Tis the season to make New Year's resolutions, but rather than bore you with mine, I thought I'd have some fun by suggesting ones for a select few NFL players, coaches, owners, networks and broadcasters. Away we go ...
Speaking on behalf of football fans everywhere, the most obvious resolution of all goes to commissioner Roger Goodell and the owners and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and the players to resolve their differences on the next Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2010 as soon as possible, laying the foundation for continued labor peace for many, many more years.
To CBS' excitable play-by-play man Gus Johnson: Please resolve to never again compare Raiders bust JaMarcus Russell to the great Johnny Unitas (as he did late in Oakland's upset victory over the Broncos in Week 15).
To all of the players (and coaches) who are playing with fire by having extramarital affairs or juggling multiple girlfriends at one time: Please resolve to contemplate what happened to Steve McNair and realize that you're not above the fray.
To the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Please resolve to find a way to enshrine all of the deserving assistant coaches who have devoted their lives to this great game into the Hall in Canton.
To NFL Network: Please resolve to do away with Thursday-night games. It's just asking too much of the players and coaches to produce a top-quality game with such short preparation. Instead, how about moving those Thursday games to Saturday evenings?
To the Bears: Please resolve to give QB Jay Cutler an offensive line that can pass-block and an improved corps of skill-position players — especially receivers — around him so that his promising career as a passer can resume in Chicago.
To Bills owner Ralph Wilson and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder: Please resolve to trust the football men you put in place to rebuild your respective teams and not meddle when it comes to personnel issues, draft strategy or roster moves.
To Brett Favre: Please resolve that your next retirement will be an understated, dignified exit that helps us remember what a record-breaking player you were rather than the ego-stroking, attention-grabbing media hound you proved to be the past couple of years.
To players who vent their frustrations with their team/coach/teammates on their Twitter accounts: Please resolve to step back and think about the ramifications of what you are about to tweet before doing so.
To Mother Nature: Please resolve to deliver us at least one game each season that's played in a snowstorm. Preferably at night. The visuals, particularly in high-definition, are stunning.
To NBC: Please resolve to incorporate more insight from Tony Dungy, the best addition to any NFL broadcast in years. I learn a lot about the game from him.
Finally, to players and coaches: Please resolve to respect the severity of concussions and not attach a stigma to an injury that might not look like much outwardly. When the brain is being injured in a way that can have potentially dangerous consequences down the line, there needs to be more understanding that the healing process should be honored and not sped up or ignored.
PFW has launched its brand-new NFL Draft Newsletter series, with the second issue now ready for mailing. Produced by PFW's player personnel department under the direction of Nolan Nawrocki, the series consists of four information-packed issues. For more info or to subscribe — click here for PDF e-pub or here for print format.