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Emmanuel Kenmogne

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Emmanuel Kenmogne
All name: Emmanuel Kenmogne
Nationality: Cameroonian  
Height: 1.82 cm
Weight: 77 kg
Position: E
Birth Day: 7-9-1983
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Sport category: Football
When the NFL Jumped the Shark
Date: 21-01-2007 17:55
During this NFL postseason, it’s as good a time as any to ask the following questions: Has the NFL jumped the shark? If so, when did this happen?

For those who are not familiar with the term, "jumped the shark" originated from the TV sitcom, "Happy Days." It references an episode in which the character Fonzie attempts to jump over a shark while water skiing. Many fans of that show agreed that, beyond this point, the show was never the same, i.e., never as good as it was before. The term "jump the shark" has now come to mean any point in the life of a TV show, organization, sports league, etc. beyond which it is never the same -- a kind of turning point for the worst. Jumping the shark can occur all at once or slowly, over a period of time.

I believe the NFL has indeed jumped the shark and it occurred during the 10-year period from 1993 through 2002. During that time, several changes took place, which I believe had an irreversibly negative impact on the league.

The downtrend began in 1993, when the New England Patriots switched away from their red, white, and blue uniforms that featured a logo of minuteman “Pat the Patriot” on white helmets. The new, mainly blue (first royal blue and now navy), uniforms with a “Flying Elvis” logo on silver helmets are a disgrace. The old uniforms were classy and distinctive. The new ones can easily be confused with those of several other teams. This was the beginning of the trend toward ugly uniforms in the league.

Then, in 1997, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and especially the Denver Broncos, took ugly uniforms to new heights. Tampa Bay replaced their red-orange, yellow, and white uniforms, featuring the “Bucco Bruce” logo on white helmets, with dark red, black, and pewter uniforms, featuring a “Skull and Swords” logo on pewter helmets. They succeeded in trading ugly uniforms for some that were even uglier.

But the Broncos took the cake. They replaced their attractive bright orange, bright blue, and white uniforms, featuring a white horse inside an orange “D” logo on bright blue helmets, with mainly navy blue and white (with some orange) uniforms, featuring a white horse’s head with an orange mane logo on navy blue helmets. Denver’s “Orange Crush” nickname had come from both the soda of the same name and the bright orange home jerseys they wore. Now the Broncos wear boring navy blue jerseys at home, with very little orange left in them. In addition, the new uniforms have an ugly streak that runs down the side of the jerseys and the pants. Curiously enough, several other pro and college teams have since tried to duplicate this feature.

However, ugly uniforms aside, the meat of the NFL’s shark-jumping came in the form of a spate of ill-conceived expansion and relocation, which also began in 1993. That year, the NFL granted expansion franchises to Charlotte, NC and Jacksonville, FL. They would become the NFL’s 29th and 30th franchises and would begin play in 1995. Even though attendance has been good for both the Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, I never believed that either of these locations are NFL timber. I also believe this was the beginning of the NFL’s over-expansion and unnecessary dilution of the league’s talent.

In 1995, the degradation continued with Los Angeles losing both of its NFL franchises, as the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders moved back to Oakland. Losing the Los Angles market, the second largest in the U.S., could not have been a positive thing for the league. To add insult to injury, both teams left for markets that are now among the smallest in the NFL.

In 1996, the Cleveland Browns were allowed to move to Baltimore to become the Ravens. At that same time, Cleveland was promised a new expansion Browns franchise to begin play in 1999. It would be the league’s 31st franchise. I never understood why this was done. Attendance was good in Cleveland. And did the Baltimore-Washington area really need another team? Since losing the Colts 12 years earlier, Baltimore was getting along just fine without a team.

In 1997, the Houston Oilers moved to Tennessee, playing the first two seasons in Memphis as the Tennessee Oilers, before settling into their permanent home in Nashville as the Tennessee Titans. As is the case with Charlotte and Jacksonville, I do not believe Nashville, TN belongs in the NFL. In addition, the name Titans was one that was discarded in the 1960’s by the New York Jets, who were originally called the New York Titans. Couldn’t they have selected a name that no previous NFL team had used? It’s not like there was a shortage of names available. In short, the Houston Oilers, a team with one of the most nifty and original names in all of sports, moved to place known more for music than football, and traded in that name for one that someone else had thrown into the NFL’s trash bin. What a shame.

In 2002, the expansion Houston Texans began play as the NFL’s 32nd franchise. Los Angeles was originally conditionally awarded this franchise, but its city leaders botched their stadium plans, prompting the NFL to revoke it and award it to Houston instead. As was the case with the Tennessee Titans, this team selected a name that had previously been discarded by another NFL team. The Kansas City Chiefs started out in Dallas and were known as the Dallas Texans before moving to Kansas City. Not only did the Texans opt for a second-hand name, they chose uniforms that, from a distance, were almost indistinguishable from the new uniforms of the New England Patriots.

One other questionable thing the NFL did during this era was to tweak the starting times of wildcard, divisional playoff, and conference championship games. Before this time, all of these "early" games, regardless of whether they were played on Saturday or Sunday, started at 12:30 pm Eastern time, and the "late" games started at 4:00 pm Eastern time. Now, early and late Saturday wildcard and divisional playoff games begin at 4:30 and 8:00 Eastern time, respectively. The Sunday starting times for these games are now 1:00 and 4:30 Eastern time, respectively. The early and late conference championship games (both still played on Sunday) have been shifted to 3:00 and 6:30 Eastern time, respectively. I know they're trying to get more games into primetime to boost the advertising revenue, but I liked the earlier starting times better.

In summary, the NFL now has at least four more franchises than it should have, with many of its current teams in places that have no business hosting NFL teams, and using names previously tossed aside by other teams. In addition, more teams than ever had opted for ugly and/or copycat uniforms. Attractiveness and originality are out; ugliness and conformity are in. And to top it all off, more postseason games have been shifted away from their optimal afternoon starting times. I’m still a big NFL fan, but I know it’ll never be the same as it was prior to 1993.

Terry Mitchell is a software engineer, freelance writer, amateur political analyst, and blogger from Hopewell, VA. On his blog - - he posts commentaries on various subjects such as politics, technology, religion, health and well-being, personal finance, and sports. His commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media.
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