Stretching the Field: A doomsday obit for the NFL

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Well, it appears the Mayans were incorrect in their ancient prediction to the end of mankind.

A little rain in the Northeast corridor may have slowed traffic and caused a few basements to flood, but otherwise it was business as usual for the every day worker.

Had the human race perished in an orgy of asteroids, volcanoes, typhoons or tsunamis, what impression would the NFL leave behind?

Here is a fictitious obituary on the greatest sports league in North America had the curtain been drawn on society:

The National Football League was incepted back in the early 1900s with just a handful of teams joining forces in Canton, Ohio. A league which showcased the most talented and gifted athletes in the sport of football, the NFL eventually blossomed into a 32-team partnership with dedicated owners (term used lightly in that regard), commissioners, sponsors and a frenzied fanbase.

The NFL was a single entity and lived a successful "bachelor" lifestyle. Perhaps the only threat to its well being was the USFL, an American football league during the mid 1980s that posed as a threat one would compare to an elephant and a Yorkshire Terrier on opposite ends of a see saw. Yeah, you get the picture. The USFL did have some glamorous players, including Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Herschel Walker and Reggie White, but the coalition known as the National Football League reigned supreme and lured those players away.

There was another minor threat with the World Football League, too, but that faded quicker than a jackrabbit on a date (thanks to the narrator in 'A Christmas Story' for that reference).

Several commissioners, or league presidents, were appointed to run the industry, which generated enough money to feed several large countries, and will be remembered mostly by the final three administrators. Pete Rozelle got the wheels in motion by merging the AFL (American Football League) and NFL, and creating what Americans knew as the Super Bowl. Like all those in power, Rozelle's popularity declined with issues regarding the NFL Players Association, including salaries and teams moving to new markets.

Under the pensive watch of commissioner Paul Tagliabue, the NFL flourished to what it was before its demise by falling skies. Tagliabue engineered expansion, revenue sharing, lucrative television deals, strengthening youth, high school and college programs as well as new stadiums, no lockouts during his tenure, a strict substance abuse policy and interest overseas.

Following the retirement of Tagliabue, Roger Goodell took over in 2006 and his occupancy as commissioner was littered with mixed reviews. Harsh penalties for off-the-field incidents, several scandals involving teams spying on others and some that pay large dividends to injure opposing players clouded Goodell's rule. However, Goodell carried over some of the traditions he learned while working with Tagliabue and maintained the NFL's image as a powerhouse existence.

SURVIVORS: There were no survivors since the world ended similarly the same way actress Linda Hamilton envisioned during a cat nap in the desert during the blockbuster movie 'Terminator 2'

Had it not been for the players and those at the controls, the NFL would have never existed. Memories such as the Super Bowl, the setting and breaking of individual and team records, the Hall of Fame, the advent of Monday Night Football and the downfall that was Thursday Night Football, dedicated fanbases, fantasy football, merchandise, advertising and employment for thousands were just the tip of the iceberg when it came to reflecting on what the league meant to those associated with it.

SERVICES: Once again, there were no services because there was no life to assemble them. But they would have been held in the early hours of the day back in Canton, Ohio -- the birthplace of the great league. Perhaps if we all had lead-based refrigerators or freezers to hide in during the apocalypse, setting aside time to honor the fallen NFL might have occurred.

CONTRIBUTIONS: Same as the above two sections. For the neurotic type, in lieu of flowers or cases of wine, memorials may be presented to those who cheated death and prepared a vigil for the NFL, a league that brought families, especially fathers and sons, together, made going to church on Sunday mornings more enjoyable, helped bars and restaurants stay in business, and both alcohol and chicken wings more desirable.