NEW YORK--The NFL owners voted today to approve a major change in the playoff format: Starting in 2008, the playoff field will be expanded to include every team in the NFL – with the exception of the Baltimore Ravens, who aren’t considered strong enough to compete with the top 31 teams in the league.
“We wanted to expand the playoff field as a way to increase revenue and fan interest,” said Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. “Of course we had to exclude the Ravens. They’re just not where they need to be right now. I heard they were looking at Kerry Collins to challenge Kyle Boller for the starting job. Let me say that again: Kerry Collins to challenge Kyle Boller for the starting job. I don’t think any further explanation is needed.”
Tagliabue did add, however, that widespread lack of interest on behalf of the fans contributed to the decision as well.
“Outside of Baltimore, they’re not a team that inspires a great deal of curiosity and excitement among football viewers,” he said. “This is all about TV ratings and we need teams that are good draws. Maybe we’ll reassess the situation in 10, 15 years after the team has undergone a radical face- lift and Brian Billick is safely tucked away in retirement. Better yet, make it 20. I don’t think we’d feel completely safe after only 15 years.”
The Ravens finished last season 6-10 and have done little to improve in the offseason. They’re still led by Kyle Boller and Brian Billick, a duo that has not been able to get the Ravens to the next level. Also, their best player, linebacker Ray Lewis, wants to be traded.
There just doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Ravens.
“It’s been tough these past few years. Nobody is disputing that,” said GM Ozzie Newsome. “But there are other bad teams in the league, too. What about the Raiders, the Jets, and the Texans? What makes them so much better than us? I know, the Raiders and Jets have a built-in fans bases, and the Texans are about to get Reggie Bush, right? Well we could conceivably get Vince Young, if he falls far enough in the draft. Pair him up with a quarterback guru like Brian Billick and the sky’s the limit.”
Some in the league believe that Billick has overstayed his welcome in Baltimore. Since winning the Super Bowl in 2000, the team is just four games over .500 and has consistently featured one of the worst offenses in all of football.
“Offense as been a problem for us,” said Billick, entering his 8th season as coach of the Ravens. “There’s no disputing that. Kyle has progressed a lot slower then we had hoped, but we’re not giving up on him yet. He had a couple good games at the end of last year, remember? Maybe he turned a corner. If not, we may have to embark on some kind of rebuilding project to repair the damage done during our last rebuilding project.”
Whatever the Ravens do to improve their team, it will be a long time before they are allowed into the postseason. Steelers owner Dan Rooney said that they “owe it to the game” to maintain the integrity of the playoff format.
“This is about doing what’s best for the NFL,” said Rooney, one of the most respected owners in the league. “We cannot allow the sanctity of our game to be tarnished by that horrible, stagnant offense, aging defense and those awful black-on-black uniforms. Not only is it a savvy business decision, it’s also the moral thing to do. If there’s one thing I learned from Wellington Mara, it’s to always put the best interest of the league above everything else. Mr. Mara would be proud of us today. Art Modell, on the other hand, is probably rolling over in his grave.”
Copyright 2006, The Brushback - Do not reprint without permission. This article is satire and is not intended as actual news.
Copyright 2005, The Brushback - Do not reprint without permission. This article is satire and is not intended as actual news.
NFL Playoff Field Expanded To Include Everyone But Ravens
|March 28 , 2006 Volume 2 Issue 36|