The National Football League is known for its rich history of great teams, players, and coaches. This year, it will take the opportunity to honor that legacy as it celebrates its 100th birthday. The NFL is creating a series of special events and programming referred to as “NFL 100.” What exactly do they have planned?
The NFL All-Time Team
Rich Eisen will host an NFL retrospective this fall counting down the 100 greatest players in NFL history, known as the NFL’s All-Time Team. The NFL drew on a panel of 26 experts to identify the top 100 players of all time as well as the 10 best coaches of all time.
What’s notable about this six-episode limited series are the analysts joining Eisen on the program. While there will be a rotating crew of special guests, these are the two analysts who will accompany Eisen the whole time:
- Current Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, who’s regarded as one of the best color commentators on NFL coverage. He’s also a former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver.
- New England Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick, a particularly big get for the program. With six Super Bowls to his name, Belichick is probably the greatest football coach of all time. He’s also typically tight-lipped with the press and fans. Getting to hear from the usually quiet coach will be special for all football fans. Plus, Belichick’s perspective on the best players and coaches will be informed and enlightening.
The opportunity to count down the greatest players and coaches with such highly acclaimed analysts should make for can’t-miss television.
The NFL 100 Greatest
Another NFL Network program will be The NFL 100 Greatest, described here by NFL.com:
The “greatness” theme is also central to the series The NFL 100 Greatest, which counts down the greatest NFL memories in five categories — Plays, Characters, Games, Game Changers and Teams. The series features more than 400 interviews with celebrities, current NFL stars and Legends that will air across 20, one-hour episodes with four episodes dedicated to each topic.
While the NFL All-Time Team will focus on coaches and players, this will be a more holistic, comprehensive view of the game. It will focus on teams, performances, and personalities that have given the league life and color.
Those two original programs aren’t the only NFL 100 highlights. Also included in the celebration are:
- NFL Experiences will give fans the opportunity to win “once in a lifetime” opportunities, like having Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in their wedding party or being a Madden rating adjuster for a day.
- Huddle for 100 is a charity-driven effort encouraging fans to donate 100 minutes of their time to an important cause.
- Original Towns will honor the locations of the 13 original franchises, recognizing where the places where the league was born.
While these events and programs represent interesting or well-meaning endeavors, they’ll cast the league in a positive light. Some of them seem like fascinating reviews of league history. Others seem like public relations efforts meant to show the greatness of the NFL.
What would really be interesting is the NFL taking an introspective look at itself, warts and all. The NFL has faced questions about player safety as well as issues with how they penalize players for off-field conduct. It would be refreshing if the league included these discussions in the NFL 100 celebration along with steps on how they plan to improve going forward.