Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The first play in the OFL - taking (American) football to its illogical conclusion

Hello, this is Marv Albert, and I'd like to welcome you to the inaugural OFL Football game.

Everyone has heard about OFL Football ever since it was first discussed in October 2013. Now here it is, September 2014, and everyone is waiting to see how OFL Football actually plays out. But before the first snap, let's look at how we got here.

Everyone agrees that the OFL movement began with a telephone call from well-known sports radio caller Chris in Syracuse. He suggested that the NFL needed to change its rules to emphasize what people really want to see, and if the NFL didn't do it, then someone else would.

The comments from Chris in Syracuse happened to be picked up by a Huffington Post blogger, and within the space of one weekend, everyone within the Silicon Valley tech community was talking about it. One week later, normal people were talking about it also, but Silicon Valley remained the leader in the new movement. Silicon Valley heavyweights championed a crowdsourcing platform to come up with the new set of rules, and then the funding for the league itself was crowdsourced. Since the traditional television networks didn't want to touch the league - they didn't want to endanger their revenue stream from the existing NFL - the rights to the league ended up becoming a bidding war between some of the newer Internet platforms. Amazon won the bidding battle, which is why you're watching us via Amazon's website tonight. Feel free to click on the ads on the right of the screen; your coverage of the game will not be interrupted.

OK, now both teams are coming on to the field. Head coach Dan Fouts is leading the San Jose Enlightened onto the field, and we're waiting for the San Francisco Resistance to take the field also. Naming rights to the two teams in the league were purchased by Google, ensuring that the league would be profitable from day one, even if no one tuned in to the broadcast. However, according to the latest statistics that are available, an estimated 11 billion people have tuned in to watch this event.

Now Coach Fouts is giving final instructions to his quarterback. The teams, of course, were also crowdsourced, and the overwhelming favorite player of everyone became the starting quarterback for the San Jose Enlightened. Tim Tebow has finished his warmups, and is now leading his team onto the field.

Now for those of you who haven't paid attention to all of the OFL talk, you'll immediately notice a couple of major differences between the OFL and the NFL. The first is that the Enlightened is not lining up to receive a kickoff from the Resistance. That's because in OFL football, there IS no kickoff. The offense simply lines up at their own 20 yard line.

Now you've also noticed that San Francisco has not yet taken the field. Again, this is because of an OFL rules change. In the OFL, there is no defense. Other than that, it's the same as the NFL. The offense gets four downs to advance ten yards. If they are unable to do so, the opposing team takes the ball at its own 20. This resulted from the wisdom of the crowds, who wanted to see more offense. In that case, why bother with a defense? And the team owners like the arrangement also, since their personnel costs were cut in half. Actually, more than half, since there are no punters and no kickers. Extra points after touchdowns were eliminated because two point conversions bring more -

And Tebow is ready to begin the first play ever in the OFL, the Offensive Football League. Thousands of cell phones are taking pictures of this historic event. Tebow takes the snap, and he hands off - no, he doesn't hand off! Tebow is back to pass. With no defensive people rushing him, Tebow has time to throw his pass, unobstructed - and it's incomplete!
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