A Modest Proposal to Fix the NFL

Don’t like how the competition turned out? Shut everything down until you get your way.

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New England Patriots Shane Vereen (34) runs against Buffalo Bills Kyle Williams (95) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in Orchard Park.

I've been pretty disheartened at the performance of my beloved Buffalo Bills over the last dozen or so years (Sunday's spectacular performance excluded). And I'm tired of it. How many years can the National Football League reasonably expect fans to keep watching, to keep believing they'll change their ways, to sit idly by while the stretch of not making the playoffs just gets longer and longer? It's time to draw a line in the snow.

Let's take a frank look at this: it's not our fault, not the team or the dropped passes or even the poor coaching choices (hello, Dick Jauron). No, the fault is entirely due to the New England Patriots, a team so disliked in Buffalo that local media refer to them on second reference as the Evil Empire. And that coach, Bill Belichick? Somehow he's managed to take the Pats to five Super Bowls this century and win three of them, but can we be entirely sure he's even legitimately the coach? The Patriots claim to be a stellar football team, but in reality, they are TAKING OVER AMERICA. They are DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY, not to mention our sacred Sundays. They are moving the NFL to some dictatorial state where the Patriots, and only the Patriots, rule.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Congress.]

So there's a solution. We just won't play any more games without some serious givebacks. We're done. The league has become so dominated by the Patriots, against the mandate of millions of American fans who don't happen to live in or around suspiciously liberal Boston that it can only be saved if the Patriots are slapped back. Here's our offer: We'll play on Sundays (and the occasional Monday or Thursday night), as we have been contracted to do, but only if the Patriots give up the three Super Bowl rings they've earned in the last 11 years. Yes, those games have been waged and the winners declared. But things are different now. We have a new coach. We have E.J. Manuel. We have Freddie Jackson, Aaron Williams and Kiki Alonso. They're all pretty new to the team and had nothing to do with the Patriots' usurpation of the NFL championships. Why should the new blood on the team have to live with the losses of their predecessors?

Sure, contracts have been signed, TV advertising time has been bought, and the team has committed to a schedule. So if we dropped out, it would admittedly have an impact on the entire league – possibly shutting it down. And the people who operate the concessions and parking would be out, too. But they are not blameless here. They, too, are guilty of appeasement in allowing the Patriots to be so successful. If they suffer from the loss of their full season, maybe that's what they need to realize we're right.

But if that won't fly, we're graciously willing to make a compromise. The Patriots can keep one of their titles, but give the rest (along with their rings) to Vladimir Putin. Putin, it seems, is a bit less intransigent a negotiator.

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