If the pass was thrown for 98 yards and received in the end zone but no one saw it, would it be a touchdown? If you had a stadium with highly trained players, referees, equipment and played all 4 quarters, but no one was in the stands, would it be a real game? Although fans are not required by any sort of rule it is an unwritten understanding that the game, its players and its paradigm exist for one and only one person: the fan. Understanding football as a fan based sport, the National Football League has done a series of innovative decision-making to help attract more fans and sustain the game.
In 1974 when Monday night football became all the rage, one thing was certain - more fans than ever were watching football. After the initial craze started by Monday night games began to show lackluster ratings, the head office began to ask what was wrong. The games seemed slow to fans and sometimes unintelligible. Too many games were built on defense, running games and complicated plays on the field that netted a steady flow of small yardage, but no big plays. In order to combat the slow-moving side of football, The NFL rushing ushered in innovative rule changes which favored passing, limited timeouts and time between plays and sped up the game. This use of structure to influence speed kept fans watching TV and filling the seats.
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