By Barry Janoff
September 16, 2013: Monday morning quarterbacks are infamous for looking back at events that have already happened and taking credit for and/or criticizing them.
The NFL is taking the opposite position by looking seven years ahead to forecast or explain things that will happen.
NFL.com, in conjunction with NFL Network, has launched an exclusive eight-part series, NFL 2020, that examines the future of the NFL and what football will be like on and off the field in 2020.
NFL 2020 topics include the health of players, changing rules, fans, the participation of gay players, how science and technology at home and in stadiums will impact the game and the NFL's expansion worldwide.
NFL 2020 is hosted by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. It includes input from such current and former NFL players as Ryan Clark, Justin Tuck, Eric Davis, Terrell Davis, Lavar Arrington and Jeff Garcia; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh; and NFL reporters including Peter King, Armen Keteyian, and Sam Farmer.
Executives from a number of global companies currently working on innovative designs and products that could alter pro football also are part of the mix.
The premiere episode, "Look and Feel," which was unveiled last week, included how the physical look of players will change and how their skill sets would have advanced by 2020 and how openly gay players would acclimate into the league. (See the episode here.)
New Webisodes are scheduled to air on Thursdays through Dec. 19. NFL Network's NFL AM will review each Webisode the day after it airs and "dissect the speculation of what NFL players will be like, physically and mentally, in 2020."
Upcoming Webisodes include: "International Players" (Sept. 26); "Global Game" (Oct. 10); "Analytics and Officiating" (Oct. 24); "Making View" (Nov. 7), which will examine such technology as 360-degree cameras in every NFL helmet and other advanced equipment and monitoring devices; "The Fan Experience" (Nov. 21); "Player Health: Advances in Head Injury Technology" (Dec. 5); and "Culture of the Game" (Dec. 19).
The Web site, which is presented by Samsung Galaxy S4, also includes comparisons between veteran NFL players and younger stars. In one section, second-year quarterbacks are compared to NBA stars, such as Robert Griffin III and John Wall, Russell Wilson and Chris Paul and Andrew Luck and James Harden.
The hypothesis: "The modern day quarterback is more comparable to athletes in other sports like NBA guards than the standard old quarterback."
FYI: Although the site is not yet known, Super Bowl LIV is scheduled for February 2020.