Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Future of Football (American style)

American football is second only to Nascar racing as the most popular spectator sport in the United States. Statistics are murky, but it's safe to say that oodles of people like to watch the game. The problem is the people who play the game—they don't last like they used to. For whatever reasons, it may be more likely for wealthy NFL players to pay taxes at over a 15% rate than to finish a season. Fans like to identify with the players, but the team at the end of the year is barely recognizable from the one that started. Fans in Pittsburgh now will have to somehow root for one of the most scorned and ridiculed players in recent local history, Plaxico Burress. The team has lost its receivers, linemen, quarterbacks, defensive backs and their uniforms.

There is a solution. Combine the two most popular sports, auto racing and football. At first glance they seem incompatible, but their immense popularity is based on one common event—crashes. By replacing the injury prone players with repairable mechanical engines, we could enjoy spectacular crashes on practically every play. The mind numbing boredom of auto racing gets to keep all its noise and adds incredible robotic strategy. The rules would have to be slightly modified. All 'players' would need to receive instructions from the bench, but the current army of rule making officials in both sports have more than enough expertise to quickly come up with a working formula.

With Carnegie Mellon's robotic prowess, Pittsburgh could have a leg up on the competition.  And there would be no need change the eminently appropriate name of Steelers.

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