Words often change meaning as time passes and people use them in different ways. After all, “awful” used to mean full of awe–not any more. This is natural, after all, language is alive, just like those who use it. Because of this, I am suggesting a change in our language, what a word means. I think it is time we change the name of American football to gridiron. Then, we could actually call football the same thing that the rest of the world does (sorry, I don’t use that “S” word).
I came up with this idea about a year ago and since then, I have been conducting a very un-scientific poll. I simply asked people how they would feel about changing the name of American football to gridiron. Before I moved to Minnesota, I had mixed results. After the move here, and talking to a broad range of people in the Viking’s backyard, I can now say that a vast majority of people really like the idea.
Here are my reasons for it:
First, it will provide an opportunity to rebrand. There is a lot of money in rebranding: new names, new logos, everything would have to be changed. This would be a large incentive for fans to buy new team gear, and in the longer run, would provide a boon to the memorabilia market of all the NFL kit that is out there now.
Second, it will clear up a lot of confusion world wide. I know, most Americans don’t really care about the rest of the world, but considering that America would have a negative population rate if it weren’t for immigrants, the change might take place anyway. to help keep things straight, gridiron is already the name used by many Australians when they are talking about the variety of football-named games (they also have Australian Rules Football).
Third: Gridiron. Just listen to the sound of the word. Let it roll around in your mouth. It just feels better, and could almost be used as a battle cry. Gridiron is much more descriptive of what the game is, how it is played. Consider all the shows on TV and radio that talk about the sport, a great many of them already have gridiron in their name. This was picked up on as the reason most people liked the idea of changing the name of the game.
Again, due to the name change, the ball itself, would become the already known and loved pigskin (it sort of looks like a little pig doesn’t it?).
With the name change it might make the game more accessible to other markets. Not that leagues would pop up around the world, gridiron is too costly a sport just to start up, especially when outfitting children. But gridiron TV rights could be sold across the world, a boon for everyone concerned. Consider that both the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga games are carried in over 200 countries around the world. Wouldn’t the gridiron owners and players want a piece of that pie?
Finally, after the change, the MLS could change its name to reflect the world-wide recognized name of football.
To help move things along, I would like to issue a graphic call-to-arms. All of you designers out there, send me your logos for the new gridiron and football leagues here in America and I will post them here (of course giving you all due credit). You have full control over what the leagues should be called. Who knows, you just might get the job to design the logo for the new leagues.
Please submit all designs to mcrumph at gmx dot com.