Okay guys pay attention, because this news is too hot hot hot to keep on the down low.
For reasons I can't get into right now, I have developed some pretty good sources of information inside the National Football League.
This source -- I can't name names, but let's just call him Schmoger Schmoodell -- recently notified me of the results of some recent high-level meetings at the League offices in New York.
It turns out that the economic recession/depression has hit the League harder than has been publicized.
The crisis has already threatened some teams' construction and expansion plans. And it's become so bad that the New England Patriots have had to lay off several of their videographers/spies.
So, taking a cue from the Federal Government, the NFL top brass have decided to step in with a bailout plan that consists of several new policies designed to help the individual teams.
The new policies are being referred to collectively as the Troubled Athletics Rescue Plan.
As part of TARP, starting with the Fall 2009 season, the lowest performing players and coaches on each team will be given a bonus salary equal to the sum total of the highest performing player and coaches.
And for teams like the Chiefs that have experienced lost revenue due to poor attendance caused by lackluster on-field performance, the NFL will compensate them with funds taken from top-performing teams that have kept their attendance and revenues through high achievement on the field.
NFL is also reconfiguring the playoff structure as part of TARP.
Instead of having the teams with the best records advance through a single elimination bracket tournament, the League will pit the teams with the worst records against each other.
The teams that fail to advance on the field, score points and meet their other goals, will advance through the playoff system until only the worst are left to play in the Super Bowl.
League officials say that this new playoff scheme is designed to reward the worst teams in the league to make sure that they are able to stay around for next season.
"Let's face it," Schmoger Schmoodell told me, "Teams like the Kansas City Chief and the Detroit Lions are too big to fail. We need to make sure that we are coming through with a solid plan to prop them up."
Schmoger Schmoodell mentioned that there are other tactics available to league officials as part of the TARP package, including spotting the worst teams a three or four touchdown lead at the beginning of the game, or allowing them 12, 13, or even 14 players on the field at any given time.
"Those types of things will be game day decisions," Schmoger Schmoodell said.
tagged: Chiefs, Lions, NFL, TARP, economy, sports