When it comes to rule changes, the Commissioner is the President — and the owners are Congress.
Roger Goodell recently has made it clear that his legislative agenda for the 2014 offseason will include expanding the playoffs and ditching the one-point version of the post-touchdown ritual. At least one of the 24 men who ultimately will vote on any proposed rule changes agrees.
Packers CEO Mark Murphy tells WSCO-FM radio in Appleton that he supports both proposed adjustments to the rulebook.
“Right now of the 32 teams only 12 make it,” Murphy said. “I don’t think we want to get where, not to criticize other sports, but, it seems like everybody makes it. If we did the discussion would be one additional wild-card team in each conference so it would still be less than 50 percent of the teams, 14 out of 32.”
Then there’s the real motivation for the potential change. The sweet sound of a ringing cash register.
“I would be in favor of it in the sense that it’s a way to add additional revenue,” Murphy said.
“If we could [add two wild-card teams] and make changes in the preseason, maybe eliminate a preseason game, something along those lines, [because] our preseason, really, is not of a high quality anymore,” Murphy added. “So, I think that trade off would be really positive for the fans.”
Ultimately, expanding the postseason is about offsetting the money lost by losing a week of the preseason, which the league desperately wants to do. If the NFL maximizes the rights fees via placement of games in prime time on Sunday night and Monday night (not Friday night), the reduced revenues from a shrunken preseason will be overshadowed by the extra dollars from two extra postseason games.
As to the extra point, Murphy agrees with getting rid of it, due to the combination of the automatic nature of the one-pointer and the reduced injury risk. Murphy mentioned that the Packers lost defensive lineman Justin Harrell to an injury that happened during a traditional extra-point play.