As Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged in a statement released Thursday, “there is no perfect solution” to canceling the Bills-Bengals game. However, the NFL Policy Guide to Member Clubs, Game Operations 2022 Edition You may already be thinking Incomplete operation that will be applied if the game is cancelled.
Playoff seeds are determined by winning percentages.
This applies to any game cancellations, whether in Week 1, Week 18, or any week in between. The Bills-Bengals game has already been cancelled. The league has previously established a specific rule that applies to canceling matches.
Fair or not, that’s the rule. The NFL is now proposing to ownership an impromptu rule change. That’s why 24 owners must agree to this modification to established protocol, during the season.
The Bengals, one of the teams directly affected by the proposal that owners will vote on Friday, emphasized the point.
The right process to change the rules off seasonIt is not appropriate to put teams in a position to vote for something that might lead to bias, favor one team over another, or affect their standing when the vote is taken immediately prior to the playoffs.
The mere fact that the game was canceled, whatever the reason, is very unusual. It didn’t happen in a non-strike year Since 1935. Whether it is due to weather, illness, injury, or any other unusual factor that would prevent a game from being played, the league has already determined what approach will be applied.
Honestly, this should have been simple. It shouldn’t take several days to find out. It should not require memos, meetings, backroom talks and deals and efforts to tip grains of rice on both sides of the scale in order to balance out any possible injustices. The rule is the rule. If a game is canceled, seeding is determined by winning percentage, without neutral sites, coin flips, or any other suggestion discussed, raised, or considered, of adding an eighth team to neutralize an unfairly obtained bye interest. Arguably a kooky idea That the Chiefs, if they beat the Raiders on Saturday, will have to choose between taking a week off or getting a home advantage in the AFC Championship game against the Bills or Bengals.
The league can now claim that the various possibilities discussed, raised, or considered were not, in fact, the case. The truth is that there were no other possibilities to consider, because there was already a rule that provided an answer to the question.
Instead, on Friday the owners will consider the unusual move of changing the rules during the season. Time and time again in the more than two decades that PFT has existed, it has been made clear that rules deemed inappropriate or unfair will not change during the season. When voting tomorrow, owners need to realize the unprecedented nature of the step they are going to take.
Frankly, the currently proposed approach falls squarely into the “create it as we go forward” category. If a league wants to have the flexibility to shape an outcome based on the specific facts of a particular situation (as is the case here), the rules say so. they don’t.
It does not matter whether it is the right decision or the best among the various bad options. There is a base on books. Owners will consider changing this rule during the season.
They clearly have the ability to do that. But everyone needs to understand what this means. It doesn’t matter what rules are established and codified during a given season, if all of a sudden 24 owners decide they don’t matter anymore. Owners should be prepared to cross the Rubicon when voting on the proposals they consider on Friday.
Never mind that the Competition Commission voted in favor of the proposed change. Owners can, and do, decline offers from the Competition Commission in the off-season.
It also doesn’t matter that some teams feel resentment (and they do) toward Bengals owner Mike Brown, who has a habit of voting against proposals that the vast majority of other clubs would agree to. Some might be tempted to “stick” to the Browns by agreeing to the rule that even if the Bengals’ winning percentage is better than the Ravens’, a head-to-head sweep by Baltimore will result in a coin toss to determine home field, if both teams are willing to play each other on a wild card tour.
The league often justifies sanctioning by explaining that the actions of a team or person undermine the integrity of the game and public confidence in professional football. Before ignoring pre-established rules in favor of something that appears to better address a particular set of facts, owners should ask themselves whether that action, in and of itself, undermines the integrity of the game, and/or the public’s confidence in professional football.
Again, they can do whatever at least 24 of them want to do. But they need to be aware of the broader impact of what they’re going to do.
Once this begins, where does it end? Do owners change the rules about harassing passersby during the season? Will they catch a pass from a 15-yard penalty not a temporary foul during the season? Do they change overtime rules during the season?
It’s not about fairness or unfairness for the Chiefs, Bills, Ravens, or Bengals. It’s about whether the rules on the books will stay on the books until a certain season is over. If the rules were to change during a particular season, that would probably change everything.
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