Originally posted by AXEGRINDER:
Well you're right about the rule changes, but I'm leaning towards them doing that more so to save money, I.e player safety. And the subject is worth discussing, however I find it hard to believe the NFL would influence teams in the manner you're describing. If teams like the 49ers and Ravens were discriminated against for the style of football they play, that would be extremely hard to get away with, and if they were exposed, they would lose billions.
Remember, the NFL is owned by 32 owners, and I doubt they are capable of orchestrating a league-wide conspiracy that benefits only a handful of teams.
A dark, smoke-filled room...a dark mahogany table surrounded by 33 large, padded chairs. Silently the owners file into the room and sit down. At the head of the table, the 33rd chair, largest of all, slowly turns around to reveal Roger Goodell sitting with hands folded against his chin.
"Gentlemen, I think you all know why you are here. These run-first teams must be punished..."
No, not like that. I imagine a steering committee at the league level which would brainstorm and lay out where they want the league to be in 5, 10 seasons etc. The "big offense" thing, you are right, started independent of any central planning and it's a copycat league so others picked up on it. But they could still use that to their advantage, put rules in place to make that more the standard level of play. I don't think it would really ever come to them straight up discriminating against franchises that don't toe that line; it's more of an overall assumption that, like the cliche, it's a QB driven league and so to be successful you would have to have one. So in part my question was poorly phrased--I don't mean they are going to put a hit on the Harbaughs or anything, just when you have made these pass happy franchises the face of your league and then they get shown up by some "old fashioned" team it makes you look kinda goofy is all.