Doug Flutie is right. And it should stand as a warning to the NFL.
"The game in Canada was more exciting, more explosive, more wide open," Flutie wrote in Peter King's Monday Morning QB. "It was what the NFL is now becoming. We were going no huddle, over the ball, from the time I got up there. No-back sets, six wide receivers, throwing the ball all over the field. There is a 20-second clock between plays rather than 40. It just creates a pace that the NFL is now realizing to be more exciting-and actually more effective. The NFL is turning into a no-huddle, up-tempo, fast-paced, throw-the-football type of game now. The CFL has been that for the past 30 years."
The NFL should consider itself warned. Do we want our football to be like the CFL? Please, in the name of all that is good and righteous, tell me NFL fans do not believe Canada does football better than we do football.
The CFL is one-dimensional, a ballistic hodgepodge of artillery fire without explosives. Where's the metaphorical blood? They throw the ball with impunity and the balance of the game is debased, derailed and otherwise deposed. The hollow barrage becomes boring, predictable and assumed. Throwing the ball is taken for granted, just another play in the same chain as the last play.
What's interesting is that Flutie meant this to be a compliment to the NFL, a compliment to the league for imitating Canada's version of football.
I dry heave all over this notion.
I am a confessed traditionalist when it comes to the game of football but there's a reason why: balance breeds contrast, complexity, strategy and a sense of rightness in the Realm of Mother Gridiron. Balance brings the third dimension of football into the equation, where teams run, throw and use play-action to move the ball, acquire territory and bring their enemy low by pushing the pig into their kingdom.
Playing smashmouth football does NOT have to be boring. Just ask the fans of the San Francisco 49ers and the reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Ask them if their style of play is boring.
I want to thank Doug Flutie. He may have done more to warn progressives like Roger Goodell of the evils of unbalanced football than all the traditionalists like me put together.
Mr. Goodell, the NFL is becoming the CFL! And there's an easy fix: allow DBs to put their hands on receivers again. Do away with illegal contact penalties and enforce pass interference. This will create balance once again. Stop making rules that encourage offensive coordinators to do nothing but throw the ball.
Flutie penned a masterpiece while filling in for Peter King. And Roger Goodell should heed the warnings of Flutie's ill-played compliment. There's a Raven perched above his chamber door…and it's not John Harbaugh or Joe Flacco.
Quoth the Boston College Eagle, "Nevermore."