One fix for football

Remember how at recess in fifth grade you played 6 on 6 or 9 on 10 or 15 on 15 football? And remember how you could pass the ball to anyone, even the fat kid who hiked the ball?

This thought occurred to me the other day when a football game was on the TV. I must confess, it’s been years since I’ve actually watched an NFL game, so I’m not much of fan. I’m just thankful that baseball season lasts all the way until basketball season so I can completely ignore the NFL and still get my American sports fix.

I do on occasion watch college games — where they actually score some points. I think the catalyst for my idea happened in a Notre Dame game. One team or the other got flagged for an ineligible receiver down field. At that moment the thought came to me: why make some players ineligible to catch a pass?

Ok, of course it’s much more difficult to defend if all ten players are eligible to catch a pass from the quarterback on every play. But that’s the point. Wouldn’t football be so much more fun to watch if it weren’t made up of all these hyper-specialists — huge guys who just block and never touch the ball? Give me ten eligible receivers and football might crack my top ten of favorite sports to watch.

Because who wouldn’t want to see a hitch and go to the center — just like we ran back in fifth grade.