I get it.
Back in the 1800s when what we now know as American football (or simply football to Americans), was played primarily by university students, starting the seasons in September was a logical choice. Particularly when seasons were 6-7 games long at that time.
But now let us fast forward to the present 21st century, where the sport of American football is now a worldwide phenomena. Now you can see local teams compete for National Championships form Toronto to Tel Aviv, from Los Angeles to Lagos, from Boston to Beijing, China from New York to Newcastle upon Tyne, England from Seattle to Stockholm, Sweden from Houston to Hamburg, Germany from Cincinnati to Cairo, Egypt from Pittsburg to Prague, Czech Republic and I could go on and on and on…
Now as a former European pro player and current coach in over 10 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa I quickly noticed a big difference in the season scheduling outside of North America. The leagues here begin there seasons in spring, and end in summer or the very first weeks of autumn. This is a very logical choice, as not only is it better for players (If the weather is to hot, you always have a night game option), but it attracts more fans if you are trying to expand your fan base.
Playing and coaching in the freezing snow, or supporting your team in the freezing snow has always been romanticize, but as a former pro player and head coach in counties like Norway, Denmark, and Sweden (places where even with the season beginning in spring, you do not always escape the snow), it is not as romantic as portrayed Brrr.
What about school summer break?
I would prepose that in the USA (where University football is a Muti Billion dollar business) we treat all high school and university players like any other kids their age with a summer job: If they play for the schools while classes are not in session, they should receive a monetary compensation just like any of their classmates would if they worked during the summer break. And this should not effect their amateur status.
Incidentally this schedule would also allow incoming university freshmen an entire half year to assimilate into university life, which should make for a better educational experience for both university and High school players alike.
- The season could have a two week pause in July for family vacation
And of course with a more enjoyable environment to view the games the fan base will expand even further … and trust me, the interest is here.
(Coach Sholars teaching American football fundamentals to children in the Czech Republic in December 2017)
Feel free to share if you agree, and thank you for reading.
-Coach Mike Sholars www.MikeSholars.com