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"Enhanced season" is the latest front in the CBA battle

We mentioned it in a recent edition of PFT Daily, and a very recent tweet from the league’s labor-focused website serves only to reinforce our opinion.

In a battle between millionaires and billionaires, the average fan will be inclined not to take a side, instead opting for the posture of “you’re both going to hell.”  So the challenge will be for each side to find a way to connect with the average fan.

That’s why we’ve all heard from the league for months about the need for a rookie wage scale.  The union’s opposition to it, though in some respects having merit, for the most part misses the mark with the average fan.

And that’s why Packers president Mark Murphy headed straight for the media after Wednesday’s bargaining session between the league and the players’ union.

It’s also why NFLLabor.com’s Twitter page has pumped out a link to Mike Vanermause’s Sunday column on the matter, with this quote:  “Fans love idea of adding 2 meaningful games to schedule.”

The message?  The NFL wants to give us more football that matters, and the union doesn’t.  And if that’s how the debate is framed, it will be harder and harder for the NFLPA to get the average fan to support its position on more important issues, like the manner in which the revenue pie will be divided.

Why does public support matter, you ask?  Because politically-connected NFLPA Executive Director De Smith can’t wait to try to sic Congress on the NFL in the event of a work stoppage.  But Congress won’t be inclined to do a thing if the constituents of the elected representatives have lined up behind the folks who realize that something needs to be done about the players who become instant multi-millionaires without ever earning it — and who likewise want to give us more football that matters.

That said, it’s not a reason to be upset with the league.  If the union had a strong position that would resonate with the average fan, the union would be playing it up, too.

The only problem is that none of the union’s positions on any of the issues are resonating with anyone at this point.  It’s not to say the union’s positions are incorrect or misguided.  There’s just nothing about any of the union’s positions that will get the fans to make the kind of noise with their Representatives and Senators that will get enough members of Congress to give the NFL a hard time.

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34 Responses to “"Enhanced season" is the latest front in the CBA battle”
  1. Big Stretch says: Jun 20, 2010 12:43 PM

    Not all football fans want an “enhanced season”
    How enhanced will it be when we as fans are forced to watch a superbowl played with 2nd string players.
    Or how about the end of end of the season when some teams have locked up their division with 3-4 games to go and we are forced to watch teams save their starters for the playoffs.
    This is about as good an idea as having a franchise based in London is.
    F**K Goodell

  2. PatricktheDookie says: Jun 20, 2010 12:48 PM

    I’m a fan and I hate the idea. Too many games negates the importance of each individual game, and it also serves to ruin many of the benchmarks we use to evaluate special players (2000 yard seasons, etc).

  3. 90ragtop says: Jun 20, 2010 12:49 PM

    The only problem is that none of the union’s positions on any of the issues are resonating with anyone at this point.
    ******************
    Amen.

  4. edgy1957 says: Jun 20, 2010 12:53 PM

    Of course, the 2 extra games will ULTIMATELY be part of Roger Goodell’s World Domination Tour and the fans WON’T be able to attend them as they will be held overseas – something that the NFL doesn’t want to push out there because it wouldn’t help them, would it….

  5. funi says: Jun 20, 2010 1:04 PM

    Why not go to 2 preseason games and 17 regular season games. The 17th game would be played between teams in own conferance not schedules to play each other and be played in non NFL cities. They would be played same week in October. You could have Dallas play Az in Alberquere. Have sites in L.A. Sacremento, Vancouver, Montreal, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Boise Idaho, London to name a few. This will let fans who never seen a game finally see one.

  6. VoxVagina says: Jun 20, 2010 1:22 PM

    Goodell is trying to revolutionalize the game or something. But it’s making football so crappy to watch now. The NFL is a great league as it is. Fans want to see players healthy and competing at a high level. By playoff time, most players will be burnt out. This is bad for the players and bad for the fans.
    Goodell’s priorities:
    Protect QBs
    Bring the NFL overseas
    Play 2 more games
    All of these this is for money and I hate it.

  7. Stone says: Jun 20, 2010 1:31 PM

    What a crock. This fan is completely opposed to the extra two games. Football is way too brutal to extend the season. Stop the money grabs Goodell. The NFL is making more than enough money as it is.

  8. Draft King says: Jun 20, 2010 1:45 PM

    The 16 game regular season is great, but I’ve resigned myself as a fan to knowing that the regular season will almost for sure be expanded to 18 games under the new CBA. Regular season games won’t mean as much with more of them being played, which is a shame.

  9. LAEaglefan says: Jun 20, 2010 1:52 PM

    I’m all for protecting QB’s, but the refs go too far with it…flagging guys for roughing the passer when they just inadvertantly brush against the QB a little bit late. There has to be some judgment made as to “intent” on the part of the defensive player before calling a penalty which can potentially change the outcome of the game.
    As for overseas games….who needs it?
    I’m for the idea of adding 2 games to the regular season schedule. All the preseason games are for is to evaluate the rookies, non roster guys and players on the bubble. That’s what training camp is supposed to be for.

  10. Kris Jenkins is a Grizzly Bear says: Jun 20, 2010 1:56 PM

    what’s the problem with adding 2 more games? just add a second bye week, expand the rosters, and use mlb style disabled list rules so players can come back once put on IR.
    more football? YES PLEASE!

  11. EdBurns666 says: Jun 20, 2010 1:56 PM

    The Press’ll paint the idea of games overseas being a good thing, although seasoned fans know we’re just losing a home game. Goodell is Corporate. Why have the Draft on Primetime, and split it up over 3 days? Sponsors and Ads, in other words, $$$$$$$$$. I liked the Draft better on Saturday @ Noon, like it used to be. Goodell has no clue as to what Football Fans want. He only knows what the Leagues’ Bank account wants. Let him think he’s improving what Tagliabue helped improve. He dumber for thinking it. I’d rather they keep the Season at 16 games, and the Pre-Season at 4 games. The Coaches like the Pre-Season setup for roster evaluation. I’d rather see the best combination of players on these teams, rather than the Coaches rushing to make decisions in 2 games, and the last 4 games of an 18 game Season, with 2nd String players if the Conference is already locked up. I haven’t even touched the increased probability of injury either.

  12. Wellsee says: Jun 20, 2010 1:59 PM

    I’d love to see a poll on this. I’m another fan that doesn’t want 2 more “real” games. The regular season is almost too long as it is.

  13. bakaduin says: Jun 20, 2010 2:21 PM

    Are you kidding? The majority of fans DO NOT want more “real” games.
    All adding games does is give us:
    – a longer, more watered down, season
    – more injuries to key players
    – more boring games at the end of the season
    The only real benefit is the cut down of preseason games. I say knock off 2 preseason games and don’t add any game to the season. The great thing about the NFL is that with such few games every one can have importance.

  14. GBfanForever says: Jun 20, 2010 2:39 PM

    When you put someone in charge who’s sole principle is to make more money, the product will always get worse and worse. It happens in every business and the nfl is no different. Fans have begrudgingly put up with a lot of the new nfl (ie 1 commercial break every 3 minutes of clock and commercializing everything ) because the nfl is the only game in town. Until a challenger comes forward (fat chance! cough, collusion, cough) the nfl’s product will continue to go down hill. I like Goodell as a guy but he’s a lousy commissioner when it comes to the direction of the league (at least he had the guts to sit down rothelsburger),

  15. HarrisonHits says: Jun 20, 2010 3:02 PM

    I have zero interest in the “enhanced season”. I think it will result in a lot of late season meaningless games with a lot of injuries to players that will end up sitting out the playoffs as a result.
    Right now with 32 teams and 16 games there is an elegant system of rotation between the division opponents and teams of 2 other divisions plus 2 games the nfl can schedule at will or as dictated by other factors.
    The season is long enough as it is and the player’s bodies can only stand so much.

  16. TheToolofTools says: Jun 20, 2010 3:17 PM

    Let me make sure you ALL understand where I am coming from.
    That Super Bowl in New York will NOT be an enhanced Super Bowl.
    This NFL (Not For Long) is just killing itself.
    So is that stupid ass decision setting the table for Minnesota to get a Super Bowl if if builds a new stadium?
    Why can’t other “cold climate” teams now sue the league to get the game and just rotate it every 32 years through the NFL?
    I could see if New Jersey had a retractable roof on the damn thing… ok then.
    I hope it’s a blizzard and sucks and watch the spin miesters talk about “adjustment, this is the way the game used to be played, and ONLY IN NEW YORK BABY” ! While we watch a game that sucks and it boring.
    If you want to stop this nonsense, were the really famous and wealthy go to show…. let the damn playoffs run their coarse and the team with the best regular reason record hosts the Super Bowl (that way you won’t have teams [see Indy] giving games away at the end of the year because they don’t want players to get hurt.
    You dangle a damn Super Bowl home site in front of these overpaid/protected players and you’ll see guys killing themselves in those so played “meaningless end of season games ” after your in the playoffs.
    I know this will NEVER work.
    WHY?
    Because they are playing a Super Bowl in New Jersey in February.
    It’s all about the money.
    Trust me, with two weeks between the con-champ games and the Super Bowl, ANY town could host a Super Bowl.
    Proof?
    That Jacksonville Joke and they had years to prepare & I’ll leave it at that.
    [Feel free to worship me now].

  17. mikeincali says: Jun 20, 2010 3:45 PM

    the nfl has the best scheduling. why do they want to mess up that? wear would they add these 2 games from! its stupid!! players will only be able to play about 7 years from now on, and rb’s instead of gettin worn down at age 30 will be run down at 27 now!
    i like 1 or 2 over sea games a year but not more then that.

  18. Bious says: Jun 20, 2010 4:57 PM

    Oh for the love of god, we as fans are fine with the amount of games
    They are doing this for money and that is it…period…end of story
    Stop trying to say fans want 18 games

  19. BigSuede says: Jun 20, 2010 5:40 PM

    I very much doubt that fans want 18 games- reading though comment boards and message boards- most fans want 16 games- there is no reason to change-
    More doesn’t always equal better. The NBA for instance would be MUCH MUCH better if their regular season went down to 60 games…
    I also tend to side with the players on most issues- unlike other sports, football really disables its players- football players deserve most of the revenue teams generate- 60% seems fair to me.

  20. Packerhq.net says: Jun 20, 2010 6:36 PM

    The “Enhanced season” is a bargaining ploy folks so chill.
    I for one strongly believe the NFL needs a rookie cap and I know many of you agree. What’s puzzling is why the NFLPA is so against it when many vets have spoken out about immature rookies etc?
    I think those fans that are backing the players tend to forget the NFLPA is already making money off of video games,T-shirts etc add that in to what there taking home per game and well…I don’t feel sorry for them at all.

  21. giantcatfanhouse says: Jun 20, 2010 6:56 PM

    Another fan chiming in here… no, I don’t want to see 2 more games added … yes … Goodell is the worst thing to happen to the league.

  22. bcb171 says: Jun 20, 2010 8:44 PM

    It seems to me like the people that choose what comments go on this board had an order to be very selective on this post. I mean, come on PFT its a bit obvious. You know exactly what youre trying to do Florio. Hey people guess what? The NFL is a business and businesses survive with profit. Im just a freakin plumber with a finance degree and I understand that businesses dont survive without growth. And yes that means either growth or decline. It goes one way or the other. You people hate goodell, for whatever reason, and thats fine I guess but Im sure most of you dont know why you hate him. The NFL is making many people very wealthy and if your smart enough or athletic enough than thats great. Many of you sound like jealous fools speaking about, o they make too much money. Who the hell are you to say? Get off your asses and work harder and maybe youll get there someday. I know i went off in a few directions but seriously some of your ignorance and arrogance is completely moronic.

  23. Mike Daly says: Jun 20, 2010 9:36 PM

    If the Players Association can make a credible case, then people will listen. On the 18-game schedule I haven’t heard one; they had Tom Brady and Ray Lewis’ comments against an 18-game schedule and those comments aren’t credible. And the more I’ve learned about sports economics the more obvious it becomes that the dichotomy that players are more in the right than owners (a dichotomy used to effect by MLB’s players union most notably) is a false one; that the older split before the 59.4% split made more economic sense has become more obvious, and if the PA doesn’t want to compromise there it’s not for the betterment of the game.

  24. giantcatfanhouse says: Jun 20, 2010 10:14 PM

    Dear Mr. Plumber with the Finance Degree,
    You may step down off your throne now.
    Please do not assume we can’t think for ourselves, or lack any degree of business sense, ourselves.
    Also, please do presume to think for me, and tell me I have no clue why I do not like Mr. Goodell.
    I know exactly why.
    But I am not required by this site to explain it to you.
    It is not just this one thing. It is many things, which would take a great deal of time, of which I have no desire to spend, half the night typing out here, for your benefit, to debunk your presumptive blanket statement that people haven’t a clue, and are just lazy and jealous, why they hate Goodell.
    Which, by the way, you sound no less arrogant that those you accuse of being so.

  25. joe6606 says: Jun 20, 2010 10:49 PM

    There is not a single person I know that would prefer an expanded 18 game season.
    Anyone with half a brain knows that 2 extra games would only do 1 thing–cause a substantial increase in the number of injuries.
    So what would happen is either (1) teams sit their best players more often, especially if it seems likely the team will make the playoffs (2) Playoffs and superbowls will be played by the more and more 2nd stringers while the stars are hurt.
    Yes..sounds like a FABULOUS idea to me…

  26. Section731 says: Jun 20, 2010 10:58 PM

    I would hate what it would do for the records. Dickerson’s yards, Marino’s 5084, Sack records, TDs – they would all be broken.

  27. Yreyes23 says: Jun 20, 2010 11:05 PM

    What is wrong with 2 extra games? Most of the fans against the 2 games are not season ticket holders, I am, been for a long time and I’m sick and tired of being forced to pay same price for 4 meaningless games plus parking every year, don’t you love the sport enough and count the days until the season starts, I do, I say go for it, want to take a game to be played overseas I’m ok with it (don’t like it but still is a game that counts) as for $$$ disputes give me a break, rookies making 60 mill and might end up being a bust!!!! Owners get your stuff together if we have no football in 2011 you might as well enjoy your tv rev because you will lose a lot of fans, I personally have no sympathy for any side I can’t have when a bunch of people can’t agree on dividing a 2 bill pie, my only hope for new CBa is hopefully rookies stop making so much $$ without ever wearing NFL pads and hopefully veterans get more guaranteed money so we can stop so many holdouts and so many players wanting their contracts re done

  28. mcoope3 says: Jun 20, 2010 11:55 PM

    As a season ticket holder my problem is paying the same price for two meaningless games as for eight real games. More real games and less meaningless games would increase my value without costing teams anything. Getting rid of the meaningless preseason games without adding meaningful games in their place would cost teams ticket revenue, making it a difficult proposition. So in addition to the good of the game, a change would appeal to season ticket holders who would rather pay for 9 real games and 1 practice than 8 real games and 2 practices.

  29. floriosucksit says: Jun 21, 2010 12:07 AM

    The 18 game season is a train wreck waiting to happen.
    Prolonging the season to late February and
    playing on a frozen tundra is NOT how this game was designed.
    The early beginnings of the NFL the games, the season and Championship game were over by early to late December.
    The season should begin and end in the same year.
    Start the season earlier, play 14-16 games
    and it won’t matter where you have the SuperBowl.
    I understand the money issues, there are better ways than this. Somebody just needs to start thinking.

  30. fuddy says: Jun 21, 2010 7:22 AM

    Wow, what a bunch of whiners…
    Injuries this WAAAAHHHH
    Injuries that WAAAAAHHH
    Cold weather superbowl WAAAHHHH
    this isn’t baseball, this is football
    an 18 game season would be great, why would you not want more football? It doesn’t make the games any less important. Getting rid of two meaningless preseason games is great.
    Injuries? excuse me but aren’t the 2nd stringers supposed to be able to jump into a game and keep up the level of play? Isn’t that what they get paid for?

  31. edgy1957 says: Jun 21, 2010 11:25 AM

    I can’t help but laugh at some of the comments:
    1. Don’t give rookies money because they haven’t proved themselves and could become busts and the same guy is there pissing all over the owner for giving the money to a veteran who had proven himself but isn’t earning his new contract but was severely underpaid by his rookie contract.
    2. I hate having to pay for meaningless preseason games. Well, if Commissar Goodell gets his way then you’ll have to pay for an even MORE meaningless game: a “D-League” exhibition (Don’t think for one moment that the owners are going to give up a single penny of their revenue). The two extra games could potentially end up causing more injuries and the games at the end of the season will resemble a preseason game but hey, they count, right? Tell that to the fans of the Colts, who were whining about the “preseason” games that they were treated to at the end of the season. Imagine the last month being played by guys who should be in the UFL or the CFL. Yeah, you’re getting every penny that you paid for because it all counts, right?
    3. Risk, Risk, Risk. I see your lips flapping but nothing’s coming out of them. Seriously, other than NE, NO TEAM has built a stadium with its own money. Between the state and local governments, the NFL and the fans via a PSL, teams have paid less than 25% for their stadiums. Only 7 of the 21 stadiums built since 1992 were financed by more than half by the teams and THOSE teams did their part with MOSTLY PSL money and the owners risked NOTHING.
    The owners aren’t hurt as much by the new split as you might think. The Packers, a team that Florio keeps mentioning, lost money from their investments and NOT the NFL. The ones who are “hurt” are the ones who don’t have the extra money coming in from new stadiums, which allows them to keep significant portions of their revenue away from sharing with the other owners but what must be shared with the players. What has happened is that the average has gone up but their portion hasn’t. More of the burden falls on the “poorer” teams because they can’t generate the extra revenue and that’s NOT the players’ fault. When they build the new stadiums – AT NO RISK TO THEMSELVES – they also get access to ancillary income that they DO NOT SHARE with the players or the other owners and yet, they want to take part of the income that they do get BECAUSE OF THE PLAYERS (Yeah, tell me how Jerry generated billions of dollars with the AFL, again) and they want to build more palaces and sports complexes and NOT share the income with the other owners OR the players. You can talk risk all day but even Forrest Gump would have been able to run the Dallas Cowboys during Jerry Jones’ reign of error.

  32. Mike Daly says: Jun 21, 2010 12:03 PM

    joe6606 – on what do you base the premise that adding more games means a substantial increase in injuries? There has never been a correlation between number of games and frequency of injuries.

  33. edgy1957 says: Jun 21, 2010 12:15 PM

    One other thing: when NFL Europe(a) was going on, the NFLPA gave the owners more than $20 million in credits to help them pay for the league.

  34. edgy1957 says: Jun 21, 2010 1:21 PM

    # Mike Daly says:
    joe6606 – on what do you base the premise that adding more games means a substantial increase in injuries? There has never been a correlation between number of games and frequency of injuries.
    ***************************************
    So, they just substantially increased roster size for nothing? Really, is that your argument?

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