by Andre Pegeron

A great contradiction of the National Football League has been its ability to blend progress and tradition.1 The leaping, balletic, toe-tapping catches of today hardly resemble the scrum of concussed sons of Civil War veterans that founded the game. Here at We Fix the League, in order to provide the best recommendations possible to the National Football League, we keep our eyes on the future with our feet planted firmly in the past. The present falls somewhere right around our belly buttons.

Our analysis reveals one trend in particular taking the league by storm: jumping. Perhaps chasing the surging popularity of NBA stars like Lebron James (who plays a sport in which jumping is encouraged–demanded, even), ball carriers around the league have taken to hurdling defensive players. Sometimes it’s successful, sometimes TJ Hockenson breaks his collarbone, but it always makes for an exciting play.2

Hurdling isn’t “good technique.” It confuses announcers and infuriates coaches, but the players show no signs of stopping and the fans are clamoring for more. The case of jumping in the NFL can only be described as a “pandemic,” except that word is now reserved for actual pandemics.3

Last season, the jumping craze reached new heights: In a week 10 game against the Tennessee Titans, Patrick Mahomes jumped while passing to a crossing Mecole Hardman,4 who sprinted to the house for a 63 yard touchdown. Despite the fact that the Chiefs lost the game, the internet was less focused on Ryan Tannehill’s leap from mediocrity to decency and more concerned with Mahomes’ leap from the ground to 18 inches above the ground.

Water coolers that Monday were buzzing:
“Did you see Patrick Mahomes’ jump pass?”
“You mean he jumped, and then landed, and then passed the ball?”
“No — a JUMP PASS”
“Oh, so he passed, and then jumped, and then landed?”
“Gary, I’m telling you: He jumped, and then passed, and then landed.”
“But his feet were still on the ground?5 I don’t get it.”

We were all Gary. Disbelief was the norm. Much like Roger Bannister’s sub-4 minute mile, we didn’t know what was possible until it appeared before our eyes. Jumping and passing at the same time? That was for baseball players! Like Tim Tebow, who completed a jump pass to beat the Jamarcus Russell-”led” LSU Tigers in 2006 on his way to winning a national title and the hearts of America. But now we had seen a football quarterback jump and pass at the same time. Pandora’s box6 was open.

Which brings us to present day,7 a potential turning point in the history of the league: the fans demand jumping, the fans crave jumping. To let this trend pass without capitalizing on its momentum would be more wasteful than having Barry Sanders play his whole career for the Detroit Lions. Or Calvin Johnson play his whole career for the Detroit Lions. Or Matthew Stafford play his whole career for the Detroit Lions. Clearly, the league’s future lies in more jumping.

When football gets boring, we adjust the rules to make it more exciting. The forward pass was invented in response to “The Great Stadium Nap of 1906.” The two-point conversion was implemented in 1994, at the height of even number fever. And in 2003, Tim Couch retired from the league. Here at We Fix the League, we hope to push the rulebook to its absolute highest potential.8 For that reason, we are proposing an official fix: trampolines.

Here’s how this would work:


You telling me you ain’t tryna see Zeke Elliott jump off one of these bad boys?!

Our first proposal involves placing the trampolines just behind the line of scrimmage, just outside the pocket. From the quarterback’s perspective, this is a useful placement: just as he starts scrambling out of the pocket, he can hit the pad for an added vertical boost, no longer limited by the strength of his legs.9

However, one man’s treasure is another man’s treasure (treasure is pretty consistently treasure) because these trampolines would have implications for the defense as well. Off-tackle trampolines are ideally placed for a blitzing linebacker or cornerback to get a running start before literally flying in for a sack. With this change, jumping will finally become a valid pass-rush move.

These trampolines could also benefit a running back getting to the edge, but who gives a shit? Running backs don’t matter. Next paragraph.

Detractors will say that we cannot change the field of play, citing a respect for the history of the game. Personally, I prefer the league’s future to its past: when was the last time you watched “Elroy ‘Crazy Legs’ Hirsch – THA BEAST – best 3 yd runs” on YouTube? But regardless of my personal opinion, this contrasting point of view deserves to be considered fairly.

“Sure,” begins the hypothetical purist who often probably forgets to brush his teeth, “adjusting rules and penalties to open up the offense is one thing, and pushing the limits of the human body by building 300-pound hitting machines is another, but altering the field of play is simply a step too far.” And there’s some truth to this: For evidence of the sanctity of the playing field, we can look back to 2004, when the MLB took heat for putting a promotional image of Spider-Man on the bases.10 Altering the playing field may simply be too much for fans to accept.

That’s why we have…



In this proposal, the trampolines will be placed behind the line of scrimmage, just outside the field of play. Although placed on white chalk, the trampolines (and the players who bounce upon them) are still considered in-bounds. This placement allows a quarterback who is being chased to the sideline a last-gasp shot at making a breathtaking play. Imagine if, instead of dumping the ball out of bounds, Russell Wilson hopped on a trampoline and gunned the ball 50 yards downfield from mid-air? This is undeniably sweet.

Granted, the placement of these trampolines neutralizes the defense’s ability to use the trampoline, but as we all know, it’s an offensive league. Defense doesn’t sell tickets — offense does, and offenses that bounce off of trampolines sell even more tickets. It’s basic economics.
But don’t take my word for it: let’s look at the numbers. It depends on the precise placement of the trampolines, but studies show that these trampolines would increase sweet jumps by at least 1%, and would increase jumps off of trampolines by a full 100%.11

Running backs probably wouldn’t use the trampolines off to the side as much. I don’t know, I didn’t give it much thought. Almost forgot to mention it.

Overall, the adoption of trampolines is a necessary step to preserve the excitement of the league. While it may seem unnecessary now, as Vince Lombardi used to say, “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, don’t even bother showing up.” We need to be early (on-time)12 in making this decision for the good of the league. It’s our duty not just to maintain the league’s quality, but to enhance it. In today’s fast-paced world of video games, sugar-laden foods, and internet pornography, humans habituate quickly to the doses of modern vices, searching for more and more intense content to get the same “fix.” And here, we provide a fix of our own: trampolines.

Whether you’re ready to take the radical step of putting trampolines directly on the field of play or you’re more of a traditionalist who backs the conservative measure of putting trampolines on the sidelines, we can all agree that this fix™ is necessary. Without it the NFL risks devolving into the nigh-jumpless (and less popular) sports of hockey and golf. Audiences have spoken: they love seeing people jump and hate seeing people wave around sticks. The players will jump, the ratings will jump, and the fans will jump…to the conclusion that this was the greatest rule change of all time.

  1. And blend they do! This article is sponsored content for the VitaMix blender.
  2. Glad to see you back, TJ!
  3. ”Pandemic” comes from a combination of the Greek words “panda,” the bear most likely to get sick, and “mic,” or the device used to make announcements about sicknesses.
  4. A 2019 WFTL “All Name Team” Member
  5. If you still can’t tell the difference, Wikipedia tells us that “Jumping can be distinguished from running, galloping and other gaits where the entire body is temporarily airborne, by the relatively long duration of the aerial phase and high angle of initial launch.”
  6. Pandora’s box is a mythical Greek music box that, once opened, will not stop playing a playlist of related songs
  7. Belly Button
  8. (much like how a certain ACTION pushes a PERSON to higher places–metaphors, anyone?)
  9. Truly, limited only by his imagination. And I suppose gravity.
  10. (In an official statement, Commissioner Bud Selig said he “made an oopsie” as fans pelted him with cabbage.)
  11. Source: The Wall Street Journal
  12. (late)

Mike Tomlin, Mike Tomlin Imposter to Pistol-Holding Juju Smith-Schuster: “You have to kill one of us.”


by Andre Pegeron

Pittsburgh, PA — Following Wednesday’s practice at the team’s facility in Pittsburgh, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and a man identical to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin met with fourth-year wideout Juju Smith-Schuster to discuss the offense, how he was adapting to virtual team meetings, and most importantly, which one of them he would shoot.

According to team officials, approximately ten minutes into the meeting, one of the head coaches pulled out a Beretta M9 and slid it across the table, where it was promptly grabbed by Smith-Schuster. “Come on, Juju” said the men in unison. “We’ve spent so much time together. Which one of us is real?” The fourth-year wideout out of USC’s normally steady hands began to tremble under the weight of the decision.

Word of the meeting spread quickly around the facility, but coaches quickly downplayed any negative effect on morale. When reached for comment, the imposter Tomlin said: “I’m the real Mike Tomlin,” adding that “only [he] could remember what was said over the phone when Smith-Schuster was drafted in 2017.” The real Mike Tomlin was unavailable for comment as he was recovering from a gunshot wound to the leg.

Jameis Winston Heals Public Image Working With Various Crab-Related Charities


By Andre Pegeron

TALLAHASSEE, FL — This offseason, he’s not just rehabbing his shoulder. As Jameis Winston gently strokes the shell of a nearby horseshoe crab, he opens up: “I never really understood what these guys were all about until I came here.”

While many have labelled the former Florida State Seminole a “bad boy” due to his shoplifting violation that was in no way, shape, or form him trying to flout bizarre NCAA rules and protect his eligibility by pretending to steal seafood he was getting for free, the New Orleans backup quarterback is trying to make a difference among the community he harmed in his past. Yes, the crab community.

“Claw Pals” shirt clinging to his athletic physique, Winston has spent upwards of ten hours a week at the suburban facility, which describes itself as “a crustacean haven,” “like the humane society, but less cute,” and “not at all weird, people really do care about crabs.” At press time, Winston was reportedly trying to feed the crabs W’s.

The Patrick Mahomes Drinking Game


By Andre Pegeron

For a time, drinking was reserved for “the fun days,” Fridays and Saturdays. In many states, you couldn’t even buy alcohol on a Sunday. 1 The NFL has changed all of that: Sunday is now safe for drinking. (So are the rest of the days, if you’re in college.) West Coast fans have reason as early as 10am to crack a beer. Maybe 9:30, to soothe the nerves for kickoff. Marcus Mariota’s friends in Hawaii can start as early as 7:00 and be passed out in front of the 4th quarter of Sunday Night Football by dinnertime. If you don’t think football has opened up the world of drinking, consider how depraved any of this behavior would be on any given non-football Tuesday.

Alcohol enhances emotional expression, allowing fans to invest even more in the games they watch. Especially for the emotionally-repressed men of modern society, the drink can be a key to unlock honest emotional expression. Whether it’s a cheers after a touchdown, a scornful sip after a bad penalty, or a fifth after a loss, as we paint the emotional picture of our Sunday, the drink is our paintbrush. 2 It’s almost essential: Without beer, what would we crack open with the boys? 3

In biology, a symbiotic relationship is when two species benefit from a cooperative behavior. For example, when a bird cleans the teeth of a crocodile, or when a moth befriends a lightning bug when it’s trying to quit the lamp. These situations are a win-win: the bird gets a free meal, and the crocodile doesn’t have to go to the dentist where he will be shamed for not flossing. The NFL and drinking form a similar symbiotic relationship: the NFL encourages people to drink on Sundays, and drinking brings out the die-hard fan inside our hearts.

But biology is no one-trick pony. 4 Biology also brings us Darwin’s theory of natural selection, named after its discoverer, biologist and running back Darwin Thompson of the Kansas City Chiefs. Darwin realized that the animals on the various islands of the Galapagos had a tremendous capacity to evolve and change, coining the phrase “survival of the fittest.” Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species 5 that survives, nor the most intelligent, 6 but the one most responsive to change.” And while the symbiotic relationship between alcohol and the NFL is an enduring one, it has not been very responsive to change. 7 To prevent the NFL and Alcohol’s tag-team belt from being taken by a challenger (most likely candidate: trampolines and quaaludes), it must evolve. Much like how birds developed wings, or humans developed a tolerance for people who hike, the league must develop a new capacity that allows it to reach new heights. The logical step? A drinking game.

For this drinking game to work, it needs add excitement to your Sunday. It needs to appeal to hardcore fans and newbies alike, so nothing too complicated. (“Oh, the offense just ran ‘FB West Right Slot 372 Y Stick!’ Everybody drink!”) And for it to have staying power, it needs to center a star of the league. Someone young and well-liked. Someone like Patrick Mahomes.

Which brings us to the…

Every time Patrick Mahomes throws a touchdown pass, he takes a shot.

That’s it, that’s the game.


Q: That’s it? That’s the game?
A: Yep.

Q: Don’t drinking games usually involve everyone drinking together?
A: Yep.

Q: So can I drink during the Patrick Mahomes drinking game?
A: Sure.

Everyone loves tuning in to watch Patrick Mahomes air it out to his speed demon receivers. 8 The Chiefs played some amazing games last year where we got to see Patrick Mahomes snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. But even for the league’s juggernauts, not every game is exciting. The Chiefs’ 26-3 drubbing of the Bears was a snoozefest. But if in the 4th quarter Mahomes’ BAC was hovering around the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle? 9 Must see TV.

We’ve seen Mahomes do it all: throw, run, jump. Now we get to see him drink. Mahomes already has a gunslinger mentality when sober. What will he do a couple drinks deep? We know that Mahomes has lobbied Andy Reid to let him throw behind-the-back passes. And that’s just the thing that got published! What else is he thinking? Tactical fumble? Two footballs? Try to break the jumbotron at Jerryworld? The sky’s the limit! Mahomes’ creativity and playmaking ability would be truly unlocked by the drink. 10 Also, Andy Reid isn’t allowed to yell at him or sub him out. Them’s the rules.

Haters will say that playing the Patrick Mahomes drinking game is irresponsible. It’s dangerous, unnecessary, and promotes reckless behavior. However, this same thing is true of getting a college degree, and yet our nation’s 18 year-olds saddle themselves with debt just to take part. Haters might also ask: Why would a team willingly hurt themselves competitively? It won’t be a choice: Think of it as another measure to enhance the parity of the league. Teams that win the Super Bowl get worse draft picks. Teams that have Patrick Mahomes have to play the Patrick Mahomes drinking game. We already handicap the top teams in the league, and it hasn’t stopped Tom & Bill 11 from winning an annoying number of games year after year. Let’s handicap teams until the super bowl odds are an even 1/32 across the board, and we can start with alcohol.

Another question: Will Patrick Mahomes’ liver be able to take the beating? Andrew Luck retired at age 29 just because he had some boo-boos on his rib cartilage, kidney, throwing shoulder, abdomen, and ankle. Luke Kuelchy retired at 28 after multiple head injuries too serious to write jokes about. Could Patrick Mahomes retire at 27 because he’s too effing hammered? Would this game cut short the career of one of the league’s potential legends? Solution: We could always just pick another player to get drunk instead.

Perhaps the crown could get passed around. Perhaps the previous year’s MVP should be tasked with trying to repeat his stats with both a Super Bowl hangover and a literal hangover. They’re probably going to regress to the mean anyway, 12 so why not have some fun with it? Perhaps fantasy teams can get bonus points for the number of shots that player takes. There’s a variety of paths forward for this rule, but we will never be able to optimize it if we don’t implement it. While there will undoubtedly be some initial growing pains, I have faith that the NFL will find ways to adjust this rule to the league’s benefit as time goes on, until ultimately alcohol is such a part of the game that we wonder why it took so long to introduce this rule in the first place.

I can picture it now:

“Kansas City with the ball, down 3. 4th and 9, the Chiefs need a big play here or they’re going home. Mahomes lines up in shotgun, trips right with Kelce on the short side of the field. He takes the snap, three step drop, trips over his own legs…oh boy. OK, he’s back up, good protection from the offensive line. Evades the defender. Scrambles to the sideline. A pump fake, not very convincing but it does the trick. Jukes another defender. He’s running around back there. I don’t think he’s even looking downfield? It looks like he’s just playing tag with the defense… OK, he finally winds up. Huge windup! Drops the ball. Scoops it up, winds up again! And what’s this? HE JUMPS IN THE AIR! A 360 SPIN! HE RELEASES THE BALL UNDER A LEG WITH HIS EYES CLOSED! WHAT AN ELECTRIFYING DISPLAY OF ATHLETICISM! …And it hits his offensive lineman square in the back and falls to the ground. Incomplete pass, turnover on downs.”
“You gotta make plays to win the game, but that one just wasn’t there for him. You love to see guys get creative, but the 360 blind between-the-legs pass is gonna be something he has to unlearn as he matures as a quarterback.”
“You can see the disappointment in Mahomes’ eyes as he cries over the gatorade jug on the sideline.”
“I believe he’s puking, Buck.”
“Right you are, Clyde. So there you have it, folks. The Rams get the victory, 52-49. Mahomes ties Foles’ record with 7 touchdown passes in the game, but he couldn’t get the big one when it counted.”


  1. God kept buying it all
  2. The drink is half-key, half-paintbrush. It’s a Darth Maul-style baton. On one end is a paintbrush and on the other end is a key. Does this metaphor make sense? Sorry, I’ve been drinking.
  3. Pistachios? Geodes?
  4. Or as the biologists say, one-trick equus ferrus caballus
  5. Gorillas on steroids.
  6. Owls in graduation caps.
  7. Interestingly, alcohol HAS caused significant reform to the legal system, due to the Supreme Court’s ruling that there “ain’t no laws when you’re drinkin’ the claws.”
  8. Tyreek Hill is also just a regular demon
  9. 0.08%, unless you’re “totally fine, bro”
  10. Using the key side, not the paintbrush side
  11. I am of course talking about Tom Savage & Bill O’Brien
  12. Source: Analytics

John Elway Seen in Redwood Forest Recruiting “Very Tall Trees”


PALO ALTO- While visiting his alma mater of Stanford, Denver Broncos’ GM John Elway was seen sneaking into the nearby forest to try and entice a Redwood tree into playing QB for his team.

This could spell bad news for 2nd year QB Drew Lock. Although Lock is a human man, capable of playing the sport of football, it could be tough for John Elway to pass up a prospect with these freakish measurables. (240ft tall WITHOUT shoes!!)

New LA Rams’ Logo Designed by “Doug From Accounting”


LOS ANGELES- The Rams’ decision to update their look has a surprising origin: their accounting department.

It all started with a late night conversation between GM Les Snead and payroll expert Doug Flutenhorse.

“One night it was just Doug and me in the office and he said ‘you know I’ve been taking some graphic design classes at night?’ So I told him ‘prove it.’ And he did.”

Doug, for his part, is humble about the whole experience. “It was pretty weird actually. I don’t know, Les is always super weird with me. I haven’t even been taking graphic design classes. He just keeps bringing up how he thinks we were lovers in a past life and I was trying to change the subject before he took off his shirt again.”

Says Snead: “I keep telling Doug he’s special. He’s capable of doing so much more. And when I saw that sketch I knew I was right. It was just this perfect thing of beauty. So I decided to overhaul everything. Make it the official team logo. Show it to the world. Make Doug feel supported, cared for, fully seen. That’s what you do for those you love.”


Bill Belichick Revealed to be Literal Grim Reaper: “I don’t enjoy it, per se.”


RIVER STYX, MA- Newly released documents show that New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick has had a second job for years: Grim Reaper. After flaming out as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Belichick sought out the cloaked figure to pick its brain on “achieving consistent greatness.” During their meeting Belichick accidentally killed the seemingly immortal being and inherited the job, a la the Tim Allen classic “The Santa Claus.”

Reached for comment at the door of soon-to-be victim, Boston native Patrick O’Doul, Belichick stated that he doesn’t “…enjoy it, per se, but I’ve come to see it as something of a hobby. It helps to take my mind off the rigors of the NFL schedule.”

O’Doul’s final act was asking and being denied Belichick’s autograph. As the life flowed out of his eyes and into the tip of Belichick’s scythe, O’Doul was quoted as saying “No problem, thanks for the rings, bro.”



Let Your Players Get Famous


Despite being dramatically more popular on TV than the NBA, NFL players are way less famous. NFL games get ten times the viewers of NBA games. A game deciding the NBA champion gets comparable viewership to an NFL regular season game.
But a quick glance at social media shows that viewers care more about their favorite basketball player than their favorite football player. Lebron James is the Instagram king, with over 67M followers. His NFL counterpart is Odell Beckham Jr., with 15M, less than a fourth of the number required for the crown. In fact, if OBJ played in the NBA he would rank 5th, just behind eternal freshman philosophy student Kyrie Irving.

To some degree, it’s simply easier to emotionally connect to basketball players. A football team has 11 men on the field, a basketball team only 5. A fan doesn’t have to sift through nearly as many players before settling on a favorite.3 Basketball players play both offense and defense. It’s not uncommon for a star player to play all 48 minutes of a playoff game. Football keeps offense and defense separate. After including special teams, the stars are on the field for less than half the game. During games, you simply get to see your favorite basketball player4 more often than your favorite football player. Not only that, basketball players have close-ups of their faces shown throughout the broadcast. We get to see them emotionally process every moment of every game. Football, like the backyard fencing league I’m organizing, requires a facemask. While watching basketball we get to see the full spectrum of human emotion. While watching football, we’re limited to only the most obvious emotions: “shaking head sadly,” “flexing while yelling at the moon,” and “rapidly eating cereal.”


The game of football is inherently anti-individual. Success relies on 11 men moving in perfect unison. A wide receiver who catches a touchdown doesn’t do it on his own. He relies on a throw from a quarterback behind blocking from an offensive line on a play designed and called by an offensive coordinator. If any single person does something wrong, the whole play falls apart.6 A wide receiver runs the wrong route? Now nobody’s open. A running back doesn’t commit to a fake? The QB gets sacked for a loss. Sean McVay’s friend doesn’t hold onto Sean McVay’s hips? Great, now Sean is unconscious near the logo, suffocating under a growing pile of flags. Football culture is soaked in the idea of sacrificing oneself for your team. New England and Alabama, the two most successful organizations within the NFL and NCAA, respectively, live and die by the mantra “Do Your Job.”7 Their teams are made up of smart players executing their specific role over and over again. This has led to a combined eleven championships in the past 20 years. 

But the NFL goes above and beyond their game’s natural limitations on individuality: They actively quash their players’ fame. Of course the team must come before the player while the ball is live, but the NFL has codified this mentality as law throughout the sport, stifling self expression on and off the field.8 Look at touchdown celebrations, an exercise in enforced boredom. The most famous non-QBs of the 2000’s were wide receivers with showman instincts: Ochocinco making his own oversized Hall of Fame jacket, Terrell Owens bringing a sharpie to sign the ball after a touchdown. The NFL cracked down. “No using the ball as a prop! No falling to the ground! No fun or we’ll send you to camp to dig holes!”9 The league finally relented, but only by allowing group celebrations. The result is that the most creative, fun, and memorable celebrations contain only units, no individuals. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Duck, Duck, Goose,” “The Electric Slide,” and the “Keg Stand.” But I also loved Joe Horn pulling a phone out of the goalpost. Why won’t you let my entertainment entertain me? 

This stamping out of self expression isn’t limited to in-game action. When Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem, it was an attempt to draw attention to the constant infringement on the rights of black Americans. When the media noticed Kaepernick’s actions, he became a symbol.10 When President Trump began vehemently decrying those actions, Kaepernick’s symbol became bigger than football, elevated to the stage of National politics, the same weight class as “President of the United States.” Suddenly a 29-year-old QB with a Super Bowl appearance, three NFC Championship Game Appearances, and a career TD/INT ratio higher than Peyton Manning and Drew Brees couldn’t stick to a roster as a backup.


The NBA, on the other hand, is a shining example of a league that embraces their players’ individual fame. A common talking point among older commentators is that younger fans have traded out “favorite teams” for “favorite players”11 as the reason they watch. LeBron James is the poster child for this movement. He has changed teams three times in the last 12 years. Following each change he has led the league in jersey sales as LeBron fans clamor for up-to-date threads. For each LeBron jersey burned by a spurned city,12 the nomadic tribe of LeBron-ites purchase roughly three trillion new ones.

Fame is an ever more powerful tool in society. When the NFL limits their players’ fame, it is limiting their ability to influence the world. Social media allows an individual to directly reach their fanbase, to leverage the increasingly scarce commodity of attention into more attention, and sometimes even action.13 To, dare I say, influence them. With great power comes great responsibility, and James is happy to play the part of friendly neighborhood mega-icon.14 He’s long been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. He shepherded the “I Promise School” into existence: An experimental school focused on helping underserved students by supplying support systems to their families in the form of job guarantees, food pantries, and housing. “The Decision” was a TV special James organized to announce that he was leaving his hometown Cavaliers to form a superteam in Miami. It was widely derided as cruel to his Cleveland fans, and pushed James into the role of NBA villain for the next several years. It also raised over six million dollars for charity. The worst thing LeBron has ever done raised over six million dollars for charity.

LeBron is the most powerful individual in his sport, operating as a sort of NBA mafia don.15 He wants a specific player on his team? Hi there, Tristan Thompson! He doesn’t like his coach? Bye bye Luke Walton! He wants a horse head in his bed when he wakes up in the morning? Sorry Seabiscuit, the King has a better agent and a thin understanding of mob movies. As much as it wrinkles their seersucker suits to admit it, NFL owners are likely uncomfortable with the idea of players wielding anything close to that amount of power. Former Houston owner Robert McNair came out and said it, stating during the Kaepernick-led anthem protests that “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.” A truly beautiful insight into an owner’s brain, as the colloquialism is “inmates running the asylum.” 


Why should NFL owners change the way they do business?16 The NFL is the most valuable sports league in the country. In the last decade alone, the NFL has increased its collective value by 2.8 times. Pretty successful, right? Not when compared to the scorching 5.9x growth that the NBA has seen.17 Since the inception of Twitter and Instagram, the NBA has grown at over twice the rate of the NFL. If the NFL isn’t careful, in ten years America will have a new favorite sport.18

The NFL has been dramatically more valuable than other leagues up until this point because of their ability to dominate TV ratings. More viewers means higher ad prices which means networks pay more to air games. But as baby boomers shrivel up and retire to that little Tucson in the sky, TV is becoming less and less important. The world is going through a paradigm shift,19 and paradigm shifts kill giants. Freeways and trucks killed the railroads. Planes killed luxury ocean liners. And luxury ocean liners killed manic pixie fuck boi Leonardo Di’Caprio.20 Everyone younger than CBS’ target demographic21 has cut the cord, and before long the NFL will find itself in the battle for streaming attention with everyone else. As more and more entertainment options come into existence, fame becomes more powerful. There are literally too many things to watch, and media companies rely on the fame of their stars to direct people to their product. If the NFL wants kids born today to choose football as their sport of choice twenty years from now, they will have to start planting seeds today. They have to take a few lessons from the NBA, and I’m not just talking about shorter sleeves to show off those sick muscles. The NFL has to start helping their players become more famous:


Mic’d Up

At any given time there are 22 men on the field talking to each other. At best, ONE of those players is mic’d up. The potential viral energy falling by the wayside each week would make Osmosis Jones blush.22 Mic up everybody. You don’t have to air everything that gets said, but it’s crazy not to have a team of people whose job is to pore over the audio each week and release it as extra content.

 Matthew Stafford insisting on throwing a game winning touchdown with an injured shoulder? Brian Cushing headbutting someone without his helmet on then telling everyone how dumb he is? Keelan Cole being annoyed he has to give his towel to a baby? We have these delightful moments because of good luck– because those players happened to be mic’d up that day. For each gem we catch the audio of, statistically, we’re missing out on 21 others.



Look at JuJu Smith-Schuster, wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite being considered by most experts to be no better than a top 20 player at his position,23 he has nearly the same number of followers as Patrick Mahomes, the new face of the league.24 How? He’s spearheaded some of the most fun celebrations of the last several years. From playing hide and seek with Le’Veon Bell to Kamehameha-ing on these fools, Smith-Schuster has capitalized on every touchdown as an opportunity to be meme-ified. This isn’t to take away from the fact that JuJu is a wildly likable man who puts a lot of hard work into his web presence. He continually cranks out content on Youtube and Twitch, but he had to do something to get people to start looking at his social media pages, and what he did was take his moments in the sun and turn them into highly shareable gifs. 

Celebrations are a way for players to build themselves a brand. By limiting what celebrations can take place, the NFL is limiting the number of ways players can build that brand. Unless containing hate speech or lasting longer than 90 seconds, I don’t see why celebrations should be limited in any way. The very things the NFL is trying to stop are the things I want to see!25 Celebrations directed at the other team? Give me the entire Eagles’ roster performing the final dance battle from “You Got Served” in front of a seething Cowboys sideline. Sexual imagery? Hell, let a player thrust wildly while holding up a link to their OnlyFans. Props? I want Tom Brady to throw a game-winning touchdown, climb into his custom TB12 palanquin26 and be carried off the field by four of the retired white receivers he dragged to a Super Bowl Championship. Let your stars print money for you with jersey sales, dingbats.

And for God’s sake, let your players take off their helmets when they score a touchdown. After the whistle blows that facemask isn’t doing anything other than robbing an individual of an opportunity for notoriety.27 Facemasks are ankle weights in the race to fame.28 Hollywood directors and reality show producers are paid millions of dollars to coax out the type of unfiltered emotion that comes pouring out of your players when they score a touchdown. Don’t let it go down the drain.



STOP TELLING YOUR PLAYERS TO BE BORING! Postgame interviews are like watching beige paint dry on growing grass.29 Nothing interesting is ever said. Players are trained on the rules of post game interviews like 19th century aristocrats were trained in dinner party etiquette. You are expected to regurgitate some combination of your belief in your teammates, your coaches, hard work, execution, and God. Anything else results in a champagne flute smashing to the ground and a series of gasps into white gloved palms.

Start interviewing people right after a big play or a big game. Athletes are at their most compelling in the moments of pure emotion immediately after success or failure. Picture LeBron James breaking down after winning a title for Cleveland, Richard Sherman telling everyone what he thought of Michael Crabtree, or Lightning McQueen being a dick after winning that first race in “Cars.” All obviously more compelling moments than Russell Wilson stepford QB-ing his way through another media session.30

If you must continue with post game press conferences, encourage your players to be themselves. The only person who’s gotten attention by “saying all the right things” is Tebow. And that was because he was such a goodie two-shoes31 it was unnerving, like a 245 lb version of the kid who would show up to sleepovers with a bag of fruit leather because “it’s just like candy!” The fear is that honest expression at the podium will drive away viewers. The truth is the exact opposite. We love brash assholes on our team. When they’re not on our team we hate them, but we can’t look away. For a group of people that love Trump so much, you’d think NFL owners would have picked up on the media lesson he embodies.



NFL stars’ fame is limited to the context of the field. The second they retire, they fade into obscurity. Likely the most famous NFL-er to play in the 90’s and 2000’s was Brett Favre, and he was only able to parlay his years of on field dominance into Wranglers commercials and the occasional welfare scandal. Compare that to his NBA equivalent, Shaq, a cultural mainstay who regularly appears on late night talk shows. I can just say “Shaq” and you know who I mean. I can’t just say “Brett.”32 There hasn’t even been the potential for a mononymous NFL player since Bjork went undrafted. The League invests a lot of energy and resources into its players. It seems foolish and wasteful to let the flame of fame go out the second they walk off the field. The NFL should invest more in helping their players walk from one spotlight to the next. 

At any given moment there are nearly 2,000 players in the league. At least one of them is worthy of a reality show. You’ve already got talented options just entering retirement: I speak for all of America when I say I would sell the state of Delaware in exchange for a travel-buddy show that follows Jay Cutler and Marshawn Lynch’s globetrotting adventures.33

How about all the players who already make music in their freetime? The music industry has a long history of taking medium-talented musicians and building them the career of very talented musicians.34 Pick the five most talented rappers, r&b singers, and country singers and set them up meetings with record labels. Let that satanic blood cult do the rest.

Do the same thing with the movie industry! We’re gonna lose Cam Newton to retirement in the next five years. That’s a real loss! Make him the next Captain America instead. Bless America with exposure to his grin on the big screen all while teaming the NFL up with the only company in the world capable of sending them new young fans.35



As fame grows more valuable, the NFL has to change how they interact with their players’ notoriety. From limiting players’ actions on the field, to limiting their voices off of the field, to even limiting how often we see their faces, the NFL has stomped on players’ fame whenever possible. At every level players are incentivized against drawing attention to themselves out of fear that their self expression will hurt the team. The result is that the NFL is a cult of “We Over Me.” Ironically, the league brass needs to learn this lesson themselves. NFL owners are so worried about holding a bigger piece of the pie than the players, they fail to see that they’re keeping the whole pie from growing. If the NFL was a football team, the owners would be an aging star receiver, threatened by the arrival of a first round pick at their position. Rather than fitting into their new role on the team, they’re on the sideline throwing their helmet and complaining about touches, and it’s going to cost the team a playoff win.















  1. Or CBS broadcasting all 16 “Number 1 Show”s at once:NCIS, NCIS: Las Vegas, NCIS: New York, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS: Baltimore, NCIS: Chicago, NCIS: Houston, NCIS: Dallas-Fort Worth, NCIS: Des Moines, NCIS: Tri-Cities Area, NCIS: Orlando, NCIS: Wichita, Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, Old Sheldon, Same Age Sheldon
  2. Despite not being asked for comment, Irving responded “Who’s to say how big a number is?”
  3. Detroit Pistons backup shooting guard Luke Kennard
  4. Detroit Pistons backup shooting guard Luke Kennard
  5. Like my middle school production of Glengarry Glen Ross
  6. At Alabama the full slogan is: “Do Your Job. Also if anybody asks, it’s ‘not a job.’”
  7. Player-owned Etsy shops are notoriously frowned upon
  8. On the plus side, free peach sludge! (TB12 approved)
  9. Like Prince
  10. Detroit Pistons backup Shooting Guard Luke Kennard
  11. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5nxq3v1sQctCjPugEgJXF5?si=k_ezf25YT8W7qQcY8gQIxg
  12. “Click here to give me more Farmvilles!”
  13. Although so far he seems unwilling to beat up James Franco
  14. In that they both love Spaghetti
  15. Aside from morality, obviously
  16. Serious footnote:
    NFL Value 2010: 1.04B
    NFL Value 2020: 2.67B

    NBA Value 2010: 367m
    NBA Value 2020: 2.15B
  17. Backyard fencing, hopefully
  18. The shift involves the “g” in the word “paradigm” — it will soon be spelled “paradimg”
  19. Leaving us with furrowed brow/aging creep Leonardo Di’Caprio
  20. Civil War Veterans
  21. I suppose it would technically make Thrax blush, but nobody remembers that the bad guy from Osmosis Jones is named Thrax
  22. He does, however, rank among the league’s top 5 JuJus.
  23. The new hand of the league? Da’Shawn Hand.
  24. Like a cat and a duck who are friends. Why haven’t I seen that in a broadcast?!
  25. It’s the thing kings ride on, that servants carry. Like pall bearers at a funeral. But in this case the king’s not dead. Tom Brady will never die. Tom, we’re sorry for mentioning your name near death, please forgive us. Don’t sic Julian’s skate crew on us.
  26. And I guess holding their mouthguards
  27. Ankle weights are for dorks, and dorkdom is another ankle weight in the race to fame.
  28. Which, incidentally is the premise of my art installation
    “Homogeneity: An Incursive Exploration of Oneness Within Wholeness” (O’Connell, 2020, paint on chlorophyll)
  29. ”That’s enough questions for now, members of Seattle media. It is time for I, a human, to ingest a nutrient-rich paste and observe my wife’s symmetrical face.”
  30. The mark of a brown noser: wearing both shoes.
  31. UCLA QB Brett Hundley?!
  32. OBO, I’m really just looking for any excuse to offload Delaware
  33. Sorry, Train
  34. Unless Kyler Murray turns out to be a pokemon

Choose Your Own Announcer


By Daniel O’Connell

In 2017 Tony Romo exited the game of football as a player and entered the booth as an announcer, becoming an instant sensation. Finally unencumbered from having to perform as a mediocre quarterback, his elite mental talent could shine. 1 He explained in real time how the quarterbacks on the field were dissecting defenses and, much to Twitter’s delight, regularly predicted plays before they happened. Two things were made exceedingly obvious: One, Tony Romo is incredibly gifted. Two, everyone else sucks ass. 

An announcer’s job consists of 3 parts: 

  1. Communicate what is happening on the field to the viewers at home.
  2. Be entertaining.
  3. Occasionally pronounce the players’ names right. 2

With this in mind, Announcers can be separated into three tiers:

Tier 1: Tony Romo – Consistently achieves excellence in all three categories.

Tier 2: Chris Collinsworth, Al Michaels, and Charles Davis – Consistently achieves competence in at least 2 categories.

Tier 3: Sucks ass. 

The game has evolved dramatically over time, but the broadcasters haven’t. Today’s broadcast booth looks much the same as it did 50 years ago: two boring older dudes tasked with explaining what is happening to the audience at home (although they’re no longer allowed to call the intern “that Jewish kid.”) 3

One is the “Play-by-Play” guy, usually a non-athlete who verbalizes the action on the field in real time, like a toddler pointing out animals at the zoo. A former athlete usually steps in as the “Color” guy. Slouching slightly, as to not tower over his partner, he’s tasked with filling time between plays by providing “color commentary.”  He explains the strategy behind the play we just witnessed, and the reasons for its success or failure. In the case of a 3 yard run, which is neither a success nor a failure, he’s obligated to provide a TV-appropriate anecdote about the realities of being in a pile of sweaty men. 10

This model made sense for a very long time. For new fans, announcers are an invaluable resource for understanding the George RR Martin-ass tome of NFL rules. 4 But the fans of today are not the fans of yesteryear. The internet has changed the audience dramatically, and it’s time for broadcasting to catch up. Back in the 1990s, even Brett Favre didn’t know what a nickel defense was. Nowadays, there are twelve year-olds on Youtube breaking down the weaknesses of the cover 2 robber scheme. 5 The old knives just don’t cut it anymore. We Fix the League has the solution: multiple announcing teams that the viewer can choose from. 

To implement this kind of choice, the NFL would need to move away from cable TV and toward streaming. We Fix the League has certainly never watched an illegal stream, but our sources tell us that it is entirely possible to view an NFL game in this way. 6 The NFL shouldn’t be resistant to streaming as viewers watch all the same commercials on a stream as they would on TV. The NFL should take this information to the Networks, tell them to get with the fucking times, and offer to sell a service in which they stream full games to cord cutters (anyone under 45) as if broadcast on their original network. The Networks can guarantee their advertisers their ads will get seen, the NFL can more directly control their content, and everyone under 45 won’t have to message a random dude on Reddit each August to learn the name of this year’s illegal website. 7

Now, assuming that the NFL realizes that I am brilliant and they are dumb, and they hire me to wash away their dumbness, let’s dive into the new broadcast options: 

Your Standard National Broadcasting Team

The classic. Comes as the preset on every broadcast so as to not scare away grandparents and other cowards. Nothing to say about them that hasn’t already been said by this picture of mayonnaise.

A Local Duo for Each Team

With the ever increasing pool of podcasts and blogs to consume, the average fan today is well educated on their favorite franchise. In comparison, the national broadcasting team can seem like a High Schooler ill-prepared for a presentation. 11 Meanwhile, the rest of the class has actually read the book, loves the book, and has opinions on how the book needs to MOVE ON FROM MATT PATRICIA ALREADY. 

They’re often working with outdated and shallow understandings of what a team is. I’ll never forget hearing an announcer refer to the Denver Broncos’ “potent passing attack” in the same season that the reanimated corpse of Peyton Manning totaled nine touchdowns and seventeen interceptions. At one point he got benched for throwing four picks in two and a half quarters. Potent indeed.

There is no shortage of local experts that the NFL could try out. Each fanbase has dedicated bloggers who have spent the last decade obsessively consuming all information related to their favorite team. While players spend the offseason pumping iron, these bloggers spend the offseason arguing over which linebacker is most likely to make the team’s practice squad. 12

Worried about the bloggers’ ability to speak on a microphone? Choose from the hundreds of NFL podcasts that exist. Or choose one particular podcast. Our podcast. (Have I mentioned we have a podcast?) 

Worried they’ll be boring? They won’t be! There are a plenty of creators out there who have spent years learning to be entertaining while talking about football. The same way that Brandon Perna is mostly useless in a 3rd and 6 situation, Jason Witten proved to be mostly useless in a media role. Stop taking flyers on the Wittens of the world, and start guaranteeing yourself success by hiring people who have honed the skills necessary to thrive.

STILL worried they’ll be boring? Good news! So was Phil Simms! Your worst case scenario is a lateral move. This is a time to experiment. if they’re a success, bully for us. If not, try out a new duo next year, and keep swinging until we have 32 local announcing duos who know which parts of the team are and are not potent.

Experts Being Allowed to Be Experts

Some people aren’t satisfied by simply knowing everything about one team. These sick freaks have an urge, nay, a NEED to know everything about every player in the league. It doesn’t stop at detailed scouting reports. Fans have developed mathematical formulas breaking down catch likelihood given the ball placement, humidity, and whether or not they sent Jerry Jones a birthday card that year. The internet has proven to be fertile soil for obsessives to inhale more information than ever before. They often then exhale that information in consumable pieces for others to stumble upon, resulting in a feedback loop of more and more increasingly obsessive fans. You learn more about QB play in an hour of scrolling through Derrik Klassen’s twitter than in years of watching color commentators draw on your TV. 

So please, NFL, let your experts BE experts! Bring in the best and brightest football minds at your disposal, and tell them not to worry about getting “too in the weeds.” There is no such thing as “too in the weeds.” The “weeds” are responsible for the ever-expanding collection of people most dedicated to consuming your product. Nerds are prey creatures. Give us more weeds to hide in and watch your market share expand.


Here’s where the true experimenting begins! 

Football is at its most powerful when watched with others, like the moon landing, or a documentary about how there was no moon landing. It’s a communal event: witnessing a specific piece of history being made in real time with people you love. 

When comedy podcasts started, a typical show was an hour long. After realizing that “You’re not my dad!”, they started getting longer. Today most podcasts are two to three hours of comedians thinking out loud, laughing at their own jokes, and shamelessly self-promoting. (Did I mention that we have a podcast?) How is this medium sustainable? Listeners form parasocial relationships with the hosts. They listen to all three hours of the podcast because it gives them the feeling of hanging out with their friends. 

Sometimes we can’t hang out with our friends, and some people don’t have friends. Why not supply the communal feeling by letting us watch the game with people who FEEL like friends? They don’t even have to announce the game, just let them chit chat over the top of it. They’ll naturally pull the conversation over to talk about the game when something exciting happens, and in the meantime they can meander through the myriad topics that are more interesting than a 3 yard run. Why not combine the experience of watching football with the experience of listening to your favorite podcast in one new form of media?

Fictional Characters

Why do announcers even have to be real people? Nickelodeon is hosting an NFL game specifically targeted at children this year. What if it was hosted by Spongebob and Patrick? Sandy as the insightful sideline reporter. A resentful Squidward donning clipboard and headset as the in-studio producer. Mr. Krabbs doing everything in his power to be the featured vendor in the weekly “Look at THIS interesting local food” segment. The ever-scheming Plankton forcing his way onto the field to meet his hero, Bill Belichick.

Nickelodeon isn’t the only one with IP’s to draw from. Now that Disney owns everything short of God (though they’re in talks with his agent) ESPN could have any number of cartoon favorites announce the game. 8 NBC is owned by Comcast, which also owns Dreamworks, so how about Shrek on play-by-play, Kung Fu Panda on Color, with sideline reporting by the horse from War Horse? 9 CBS could celebrate the NFL’s Salute to Service by bringing in Agent Jethro Gibbs from NCIS. Or Agent Sam Hanna from NCIS: Los Angeles. Or Agent Sarah Murphy from NCIS: Boston. (NCIS: Boston isn’t a real show yet, but I have it on good authority Donald Bellisario has to buy a new yacht after forgetting where he parked the last one.)

Why depend on others’ IP? I know people who occasionally watch football who would watch way more if they knew that Nick Kroll and John Mulaney were announcing as “Buck Dirk and Clyde Flandell.” Start making content that expands beyond the world of live football. Make Buck and Clyde animated, hire a writing team, and in addition to the weekly broadcast, put out a sitcom about their day-to-day lives as broadcasters. It’s “Bob’s Burgers” meets “Game of Zones.” Introduce us to their zany families while they navigate a world filled with animated caricatures of real NFL figures. Drew Brees keeps ringing their doorbell to sell “investment-grade diamonds.” Bill O’Brien tries to trade his son for a totaled Toyota Corolla. Tom Brady always carries a thermos full of unicorn blood, etc.

Nothing would break the complete lack of imagination in how NFL games are presented like abandoning the very idea that announcers be based in reality. 

If something hasn’t changed in fifty years, there must be room for improvement. Tony Romo proved that the ceiling of the broadcast booth was higher than we knew. Who’s to say it’s not higher still? By adding a variety of announcers, the NFL can capitalize on the shift from cable to streaming, improve the experience for longtime viewers, and bring in new fans.

Hey NFL! If you’re going to be an entertainment company worth $60 Billion, at least try something new. The on-field product is more exciting than ever, but broadcasting still hasn’t instituted the forward pass. We allow corporations of your size to exist for two reasons: One, none of us can find our guillotine (we must have lost it in the move). Two, allegedly y’all are in charge of entertaining us. Step your game up. When you developed your product for television, its chief competition was Lincoln Logs and multi-day hikes to see a dead body. You’re dealing with a new generation, one bored by Lincoln Logs and desensitized to death by marathons of Law and Order: SVU. In 25 years we’ll look back at today’s NFL broadcasts and laugh at their lack of imagination through our jetpack’s oxygen masks. Or, if NFL leadership maintains their current uninspired trajectory, we’ll wonder at how little has changed, our feet planted firmly on the ground.

  1. Dan thinks he’s pretty good, Andre wrote this joke.
  2. ”Yannick En-guh-cookie with the sack!”

    “Hell of an effort, Bob!”
  3. Also that intern no longer gets paid.
  4. In NFL and Game of Thrones alike, player safety does not seem to be a priority.
  5. Robbing is mean.
  6. Our sources also tell us that there are hot singles in our area.
  7. This year: sportzbuttz.gov
  8. Plus, Ironman is the man cleatus wishes he was.
  9. Huge Colts and Broncos fan, hates the Dallas Cowboys and the Decatur Glue Factories.
  10. “Back in my day we’d call those piles the ‘stink-sac'”
  11. “Um… so the main theme of The Great Gatsby is big hats…”
  12. To quote Allen Iverson: “We are in fact talking about practice [squads]?”