It’s unclear whether enough owners will support playoff expansion

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell clearly wants to expand the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams.  Ultimately, however, it’s not Goodell’s call.

All rule changes require 24 of 32 owners to vote for the move.  According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, it’s unclear whether enough support an expansion of the playoff field.

“Until we have a discussion on it on the floor, it’s hard to say,” Giants co-owner John Mara told Maske.  “You need 24 votes in this league.  Is there enough support?  It’s hard to say.  I have mixed feelings on it.  I’ve always been opposed.  One of my concerns is when do you play the games.  I think there are some issues there.  I’m also concerned about watering the playoffs down.  But I’m still willing to listen to the other side.”

Goodell has suggested playing the two extra wild-card games on Friday night and Monday night.  Some (like us) may prefer the current Saturday doubleheader, a Sunday Thanksgiving-style tripleheader, and the final game of wild-card weekend on a Monday night.

Regardless of the specific format, Goodell wouldn’t be going public with the proposal if he didn’t believe it was viable.  Packers CEO Mark Murphy already has spoken out in favor of the move, which would allow the NFL to reduce the preseason by a week and recoup the lost revenue — and then some.

49 responses to “It’s unclear whether enough owners will support playoff expansion

  1. I do not want playoff expansion. It will allow mediocre teams like the Cowboys to get in. Even with expansion, the Cowboys will still find a way to miss the playoffs!

  2. Leave it alone. We dont want to have 8-8 teams make the playoffs other than being in a crappy division.

  3. I must be missing something. How do you shorten the preseason game one week (losing sales from 16 games) and recoup that cost over an additional 2 wild card games?

  4. I wonder how many owners will go along with Roger in his neverending quest to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

  5. Don’t diminish the integrity of the regular season by allowing more teams into the playoffs. Good teams will have playoff spots wrapped up even earlier and December will only be teams jockeying for seeds and .500 teams (and worse) trying to get in.

  6. Why not let all 32 teams make the playoffs? They way there will be LOTS of playoff games to put on TV! (It may be the only way Browns fans get to taste the post-season.)

    Good grief…

  7. It boggles my mind that this is even still and issue. Almost everything I’ve read would lead me to believe that over 90% of fans are totally against this.

    My first reaction to this story was a resounding “GOOD”, and I hope those 24 votes will never be reached in my lifetime.

  8. Isn’t it kind of weird that a commissioner of a non-profit organization is obsessed with changing the game by any-means-necessary to “try” and increase profits?

  9. The current system is fine the way it is. Each weekend of this season’s playoffs produced compelling action and a final outcome of the best two teams in the big game.

    Leave. It. Alone.

  10. I truly hope they do not expand the playoffs. It waters the whole thing down. My objection has nothing whatever to do with the logistics of scheduling the games.

    Too many playoff teams ruin sports leagues. One could argue that the nfl already has too many playoff teams.

  11. Just make it like most little league games are now, everyone gets to score a touchdown, we don’t keep score and everyone gets a trophy.

  12. This expansion idea is fast turning into the Pro Bowl. So many players opt out of the game that, you’re left with the 6th or 7th choices and marginal players.

  13. The only relationship between pre-season and the playoff games is money. However, in the relationship between games now and expanded playoffs, increased injuries loom very large.

    Will the greedy never assign a value to the health of their employees? It is, to me, appalling that such a suggestion is not connected to “time at risk” of the players.

    I listened on the radio as Don Hutson caught passes from Ted Fritch, so I do have some experience observing the league; it is not positive, either.

  14. The NFL keeps going this way, they will kill the golden goose. Imagine it, a wild card team with a losing record (I know, the Hawks from two years ago), gets lucky/hot and wins some post-season games and beats out teams with far superior stats and winds up in the SB. Or how about two such teams making it to Super Sunday? Wouldn’t that be exciting? Two of the worst, in the big game of the year.

    Thanks, but I’ll pass.

  15. Stop your GREEDY GRASPING, Goodell! The NFL and its playoff system are fine as is. There is NO NEED for a longer season and NO REASON for an expanded playoff–they are just stunts to make the league and team owners more money. I realize that Greed defines America, and that other pro sports have expanded their playoffs for the same cheap reason, but that doesn’t make it right. We also don’t need a 18-game schedule–stupid, and would amount to total exploitation of the players.

  16. No one but Goddell seems to want this. But that never seems to stop Rocket Roger. And once it happens, we’ll all be watching and the fans of the two additional teams will forget they ever hated the idea.

  17. If the playoffs expand to 16 teams (inevitable once they expand it to 14), the only meaningful regular season games will be mediocre teams fighting for the 7th and 8th seeds.

    Most of the excitement in the regular season would be gone.

  18. I understand the argument against expanding the playoffs, but the league needs to, and does, realize that from a business standpoint things need to be tweaked from time to time. They’ve got to find ways to keep expanding the business, because if the costs grow faster than the revenues, there’s a problem. Employees have to get paid, stadiums have to be built and refurnished, etc. That’s why you have to “stay greedy” – you can’t afford to let your product get stagnant, because generally speaking costs will continue to rise. If expanding the playoffs accomplishes the goal of making the league enough money to stay as awesome as it is, I’m all for it. If it’s just a whim to see if it’d be cool to have more playoff teams, then obviously I’d be against it.

  19. I feel compelled to remind all the opponents that in 1989, there were 28 NFL teams and 10 made the playoffs – 35% of the teams. Then in 1990, still with 28 teams, 12 made the playoffs. That’s 42.85% of the teams making the playoffs. Now there are 32 teams and still 12 playoff teams, or 37.5% of the teams. Move that to 14, and 43.75% of the teams are in the playoffs. I fail to see the travesty in this.

    And for the 1,000,000,000,000,000th time, play 3 playoff games each on Saturday and Sunday, at 12:00, 3:30 and 7:00 EST. If these times offend anyone in the Pacific time zone, get with the 21st century and get a DVR like everybody else.

    Next problem, please…

  20. Everyone knocking Goddell should take a breath and reflect on the parity in the NFL. He’s achieved a competitive balance that the NBA or MLB would kill for. And instead of recognizing him for building the most entertaining and unpredictable sports product in the world, you say he’s ruining the game, and he’s greedy.

    We just witnessed one of the most entertaining regular seasons and postseasons in the history of the league, and people really think it’s going in the wrong direction?

    This year the Cardinals and Steelers (?) would have made the playoffs, and if you saw how those teams were playing down the stretch, you’d be hard pressed to argue they didn’t deserve to play in the playoffs. EITHER of those teams could have won their conference, see AZ at SEA week 16.

  21. I hate the idea of playoff expansion. If the NFL is looking for a way to boost its television revenue while under the guise of caring about player safety, then why not consider adding an extra bye week? That would be an extra week of Thursday, Sunday and Monday night football, and 1PM and 4PM national games on CBS and Fox. Wouldn’t that make more money for the owners while keeping the integrity of the regular season?

    By adding the extra bye week, the league can also try to schedule a team’s bye week around a team’s Thursday night game (bye immediately before a team plays on Thursday) and/or any international games that the league will schedule in the future.

  22. With the chance to increase their bottom line, coupled with the increased pressure from their respective fan bases to win, I find it hard to believe that a majority of owners would vote against an expansion of the playoff format…

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