One Reply to “Off Tackle”

  1. I’m not sure the NFL is really the right metaphor. It is hardly a meritocracy and there isn’t real financial competition between the teams. It’s really more of a monopoly. Otherwise Carolina and Buffalo would have long gone bankrupt or have been relegated to the minors and there would be two teams in LA.

    If you want a sports metaphor where teams (schools) succeed and fail on their own merits and failing teams (schools) can be replaced by new teams (charters) then European soccer is a much better metaphor. Because the NFL really operates much more like a big ossified urban school district where every school stays exactly where it is with the same management (ownership) regardless of how good or bad it actually performs.

    In the European soccer leagues there is no draft. Teams are relegated and promoted to the big leagues based on performance. It’s a much more market-driven environment in every way. And soccer is the polar opposite of football in terms of scripting by coaches. There are no time outs and almost no substitutions. Coaches basically have to put their team on the field and then just watch from the sidelines what happens over the next 90 minutes. None of this scripting every player on every play nonsense that the NFL does. Players have to create their opportunities and plays on the field during the flow of the game. One of the things that soccer commentators are always talking about is creativity. When was the last time you heard that term used in an NFL context for the average NFL player who isn’t a quarterback?

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