The future of the NFL


The traditional game of football, which all sports fans have grown to love, is evolving in unparalleled ways, including firsts for the National Football League. 

The 2020-2021 season was characterized by new COVID-19 protocols, opt-outs, a new wave of women becoming coaches and referees, player empowerment, a home Super Bowl game which saw Tom Brady winning his record setting 7th superbowl (more than any franchise) and several other firsts. 

After a season full with firsts, some of which caught the league off guard. The NFL’s future is filled with questions and uncertainties, but fans and organizations alike remain hopeful.

The league must devise a strategy to resolve the challenges it has faced in recent years while continuing to build on the considerable progress it has achieved.

The first challenge is figuring out how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The league needs to figure out a safe way for fans to attend games after last season’s attendance. 

“As a football community we lost the fun and joyful fan interaction, including the famous dad and son moments and memories made,” junior Conner Teter said. “To prevent this from happening again the NFL should work closely with the CDC and other agencies to ensure safety for both players and fans alike.”

This also involves ensuring the safety of each organization’s players and personnel by implementing more safety precautions, checking for COVID-19 and even administering the vaccine. These safeguards will ensure that everyone associated with the league is as secure as possible when it comes to COVID-19.

“The top precaution the league needs to implement is wearing masks at all times when they are on the sideline and to take a stand against allowing players to congregate after games,” junior Ashton Ging said. 

The introduction of women into the sport is a relatively recent trend. Some women are coaching, refereeing and assuming leadership roles in the organization. In the coming years, the league must build on this recent transition, not only to motivate and encourage women, but also to enable the game to adapt for today’s society.

“Women entering the football scene is a significant step forward and it encourages more women to aspire for greater success, however, there is also plenty more work to be done for women in the future,” Ging said. 

In addition to this, player empowerment is playing a key role in reshaping football. In today’s league, players are taking on new roles as inspiration stories and even public figures. They are driving COVID-19 relief efforts, serving in their communities, and speaking out against inequality in today’s world.

“Athletes have one of the biggest voices today because they can reach multiple age ranges and millions of people. When athletes support positive causes, such as the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleat” month, they raise awareness of a serious problem while having fun,” Teter said. 

The main challenge this year will be determining how much money will be available for the players’ salaries. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a reduction in revenue for organizations. 

As a result, some players’ pay will be reduced, which will have a ripple effect in the league. In the coming years, the NFL must find a way to make up for the lost revenue due to the pandemic.

One of the most notable aspects of this past season was the number of players who suffered an injury throughout the year. To ensure that these players make a full recovery from their injuries, the league should implement a program that assists and connects players during their rehabilitation.

“Physical therapy is key to preventing injuries from occurring, therefore the league needs to invest more into physical therapy to create better equipment to help decrease such injuries,” Ging said.

To protect players from injury at all costs, the league must examine why so many injuries happened and decide the best course of action to prevent further injuries in the future.

Overall, the game of football has evolved as of late, causing some speculation as to what the future holds. The NFL is coming off one of its most revolutionary seasons ever, and a future strategy must be introduced to keep up with the times. 

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