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About Sterling84

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    Like a freight train with stick-um. Choo Choo Baby!

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  1. WOW. Nice. Someone mentioned this being up there with the Cards for best facelift ever. Maybe. I daresay it's the most close to the vest update I've ever seen (contemporary, not historically). Seriously. That is some finely tuned TLC applied. Could it/should it have been more? What else is there to say? I love parts of Frasers. REALLY like the heft and simplicity of Andrew's. And although I don't have them in front of me to look at I know Tom has shown me some of those cool ideas he references and I dug those too. And I like this so. It's all good. This is (no matter your opinion) extremely competently handled. What's a dirty shame is that that fact alone is noteworthy lately. Also, no offense to Vikes fans, but it is XX% harder to get excited one way or the other when the design is not front and center. If I'm not paying attention I can go years without even seeing that Viking logo. Not that all work shouldn't be as good as it can be...just saying.
  2. The real one DOES looks like someone resized it in a cheap software like MS Paint. But I do think I know what they were aiming for, though. I think they wanted a logo that illustrates speed and/or motion, which is why the head is slightly stretched out like that, to imply that the Jaguar is moving foward quickly. The altered version looks like it's posing still. Anyway, maybe my assumptions aren't factual, but just trying to picture why they went with that. Absolutely. Artists stylize imagery ALL the time to try and convey speed or movement or heft or strength. And it's not only allowed, it's the job. And I have no doubts some executive focus group-like meeting emphasized that fact to the designer(s). Clients usually get what THEY want. Pushing back is hard. But when you stylize you are almost by definition reducing something complicated to something simple. And so I think the "Hey we stretched it out for speed" vibe is in direct conflict with the "Hey, it's probably the most naturalistic depiction of the source material in major sports" level of detail. I'm saying the two things don't "go" together. There's a friction that occurs between naturalism and stylization. And I blame the Jaguars yes. But also as an artist? I'd like to believe I could have found a better solution. For all its faults, the old one was heavily stylized. Those whiskers that became stripes? That was to move the eye, not naturalistic at all so........Whatever. We're kind of circling the bowl here on this. I fundamentally disagree that stretching the proportions of an image is akin to invoking speed in this case. But that's just my opinion. The fact that it IS stretched as to excede competent naturalist execution? Isn't opinion. Just a matter if you buy the reasoning and that it works or doesn't. It's interesting that very few NFL logo's are symmetrically shaped, and how few have the same height as width. Is that to do with fitting on a helmet? Wouldn't surprise me in the least. If that was the complaint from management. Totally the kind of rationale I can see happening.MGMT: "It needs to seem to be swooping from front to back on the helmet more" NFLC: "Like Carolina's? Or Seattle's? Can I add the body or shoulder or some stripes to help with that?" MGMT: "Hell no. Can't copy them. Just ..............just stretch it out. Yeah". ME: "I quit" NFLC: "..........ummm, alright.........I guess."
  3. Sorry. I don't wanna beat this dead horse. But I popped over to a couple of other threads including the Uniwatch Blog and now that the ratio images is in wide circulation the "motion" defense is EVERYWHERE. So is a slight derivation of that where I think people are arguing Forced Perspective but don't really understand it. Neither of those is true. Love it. Hate it. Be indifferent. I care not. But be honest about it. Whatever we're witnessing is not the animal in "motion" or being viewed via forced perspective. *Oops. Kind of meant foreshortening here.
  4. The real one DOES looks like someone resized it in a cheap software like MS Paint. But I do think I know what they were aiming for, though. I think they wanted a logo that illustrates speed and/or motion, which is why the head is slightly stretched out like that, to imply that the Jaguar is moving foward quickly. The altered version looks like it's posing still. Anyway, maybe my assumptions aren't factual, but just trying to picture why they went with that. Absolutely. Artists stylize imagery ALL the time to try and convey speed or movement or heft or strength. And it's not only allowed, it's the job. And I have no doubts some executive focus group-like meeting emphasized that fact to the designer(s). Clients usually get what THEY want. Pushing back is hard. But when you stylize you are almost by definition reducing something complicated to something simple. And so I think the "Hey we stretched it out for speed" vibe is in direct conflict with the "Hey, it's probably the most naturalistic depiction of the source material in major sports" level of detail. I'm saying the two things don't "go" together. There's a friction that occurs between naturalism and stylization. And I blame the Jaguars yes. But also as an artist? I'd like to believe I could have found a better solution. For all its faults, the old one was heavily stylized. Those whiskers that became stripes? That was to move the eye, not naturalistic at all so........Whatever. We're kind of circling the bowl here on this. I fundamentally disagree that stretching the proportions of an image is akin to invoking speed in this case. But that's just my opinion. The fact that it IS stretched as to excede competent naturalist execution? Isn't opinion. Just a matter if you buy the reasoning and that it works or doesn't.
  5. Right?! Pretty much... this disgusts me knowing it's as simple as sizing... Thank goodness I'm not alone in seeing this.
  6. Gothamite – As in, whatever equity it has and that’s subjective. I’m not submitting the former logo for HOF status, but it’s been a serviceable NFL logo for nearly 20 years. That’s worth something…however little. My preference is always to retain the “Oh I know what THAT is” factor and give a logo a new coat of paint as opposed to starting from scratch. Particularly when there is no drastic change being made. You could even argue that IS what they tried to do here. Just wondering aloud if they could’ve would’ve should’ve played it XX% closer to the vest so that it’s obviously a Jags update. I’m basically cooking together my Verlander what if scenario. Yep, I’m not done yet though. 20 minutes just seeing if the white accents and the new eye could be fairly seamlessly integrated on the old chassis and I think that’s an affirmative. Disagree? OSV - I don’t know that it’s as though it CAN’T….as in ever…… one in the same. Logo v Illustration. Most logos were illustrations back when. I don’t believe in hard and fast rules like that. I for one simply meant this logo is“more of ___, than____” in my eyes. I don’t want to veer off topic but it seems we’re all sometimes just playing a balancing act. We know inherently that simpler is better and less is more etc. And yet we all can’t use a simple silhouette or initials in an elipse…per say since there are so many teams in so many leagues and differentiation is the goal. And so that’s a constant push and pull and again, I think it’s subjective. It’s illustrative to ME….because they are using shadows, much narrower and varied and flowing inky line weights and you can see individual hairs emerging from the spotted pattern on the fur. But, If they want the hassle of reproducing that thing faithfully on a cigarette lighter more power to them. It’s odd, but it’s not a deal breaker. Just for clarity sake, the only thing really ticking me off is the elongated head/distorted perspective. I’ll never be able to not see that now. That’s not subjective. Not as far as I’m concerned. It gives me vertigo. I want to reach toward my monitor and pull the top closer so it doesn’t tip over.
  7. I don't have time to finish this tonight and tackle the whole cockeyed jaw thing. But I think it looks pretty promising so far. If I could figure out how to implement these tweaks (like more white or a proper not bored eye) into something that already had lots of equity? You'd think maybe they could too.
  8. For comparison I put this in Photoshop and went nuts with the skew, distort, warp and perspective options to try and show how I feel the perspective is radically off on this logo. I'm not saying my results (LEFT) are perfect. It was a quicky attempt. But if you had never seen either up until this moment? Which one looks stretched and off? Can I rest my case?
  9. I've always loved the old Jags logo despite his zombie jaw that appears to be falling off/pulled toward the viewer. But the idea that those mistakes could be fixed had me optimistic. The new one? Ummm. It's jaw isn't falling off and it looks like a jaguar. It's fine. It's cool. Cool enough I guess. In my crusty old age I'm trying not to focus on matters of taste as much, but focus on the facts and matters of execution. First and foremost it is much more of a pen and ink illustration than I'm used to...perhaps EVER in the modern digital era of the NFL. But maybe that's the direction we're going? Who knows.. It won't scale well at keychain size. And I have no idea why we're now dealing with an actual shadow element in a football logo. have we ever had that before? Wild. But it's not as though it's the Panthers logo either, which has replaced the PHX Coyotes IMO as the worst in all of pro sports for its amatuer-hour sloppiness. Althought the Jaguar is too detailed for my liking and the lineweight isn't as consistent as I'd like? It's not as though there are any obvious illustrator errors like with Carolina's. Now for the nitty gritty - The teal nose piece is attempting to render as highlight and only on the near (viewer) side of the nose..divided by the natural "hemisphere" in a cat's nose. But with this palette teal has to be the "light" relative to the black. So the nose is in light, but that side of the face is in shadow? BoooOOO!!!! Careless. Secondly, and I preface this by saying I've asked the CCLSC this before and NEVER had anyone agree with meon the phenomenon to no avail...the entire perspective of the logo itself is OFF. Not the way the jaw relates to the head like before. But as in, the way the logo relates to the background. It looks like it's lying on a table 6 feet from me and I'm seeing it lying flat in perspective headed away from me. In my experience this only does happen and only can happen when the artist does not back up to check perspective AS they create it. It happened to me all the time in middle school when I'd rest my head on my desk and doodle on my book cover at an obtuse angle. It's like one of those chalk on the sidewalk illusions everyone used to email around. From one angle it looks right, from every other angle it's all F'd up. I'm sorry but where are the standards...where are the board rooms with really talented critical eyes catching this stuff? I cannot conceive of how this makes it through committees and past so very many sets of eyes without someone voicing some criticism. Freshman year life drawing classmates caught more mistakes than this. When combined with Carolina this is just completely substandard quality for the biggest league there is. PS - The type is pretty cool.
  10. Actually, those are called Rosettes. And in as much as they are the defining pattern feature that separates Jaguars and Leopards from Cheetahs, the rosettes turn into spots as the fur approaches the feet and/or the head (turn to stripes at the tail). So in that sense, they didn't flub it.
  11. [EDIT] Remember the Raiders still wear their numeral below the seam. Ooops.
  12. I agree unilaterally with oldschoolvikings and BrandMooreArt and TheOldRoman. And if that seems impossible it isn’t. You guys (we) are all right in a sense. Yes, T he changes weren’t born of malice but rather they were incremental over time and due more to ambivalence or carelessness. And YES there is a tremendous undercurrent of backward thinking going on. And yes, the teams share in that responsibility. The teams approve or reject what is put in front of them. The league has its own rules and guidelines. And the manufacturers who are supposedly subordinate to the other two, have their ideas and motivations. My points (as clumsily as I may have made them) are twofold. 1) When discussing this let’s try and not get hung up on issues of preference or taste as far as Nike goes. Those are better left for other threads about specific teams. I may personally hate the leotard look or any individual teams look, but that is not what frustrates me about Nike. 2) No uniform manufacturer has yet (IMO)embraced the paradigm shift in what a football uniform is becoming. I jokingly referred to NFL jerseys as tank tops and that isn’t very accurate. It’s closer to a “baby doll” cut in sleeve length (though far stretchier) and I think quickly approaching something like a tactical vest in construction and materials. Think about it. At one time in the not too distant past, football uniforms didn’t even have helmets. And then once they did have helmets they were of course leather and not adorned with decals, facemasks, numbers or colors. Now the football helmet is drastically different and accordingly is the quintessential starting point for a team’s brand. The process changed with the equipment in a completely logical and utilitarian way. “Hey! Here’s some new prominent, top-down acreage to adorn…and it’s SHINY!!” Football jerseys were once just heavy long-sleeved rugby style shirts whose only functions were to keep the players from being nude and to tell one team from another. Over time they became elbow length (then short-sleeved) nylon mesh garments and of course they took on more functions as well like numerals for identifying players for penalties, position eligibility, fan recognition and record keeping purposes. The jerseys also served the useful purpose of concealing (holding in place) the sharp edges, moving parts, buckles and rivets of contemporary shoulder pads. So football in general and equipment manufacturing specifically adjusted wonderfully to the new branding real estate of the helmet. They have not (perhaps unsurprisingly) reacted similarly to the taking AWAY of uniform real estate formerly known as the sleeve. I would also attempt to dovetail in a point #3)…or maybe 2b) which is that uniforms should be uniform above all else. Old school or new school…I care not, so long as they match your teammates. I will make allowances for different facemasks by position, visor/no visor…undershirt/bare arms. If that makes me a hypocrite then so be it. The accessorizing that a modern athlete does to their own look is a different issue that is pervasive in all sports. I have no problems if a team makes the decision to truncate their sleeve stripe to a glorified chevron or flag element if that is what makes sense in the sleeveless 21st century. Off the top of my head I think GB and KC look really good that way for the most part. But if it is a “flag” element like a military uniform might have or perhaps a unique striping pattern like a Scottish clan might have worn. Then I DO have a problem with it not be treated with enough respect to make sure it shows equally on all the players. The Packers were very forward thinking in reducing their five stripe sleeve pattern to a three stripe one over a decade ago. The opposite of that is perhaps the Steelers who can’t seem to come to terms with tweaking their enormous 9 striper to fit the times, or even worse the Lions who rebranded recently and still came out with a gigantic sleeve stripe element that has never looked good. And what kills me is they intentionally made their helmet striping dimensions that would fit perfectly on a modern sleeve. Ugh, now I’m breaking my own rules and getting team specific here. Short versions: I don’t get pissed when stripes are truncated into elongated sleeve flags. It makes “sense” to me. But then IMO uniform designers should tell teams…”This is the new default status quo. This is the most stripe area we can give you while guaranteeing that it’ll still look good. If your design requires anything above and beyond this, we need to remove something else to make accommodate you…namely remove the TV numbers.” TV numbers are an artifact with limited utility. They are born of standard definition days, without a dozen cameras on the field; without wire cameras that put us in the huddle or handhelds on the field of play and sidelines. TV numbers were necessary for spotters, Public Address folks at stadiums and telecasters when it was literally a guy with a pair of binoculars doing the work. That may still be the case somewhere (HS?) but in the NFL everyone has access to laminated roster cheat sheets and a producer in your ear on a headset to relay who just carried the ball or made the tackle. We don’t’ need TV numbers anymore. And the idea that they are even useful anymore when reduced to 3” tall and crammed into an area below the seam and above the cuff? Preposterous. On the shoulders? At 4 or even 5” I still think the look nice. But only if given the space to breathe on a fairly minimalist design. (Think Chiefs, Packers or best of all…GIANTS and RAIDERS homes) I’m unclear what the current NFL rules are regarding TV numbers. We’ve definitely seen throwbacks without them and the world didn’t end. Moving past them, by either league relaxation of rules or push from Nike, would really free things up in a meaningful way if you ask me. If you’re a traditional team who wants them and doesn’t mind a minimal “flag” striping element or nothing? Great. If you’re the Bengals or Seahawks and you wanna go nuts with tiger stripes or feather motif? Fine. Have at it. The counterweight to that I think is that (for functional purposes) it’s more vital then that the chest and back numerals are legible and there needs to be a designer push back to ensure that as well. I have some ideas on that but I don’t want to stray too far here. Last add: RE the flywire. I don’t get it. I do get what it is supposed to DO. But why is that important? Was the jersey getting pulled underneath that flippy top layer of the shoulder pads THAT big of a deal? The scenario where your teammate has to put you back together again after a rough tackle? Is that what we don’t’ want? Or is it that we don’t want to give the opponent easy tackling loose fabric in and around the collar area? Because to me that has been nearly legislated out of existence by the so-called horse collar tackle and the exuberance with which the refs call the horse collar tackle that has basically made it darned near illegal to tackle by the inner rim of the shoulder pads AT ALL….whether from the rear, side or front. I just don’t think this is an issue. Not a performance one that is worth making ¾ of the teams in the league look ridiculous. Besides, there are dozens of ways we could (or maybe will in the future) address the jersey as garment/jersey as equipment discussion. We need a covering for the pads. It doesn’t HAVE to be a shirt in the traditional sense. Any of you got kids? Ever take apart a car seat? That’s a “material” covering to a piece of padding and plastic as well. And it’s skin tight when attached with various loops, hooks and clips. No, I’m not suggesting NFL jerseys use hook and loop fasteners. Don’t’ like my car seat idea? How about…ski wear? Or life jackets if you prefer? I mentioned a tactical vest earlier and I wasn’t kidding. The advances in materials technology and printing technology are just astonishing to me. Why not envision the 21st century football jersey as essentially a “skin” on the only really necessary bit…the shoulder pads. Then you aren’t worrying about the stripes/numerals/logos being cropped or tucked underneath the padding…because they will BE the padding. They’ll be part of it. Printed, glued or otherwise adhered such that they don’t move out of place because they can’t. In the modern sports era, we’ve never seen marketing possibilities shrink quite like the modern football jersey. We’ve seen NBA shorts get longer, MLB getting longer or baggier. Athletes of all sports now wearing helmets or bigger equipment. The one time someone really tried to take away design real estate? The hemline area oforiginal RBK Edge? Players and fans revolted (err…whined) en masse. I want this to be different. Kiss the sleeves goodbye!! They probably never should have been there in the first place. Footballs roots are rugby-like in nature. The modern NFL athlete has much more in common with a basketball player in terms of the way their body moves while playing. If you were inventing football today, starting from scratch, you wouldn’t make sleeves either. So let’s get on with it shall we?
  13. Interesting. Look, having worked on a "thing" or two in my day, I'm sympathetic to the over-arching idea gordie_delini is trying to get across; that being that there are parameters that constrict any design job. And the physical construction of Nike's football uniforms is one of those parameters to work around. I have no difficulty reconciling that Nike is both an earnest athletic apparel innovator and also a lifestyle fashion firm looking to cook up new looks conveniently once per season for their own sakes. Every company is like this. Apple needs to find a "reason" for you to upgrade to each iteration of their iPhone product. And taken at each interval the "upgrades" feel gimmicky. But the net-net of the equation is an upward trend in quality/performance/design and function. The current iPhone is much better than the first one. And if I were a player I'd much rather wear contemporary Nike football uniforms than the ill-fitting, heavy soggy garbage I wore in high school; there is no question about that. However, I don't grant Nike or any uniform designers total absolution for how the end product "looks" just because of those challenges. The iPhone is also one of the most gorgeous devices ever produced by the hands of man and Apple understands as well as any company how important form and function both are, and how they must work together. THere are some unnattractive consequences of the new Nike football templates. And one of the questions I'D like to follow up on directly relates to that form v function issue. It's been repeated over and over again in this thread that most of the decisions get made during the design phase and there are seldom more than one phase of prototyping done. For the record, that has been my experience as well. But I've never designed a football uniform. And I think that's an important distinction to make. Aside from the occassional goalie cut on a hockey sweater, designing uniforms for baseball, hockey, basketball et al can be a singular act regardless of the size of the athlete. The design aspects of the jersey and pants scale similarly for short athletes, tall athletes, trim athletes or husky athletes....I’m generalizing of course but more or less everyone wears a slightly different size of the same garment. Football, over the course of the past 20 years, has become an entirely different animal. From what I understand we're dealing with what? 3 entirely different overrall cuts for football jerseys? I could be wrong. Please feel free to correct me. It looks to the naked eye like QBs and kickers get one cut. OL and DL another virtually tanktop style? And then one for your average position players? I imagine back in the day the cuts (from MacGregor-SandKnit or whomever) were essentially all the same and whatever differences showed up on the field were customized by the equipment manager(s) as needed. Whether it was putting elastic into the side panels, cuffing the sleeves, slitting the underarms or sewing in a hand warmer...that stuff all used to be done ala carte from a single jersey cut. ( I suspect). My problem, to the extent that I have that from a DESIGN uniforms appear to be designed to the highest common denominator. The template usually looks its very best on a RB or CB who is 5'11" and 200lbs and if you give them a little bit more sleeve to work with. But the majority of players (or at least half the players) on the field at any given time do not look like that. Take your average OT and whatever sleeve element you spent so much time designing is missing or tucked underneath the pads. The new lighter fabrics not only accumulate sweat in unsightly places but the lighter numerals stretch in grotesque and unreadable ways. And rather than anticipate some of this, the designs just cram all the elements into the space provided. THIS is where I would argue one of the necessary steps would be repeated prototyping and revisions for things that cannot be anticipated in Adobe Illustrator. On less acreage to work with, the TV numerals encroach within a hair of the manufacturer logo which in turn encroaches on the sleeve stripe or alternate logo. I’m unclear how this is not deemed immediately unacceptable unless everyone involved willfully ignores it by not really prototyping for the nearly sleeveless player. Anyone in the process can claim the results aren't their "fault". Anyone in the process can say, "What do you expect from me? The guys all want different length sleeves. The team wants this. The vendor wants this. Etc". And I understand those things. But none of those truths excuse the results. A designers job (as well as an engineer's job) is to solve problems. And these problems are not being addressed. And I suspect (no conspiracy or anti-corporate rant herein) that the issue (perhaps above your pay grade a tad) is that the existing RETAIL model for jersey sales is still a 1990s one with huge sleeves. I'm accusing (if you want to call it that) Nike and all the rest… of designing a retail elbow-length T-shirt product (in the over-the-counter jersey) and shoe-horning the actual football equipment version as best they can after the fact. Because the retail version of an NFL jersey used to be very much the same thing as an on-field jersey. Innovations and trends have made that very much NOT the case anymore. And I think all fans and players accept that on both aesthetic and a performance basis. But everyone knows sales of jerseys would fall off precipitously if only available over-the-counter jerseys looked like the real thing. Who is going to wear a tank top unless they have 30" biceps to show off? To the extent that what I'm describing is just part of the business? That it is what it is? I totally agree. It is certainly not a designer's job to stop the marketing machine dead in its tracks or throw a fit and quit your plum job on integrity grounds. I do not mean that and do not mean to besmirch. I, in fact, rather like the sleeveless look. But it just seems logical to me...that the solution is to do everything possible to design from the lowest common denominator. I would say, Look. We have to design these things so that they first look good on BJ Raji and from that point we KNOW it'll look great on Aaron Rodgers….and from there we’ll figure out a fan-friendly facsimile for sale. If it means re-evaluating whether TV numerals are necessary? So be it. If it means telling a team they have to choose between UCLA stripes OR TV numbers because we cannot to both justice and that the old methodology is hurting both? So be it. Whatever the solutions are, it's simply isn't good enough (for Nike, not you individually) to claim that the tech side does what they do and the design side does what they do… under tech's thumb. You're in a tough spot...caught between the team's desires and the limitations inherent in your own product. I do not deny it. But there is very little denying the current situation is not optimal. This website can be...juvenile or inarticulate at times to be sure. Every internet site can. But criticism of these uniforms (the way they LOOK) is pretty widespread and mainstream. That doesn't happen with truly great design. I'm sorry . It doesn't. People hate Apple for a million valid and invalid reasons. But not their design. I can look forward to a day 30 years from now (provided football is even legal) where our notion of a uniform barely even involves "fabric" as we know them today. And certainly uniform traditionalists are going to have to come to terms with the fact that nothing stays the same in life. I'm not being a Luddite here. But uniform manufacturers...particularly football ones....are not currently (in my opinion) currently meeting us half way. They are not actually taking the challenge of the 21st century football uniform head on. They are stuck in a ‘tweener phase…beholden to both sides and satisfying none.That's just my 2 cents. Congrats on the job. Thank you for sharing and the VERY best of luck to you.
  14. I do also find it interesting that we have complaints about this season. Look back only over the past 6 years and we saw one team dominate. We saw several years where so few cars had any real chance of winning it was lame. Didn't the 48,99 and 18 split like 3/4 of all victories a couple seasons ago? We also saw complaints about endless end-of-race cautions/wrecks and GWCs that people thought the first 450 miles were pointless. Now we've got competitive parity and tons of knucklehead free green flag racing and we still aren't satisfied. I'm a little bored too...just pointing out the hypocrisy of it all. But, let's call the disatisfaction valid for the sake of argument. I LOVE the idea of shortening the season and most races. That gets to a socio-cultural shift that I could chat with you all about for hours in and of itself. I think about this all the time. Less is more. We all already know that. The best shows on TV (for example) are all short run, high quality (basically miniseries) that only show up once per 12 months. True Blood, Mad Men, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Justified et al. And no, those programs don't drive ratings enough to sustain networks on their own. They inspire smaller,more passionate fanbases. But the methodone for the masses has had to react accordingly to these shifts. Even standard sitcoms have shortened their production from 24 eps a year to 18 or even half season runs. Nobody airs reruns much anymore during primetime. And even the loathed reality show filler focuses on half seasons. The net net effect is that even for mild=numbing dreck like Dancing with the Stars you've got an audience who feels like A) Man, it's been FOREVER since this show was on...I cannot wait. and It's only a 12-15 week committment of my time so I am not going to miss a minute of it!!! THerefore, it seems obvious to me that sports leagues need to take a hard look at this stuff going forward into the next 10-20 years. The problem is they haven't figured out how to do it financially......with ever more expensive salaries and stadium mortgages and so forth. Thankfully, if any "league" has the flexibility to change rapidly it's NASCAR given that they don't have the same structure as the other major sports do. It's (unless I'm mistaken) more like the WWF...a travelling promotion without players unions and member teams. They can essentially do whatever they want and have....instituting double file restarts MID SEASON!! Think about how rare that is compared to the NFL or MLB which puts their changes through committee for years. So what should they do? I love some of what you guys are suggesting. Shorter everything. Maybe 20 weeks to make the Chase and 10 weeks (less?) of playoff. For the playoff? I would suggest anything that more resembles an actual tournament. I've been blasted in this thread before I think...for floating an elimination style tourney. Chase Race 1...worst of 10 contenders is eliminated altogether and so on down the line. That would leave a 3 way head to head winner take all in Miami. Essentially what we had last year, but guaranteed every year. I also like the idea (however nuts) of just reducing the field to Chase participants only. Or, failing that? Eliminating qualifying for the Chase. Line them up by points so they are all right there near one another. And if you do it either of those ways? WHy not say that to qualify for the Chase you have to either be top 10(12) in points OR have won any race during the year? Like an All-Star bid. Then the Chase field could grow to a max of 20 cars but it adds that incentive during the regular season and the "Cinderella" possibility. Not sure why the push here for less cars in the field though. Hate the start and park that much? I say, go the other way for now. If you show up and can reach the track minimum speed with a licensed driver? You're in the show. Most weeks that'd top out at 44-45 anyway. For the big races? 50? It's so hard to even field a team nowadays I don't get the point of sending 2-6 guys home. Most of them park anyway. And cutting them in on a small percentage of the purse might help them grow their operations a tiny bit. And if everyone is in....then the stupid top 35 owners points garbage is automatically OUT and we don't have to see the blatant manipulation of points in the offseason. WE have to remember here some of this is like a relic of a bygone the DH rule. We just hang onto it for lack of will to do something different. Racing used to be...crash out in don't race. Sorry. But as the sport became a TV property and worth so much money; so expensive to attend....the thought of sending a fan who paid $180 to see Jeff Gordon home without having seen Jeff Gordon race? That became suicide. So they fabricate a safety net for their stars with layer after layer of protection. (Top 35, then champion provisionals and so forth) It's dumb. Just let everyone race. If it turns out in 10 years the economy rebounds and 75 teams show up for Daytona? Fine. Revisit capping the field at that point. We have to remember, and NASCAR should realize...fair has nothing to do with anything in sports. It's an entertainment property. We like to put the idea of fairness into it to justify our investment of time, money and emotion. But what is fair about the Phillies being the best team for 162 games and then bowing out after a 5-7 game sample size? What is fair about my 15-1 Packers getting bounced after clearly being the best team for much of the year? Nothing. And thus everything. Fair has nothing to do with it. Bottom line is tournaments are exciting because they aren't fair. They are exciting because they are sudden, brutal terminations of your season....except for one person/team. NASCAR is not caught, straddling their history and tradition...where the aggregate champion is the overrall "best" driver during the year and the present day desire to field a for-TV product that keeps people tuning in.....(during NCAA and NFL football season no less). It's impossible. Can't be done. You can't be beholden to the advertisers and stick to your roots too. So I think you(we) are onto something. 1)SHorten the season by at least 6 weeks. Shorten the races themselves. Races become more coveted to attend and watch. Give football a wide birth during the autumn. 2)Drastically alter the postseason format in a manner which seems sacreligious at first but one that guarantees excitment...not just leaves the door open to it. We've had ONE good Chase. Don't get cocky. 3) Stop obsessing about growth at all costs. Profit is good. Growth is good. But not everyone can be the NFL. Try hard to grow your brand at a grass roots level...through local tracks, slot cars, video games or go-karts (seasons?) or however. I got into this at age 30. It can be done. Move the broadcasts from Fox to all cable where lower ratings are more viable and settle in...kind of like the be just a darned good viable niche sporting entertainment option. Like my boy Joss Whedon says..."I don't want to make a show a lot of people think is OK. I want to make shows that some people cannot live without". There is a model for success where you just worry about doing what you do and doing it well.