers had no chance.
    True, teams with better records should get an advantage in the playoffs, but they would get their byes and/or their home-field advantage in both the wild card and divisional games.

  63. Before Goddell is done, the NFL will have a 20 game season played by teams in only the largest markets in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Teams will be named things like the New York Budweiser Giants and the Los Angeles Microsoft Vikings and their uniforms will look like NASCAR unis. Quaterbacks will be protected by an invisible forcefield that administers a 50,000 volt shock when defenders get too close. They would then be locked up for 30 days upon first offense and receive a 4 game suspension. Ticket prices will start at $300 face value, and every fan will have to wear some kind of flare that states that we are all Goddell’s bitches.
    Have I missed anything?

  64. Unless the Chargers are a #1 seed again, they have very little chance of getting to another SuperBowl.
    To do so, they’ll likely have to beat New England or Pittsburgh in their freezing stadiums.
    This task is 10 times more difficult in January than it would be in September.
    When I was in Pittsburgh for the Chargers game in November, the fans were cheering for snow because they know it gives their team a huge advantage.
    Should the outcome of these conference championship games really hinge so much on the weather?

  65. vikes02 says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 10:59 am
    (Writers Note) Yes, I do realize that the Vikings have not been in a Supebowl since 1979.
    It was actually 1976.

  66. I was going to write a long response, but this might be the stupidest thing that I have ever heard of with regards to the NFL. It’s stupider than the Aaron Brooks (Wahoowah!!!) left handed pass. It’s more absurd than Kenny Powers still being on his way to Tampa Bay.

  67. @ Boltschick
    “Should the outcome of these conference championship games really hinge so much on the weather? ”
    You are kidding, right?
    A lot of these cold weather teams practice indoors, so their advantage isn’t all that much greater. If your team can make it to the championship game, weather isn’t going to be the reason why they lost.
    If a team earns the #1, they should have a right to host the championship game. If the NFL were to actually implement such achange in format, I would stop watching.

  68. Doesnt the NFL know that winter weather means more attractive TV product for football? They already make the SB look antiseptic and give dome teams an advantage when they assign some SBs to boring looking indoor stadiums. The real joke is that going to warm weather sites doesn’t increase revenue significantly because they sell out anyway and sponsors will line up anyway. It is for the comfort of the freaking VIPs. The only thing affected in cold weather outdoor stadium cities are the parties preceding the game. That has no bearing on TV ratings which bring in most of the money. Imagine if the Patriots-Raiders game from 2001 was held in the Superdome. BORING for a casual fan.
    Or even the Steelers games from SB XLIII playoff drive. Looked good with all the snow. And then even the warm weather SB wasnt bad because it was at least, an outdoor stadium though it lacked the same “football tough” visual. Imagine the same fireworks were tried in the Superdome or GA Dome. You just end up with a smoky start to the second half. No compelling blimp shots.
    And the best part of the home conference games is the crowd reaction. No neutral site can match that.

  69. @Boltschick: Do you really think the weather played a big factor in the playoff game between Pittsburgh and San Diego? I didn’t think so. Rivers seemed unaffected, and the bomb he threw to take the Chargers to a 7-0 lead would seem to back that up.
    I thought the turning points were the Holmes punt return for the TD and the Chargers 3rd Quarter problems: tipped ball for a pick and a punt bouncing off a blocker’s helmet leading to a turnover. I don’t think the weather had anything to do with any of these areas.

  70. They need to stop letting television dictate the schedule, and think about the fans sitting in the stands for once.
    Nobody in New England wants fully half of the schedule to be played in frigid weather. It used to be that there were one or two cold games a year. Now they just keep running the schedule later and later, and they think nothing of playing January games at night. It’s taking all the fun out of going to the games.
    It should be about football, and the athletes, not about survival.

  71. ask Packers fans what they got in exchange for free-drying their cajones for three-plus hours in January 2008.
    the only thing more bitter then the cold that day, was the taste of defeat.
    this is a terrible idea

  72. All the teams to the east of Cinci and in the northern part of the country are built for cold weather. So isn’t the SB being awarded to either southern cities and/or domes already putting these teams at a permanent disadvantage in the SB? So stop whining about the Conference finals home field advantage where a team has to visit NY or PIttsburgh. At least teams like SD have the chance to determine their fate by getting a better record for home field. Teams like Pittsburgh, NYG have no chance of getting a cold weather outdoor SB.
    By the way, people need to get a sense of humor. One of the early comments by a Bengals fan was downrated so badly. I thought it was funny where he referred to the Bengals at least getting to watch postseason football at home with neutral games.

  73. mborz, perhaps you have a point.
    Philip Rivers sure looked good in that game. That 50-yard bomb was perfectly thrown.
    But I still think the frigid weather played a role. The Chargers were manhandled at the line of scrimmage. The cold weather wore them down IMO.
    Do you really believe that the cold weather affected the Steelers just as much, even though their bodies are acclimated to it?
    Or that the Cincinnati Bengals weren’t better able to handle 50 degrees below zero than Dan Fouts coming from a 70-degree average climate? Did the best team really win that game?
    I just think these games are so critically important that weather should be eliminated as a factor. Besides, the TV picture isn’t very clear when it’s snowing. 🙂

  74. This would be a negative for season ticket holders, who have the carrot of possibly being able to go to a conference title game hosted by their team dangled in front of them every year. Believe me, I know — I had a guaranteed spot for the Titans hosting the AFC Championship had they not lost to Baltimore.
    Also, remember that teams get people to pony up for playoff tickets well in advance, with the money paid for games that never end up happening rolling over to apply to the next year’s season tickets. The teams then get to put that money in the bank and earn interest on it.
    In short, I don’t see it happening.

  75. Playoff games in a “neutral site” is a TERRIBLE idea. Teams who have won the right to play in the playoffs deserve to be able to play those games as home games, in their own stadiums, if they qualify to do so. Moving these games would unavoidably include “arbitrary” decisions as to HOW neutral a site is. Even if you put the AFC games in NFC cities and vice-versa, are there more of Team A’s fans in the “neutral” site than Team B’s fans? What if one of the teams had beat the home team at the neutral site in a previous Super Bowl. It’s all too messy. Just leave it the way it is – always having the Super Bowl at a “neutral site” is enough of a mess!

  76. HAILSKINS says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 10:32 am
    This is CRAP!!! They are already taking games away sending them to London. Screw this. I pay for season tickets with the hope of getting one of these games at home some day.
    1st: You are a ‘Skins’ fan therefore ruling you out as far as seeing a home NFC championship game (or any NFC Championship game for that matter) as long as you have an ass clown as an owner.
    2nd: Florio, can you comment on the reason(s) that the Super Bowl has not been moved to Saturday yet? With the week off the extra day doesnt matter. More fans would be willing to travel (if tickets were made available to the leypeople, and not just first class bloggers;) ), they could market many NFL associated events that again fans would be more able t take part in, and lastly I would be able to get wasted without worry of still being drunk Monday morning. Please Comment.

  77. Start the new season at the traditional 3rd exhibition game date. Let’s face it, the NFL is forcing you to pay regular season prices for exhibition games. Anyway, the third and fourth exhibition games are “nobody gets hurt” games. Back up the season 2 games and enjoy them at your leisure. If it’s too early for you, don’t watch. What I don’t want to watch are Pro Bowl caliber players slipping or dropping balls because their hands are frozen. I guarantee you, no matter how many or how few games are played the Pittsburghs and the New Englands will still be the best organizations.

  78. First of all, the southern/western teams for years have deliberately used homefield advantage in the early fall. Some teams that always wear dark home uniforms wear white so the visitor has to wear the darker -hotter uniform. Others, like Houston, who has a dome, deliberately opened their stadium roof to subject visitors to weather hotter temperatures than they are used to. Northern teams can’t control the weather. Now the bigger issue. The playoff should not be in neutral sites. That is what the fans hope for all year- to see their team in the playoffs. Teams try all year to get a better record to get the homefield advantage. Without that, teams that clinch early may tank it if the games don’t mean anything. Again the home fans may see mostly back-up players toward the end of the season. I would hope that the NFL would start the season two weeks early to avoid the sometimes terrible Feb. weather. I am tired of all of these 4:00 or late night starts so fans on the west coast- (who don’t care enough about having an NFL team to build a stadium for at team) can watch a game. Look at last year Phl-Arz playing in Arz in a dome was the early game and the Steelers were a night game in Jan. What are these scedule makers smoking? There should not be a game played in the north later than 1:00 after Dec. Ratings be damned.Put the game on-people will watch. Some day a fan is going to die due to the cold weather and I hope their family sues the NFL.

  79. Mr. Phantom,
    What Houston did shouldn’t be allowed, IMO. Still, there is a big difference between using homefield advantage during the first few weeks of a season compared to sudden death elimination in the playoffs.
    You make good points about the effect on the fans with a neutral site. But many fans would still travel to the games, just as the Steelers’ fans filled the stadium in Tampa Bay.
    The temps would certainly be better at 1 p.m. The problem with that start time for teams on the west coast is that, to the players’ bodies, it feels like 10 a.m. Muscular strength is about 5% greater at 1 p.m. than at 10 a.m., so this gives the east coast teams a statistically significant advantage. The physiological difference between 4 p.m. and 1 p.m. is not as great.
    Let’s face it, the Chargers are at a disadvantage in this league because of the team’s location. Not only do they have to travel repeatedly to the east coast, but during the playoffs they must compete in frigid temperatures. This proposal gave me some hope for improved SuperBowl chances for my beloved Chargers, who have yet to win a SuperBowl in the 30 years that I’ve cheered my heart out for them (and traveled to watch them in frigid climates).

  80. If the NFL wants to fix something, fix this: Eliminate the roster minimums/maximums but keep the salary cap. The roster minimums/maximums rule was from a bygone era and is no longer needed. If a team wants to carry 40 or 100 players, thats fine, but you need to stay below the salary cap.

  81. Conference championships at neutrals sites is a horrible idea. Nothing says “forget the fans, don’t reward team success” more than putting the games in neutral sites.
    Like it was stated before, the Super Bowl is already a smack in the face to die hard fans for being dragged out and unfootball like, why do it to two more of the most important games in the season?
    The only neutral site games that would be worth while would be in the NFL does decide to go to 17 or 18 games, and use the extra two games (or at least one) for a “geographic” rival like baseball does with interleague play.
    You could have teams like Philly & Pittsburgh packing Penn States’s Beaver Stadium for PA rivalry, the Jets/Giants could sqaure off every year in their new venue, have an I-70 game with the Rams/Chiefs battling it out, a 49ers/Raiders in a Bay Area game, or even do a Former LA teams game and have the Chargers and Raiders alternate their home game each season to play a game per year at the Coliseum.
    There is a lot you could do with an extra game, and a neutral site, but having playoff games (especially a conference championship) in a neutral site is crazy.

  82. OK, well, the opposition to this stupid idea is unanimous. So I can now focus on a different issue.
    It’s freeze drying, not free drying, and its cojones, not cajones. Unless you meant no-cost removal of water from their drawers, that is…

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