Shutdown Corner - NFL

A lot of things in the NFL could stand some fixing up; for example, the Pro Bowl or the overtime system. One thing we can’t fix, though, is the offseason, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make it more tolerable. Today, I present five steps to do so, none of which have any realistic chance of happening.

Step 3: The 32–team NFL golf tournament. Winner gets to take one game on their schedule and decide it via a golf match, as opposed to a football game.

All 32 teams send their best two golfers to a week-long tournament in some beautiful, sunny location. It’s a match play tournament, with each team of two playing alternate-shot for 18 holes against another team.

The prize has to be worthwhile so teams and players will take it seriously. I think it’s appropriate, too. The team that wins will obviously have some strong golfers, and they’ll get to pick any game on their regular season schedule to replace with a golf match.

For example, if the Jets were to win the tournament, they could opt to not play the Patriots in New England, but instead take on the Patriots’ best two golfers in an 18–hole match. They get what amounts to an extra bye week, and if they plan it right, it should be an automatic win. And if it’s not, and it turns out to be a close match, imagine the compelling drama we’d get if Jay Feely(notes) had to make an eight-foot putt to secure a playoff spot for the Jets.

The real purpose, though, is the tournament itself, which would help to break up the monotony of the off-season. I want live microphones on everyone, especially the teams that have only one good golfer, and one duffer.

It’s something that would be great for the self-esteem of kickers, too. Kickers are typically the best golfers, so this gives them another purpose on the team. It would make for fantastic television to send a tiny little kicker and his -1 handicap out to the course with a hulking linebacker and his handicap of 46, and just listen to the kicker make fun of the linebacker all day long.

Everyone in the tournament has to have been with the team they’re representing for a minimum of one calendar year, too. This way, we can’t have the Colts signing Padraig Harrington to a free-agent deal.

Also, if ESPN ends up broadcasting the tournament, there’s one more very important rule: No Berman.

Chance of this actually happening: 0%

Would improve the offseason by: 9%

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