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Giants’ John Mara opposes proposed playoff expansion

john-mara Getty Images

While many assume the NFL’s playoff expansion plan is a “when, not if” situation, it’s not something that’s happening without some serious discussion.

While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said he’s in favor of it (and as the owner of a perennial 8-8 team, why not?), there are others who aren’t.

Giants president John Mara told Sal Paolantonio of ESPN that he was against boosting the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams.

“I’m in the minority. I’m against it,” Mara said.

He might be in the minority, but he’s part of the old, influential line of owners, and there might be more who think the way he does.

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35 Responses to “Giants’ John Mara opposes proposed playoff expansion”
  1. packfaninthehook says: May 20, 2014 9:23 AM

    Good on you Mr. Mara. Here’s hoping he has the balls to hold the line and stop the insanity.

  2. culturecesspool says: May 20, 2014 9:23 AM

    Steelers, Vikings, and Browns Need rule changes to get into the playoffs.

  3. nard100 says: May 20, 2014 9:24 AM

    Me too. It doesn’t help the playoffs to bring in cannon fodder. Chances are good when they implement this the team it will let in will be under .500. Why do it? Revenue. and the fans of teams that shouldn’t be in the playoffs will have something to cheer while their teams get destroyed by the top seeds. Brilliant.

  4. osiris33 says: May 20, 2014 9:26 AM

    What an old foggie. Every year a deserving team gets left out so the #2 seed can have a bye week. Why should you get a bye week for finishing 2nd? Add the new teams already.

  5. mburkett1980 says: May 20, 2014 9:31 AM

    The league once had 28 teams, 12 playoffs teams, which equals approximately 43%.

    The league now has 32 teams, 12 playoff teams, which equals approximately 37.5%.

    If the league went to 14 playoff teams, it would equal 43.75%.

    It seems as though the league should adapt its playoff format to the # of teams it has now.

    There also needs to be a study done on the value of winning your division, in this new, watered down, 4 division format. Should that 4th division winner, almost assuredly destined to win fewer than 10 games, automatically get to host over the top non-division winner, almost assuredly destined to have won 10 or more games.

    Before realignment, we almost never saw division winners with 9-7/8-8 records, but it happens every year now. Also in the past, prior to realignment, the best wildcard team got to host a playoff game, but not anymore.

  6. buffi001 says: May 20, 2014 9:32 AM

    Why does this bozo, Mara, have any weight in the NFL?. He is contrary and vindictive. I will never forgive him for his self-serving , and unfair punishment of the Cowboys and Redskins. And what good did it do the Giants? He inherited all he has, and is a “man of priviledge” out of touch with NFL fans

  7. sensiblevoice says: May 20, 2014 9:32 AM

    Agreed!

  8. jpb12 says: May 20, 2014 9:35 AM

    The Voice of Reason

  9. buffi001 says: May 20, 2014 9:36 AM

    All he did by penalizing teams within his division ( which was a direct conflict of interest) was to weaken the NFC East to the point where they are the laughing stock of the NFL……and even with this edge his Giants couldn’t win the Division

  10. agpowell2 says: May 20, 2014 9:37 AM

    I agree with Mara.

    However, that isn’t a flattering picture of him.

  11. chaseutley says: May 20, 2014 9:39 AM

    Add playoff games. But add them only on the condition that they also eliminate 2 preseason games.

  12. rufustfireflyjr says: May 20, 2014 9:42 AM

    As a Redskins fan who hated the way that Mara pushed for the salary cap penalty levied against my team for failing to illegally collude with the other owners to violate the last CBA, I hate to say this, but I agree with him on this expanded playoffs issue. If you expand the playoffs, you devalue the regular season. The NFL should leave well enough alone.

  13. jjgmrg901 says: May 20, 2014 9:51 AM

    Of course the Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboy fans need to call John Mara names. After all they were the ones who got caught trying to circumvent the salary cap agreement. Then again they have how many Super Bowl victories in the 21st Century?
    We should not increase the number of playoff teams! As few folks have mentioned why water it down any more.

  14. willyalistentothis says: May 20, 2014 9:54 AM

    Playoff expansion is a complete cash grab. The NFL has the best regular season going, and anything to devalue this, may fill the pockets on the front side, but will hurt the product in the long run. In the face of the NFLs raging bull market, it is nice to see somebody acting grounded and thinking about the bigger picture.

  15. crosstheplane says: May 20, 2014 10:05 AM

    I appreciate the selectivity of the current playoff format. If your team isn’t good enough to make the playoffs, play better.

  16. wtfchiefs says: May 20, 2014 10:07 AM

    To keep the concussions down the owners also would like to expand the Super Bowl to have a third place game, a fifth place game, and a seventh place game.Then, every other team left over could play in a round robin style tournament for ninth.

  17. metalhead65 says: May 20, 2014 10:11 AM

    good for him! hopefully he has more sway than you think he does. despite what they say now you know that when these 2 teams make money more will want to be added and the NFL will not turn more money and before you know it the league will be just like the nba and hockey where only the very worst teams do not make the playoffs.

  18. charmcitychampions says: May 20, 2014 10:12 AM

    Mara is a self serving, phony, vile POS…but he’s right this time.

  19. Hugh Jass says: May 20, 2014 10:12 AM

    I definitely approve playoff expansion…..

    I will enjoy seeing my Giants crush the Cowgirls/Skins/Eagles for a 3rd time every season.

  20. haterrus says: May 20, 2014 10:12 AM

    suck a egg mara

  21. haterrus says: May 20, 2014 10:17 AM

    my proposal if different i say add 4 team 2 per conference truly have a wild card weekend week 1 —4 games all wild card team seed 4-8 playing -week two have seed 3 and 4 play wild card winners
    week 3 have seed 1 and 2 play the winners
    week 4 is confernece weekend
    week 5 is the pro bowl
    week 6 is the super bowl

    this way all divsion champ get one bye week —seed 1 and 2 get two weeks off to heal their bodies

    my goal is more football more football more football

  22. justintuckrule says: May 20, 2014 10:19 AM

    Lol at skins and cowboys fans still whining. News flash, he did you a favor. Instead of blowing that cap money on more Albert haynesworths, he forced you to draft better which is what you did. You should be thanking him for that and taking this stance against greedball jones for the better long term health of the league. Anyone with a pair of eyes like Cuban should recognize that this nfl bubble is about to burst especially if the joneses keep oversaturating us with crummy product (thurs. Night?).

  23. nflviewer says: May 20, 2014 10:21 AM

    I’m a big football fan but I have no interest in another two playoff games on the opening week of playoffs.

    The four afternoon slots for Saturday and Sunday are filled already, and the NFL doesn’t seem to want to put three games on one day so that would mean one game on Friday night and one game on Monday night. I have no interest in watching playoff games on either night. I also think a Monday night playoff game would be an significant disadvantage for participating teams and that doesn’t appeal to me as a fan.

    I think 30% of teams in the playoffs are enough, so I wouldn’t mind if the NFL contracted from 12 playoff teams to 10, but they won’t do that.

    Sports always involve unexpected outcomes. If the outcomes were determined by who had a better record on paper, then there would be no reason to watch the games. It’s good to see two great teams in the Super Bowl like the Colts-Saints matchup a few years ago, but its also great to see an upset with a surprise team like the Giants over the Patriots (both times), the Packers over the Steelers, and the Ravens over the 49ers.

    Unless the NFL gets rid of divisions, it should keep the home playoff game for division winners. Why have teams play 37.5% of their games in their divisions if teams don’t get rewarded for winning their divisions?

    The Seahawks made the playoffs in 2010 at 7-9 but the Giants and Bucaneers both missed the playoffs at 10-6. That’s life, “them’s the breaks”. It even sort of balanced out over the next three years because the Giants won a Super Bowl off a 9-7 NFC East champion season the next year, and the NFC West became a division where the Seahawks had to go 13-3 to win the NFC West (and the Super Bowl).

  24. robert831 says: May 20, 2014 10:31 AM

    Why is the league trying to prove Mark Cuban right? Stop changing the rules!!! The only major US professional league that has a valuable regular season that gets fans to watch every game is the NFL, and they want to get rid of it…amazingly stupid.

  25. cbosa says: May 20, 2014 10:36 AM

    When a team goes 7-9 or 6-10 and makes the playoffs I wonder how many people are going to be saying, “man expanding the playoffs was a great idea, look at the great matchups we have.”

  26. somethinghappeninghere says: May 20, 2014 10:41 AM

    I agree…we really do need to keep borderline crappy team out of the playoffs. The AFC had two wildcard teams, the Chiefs and Chargers, that really didn’t deserve to be there. The Chiefs because the only teams they beat on a very weak schedule were losing teams (they never beat Denver or any serious playoff teams), and the Chargers because as usual they sucked until the last half of the season. So what if the Chargers beat the Bengals? they’re the Bengals!

    It’ll only work in the NFC, until the AFC becauses equally as strong. Cards shoulda made playoffs last year!

  27. pillowporkers says: May 20, 2014 10:52 AM

    It’s going to happen so your comments are futile. 14/32 isn’t too bad. 16/32 is when it would be too much for me.

  28. notthetroll says: May 20, 2014 10:55 AM

    May 20, 2014 9:51 AM

    Of course the Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboy fans need to call John Mara names. After all they were the ones who got caught trying to circumvent the salary cap agreement. Then again they have how many Super Bowl victories in the 21st Century?
    We should not increase the number of playoff teams! As few folks have mentioned why water it down any more
    Lots of issues here. 1. There was no salary cap agreement when the CBA expired, period. 2. SB victories are irrelevant as Jacksonville et. al still gets a vote. 3. The team is called Dallas Cowboys. The possessive form of that word would be Cowboys’. 4. The team is named Washington Redskins. The political correctness police have already been called, go back to your homes, nothing to see here. 5. The Giants didn’t raise the flag on the issue of the uncapped year for fairness at all, it was purely self serving, period. Talking about mismanagement of the cap by these teams without mentioning these penalties doesn’t tell the whole story.

  29. nflviewer says: May 20, 2014 11:32 AM

    “1. There was no salary cap agreement when the CBA expired, period.”

    and

    “5. The Giants didn’t raise the flag on the issue of the uncapped year for fairness at all, it was purely self serving, period.”

    What’s with the crazy conspiracy theories? No one has to like John Mara or any other NFL owner, but John Mara doesn’t run the NFL and the Giants get one vote just like all 31 other teams. The 30 teams besides the Redskins and Cowboys voted to penalize those teams’s cap levels in 2012 and 2013 and the NFL players’ union approved. So the other 30 owners and the players approved. The federal courts approved as well.

    I know its entertaining for some fans to act as if some owner they hate is secretly controlling the NFL but that isn’t the case any more than believing that Roger Goodell controls the NFL without the support of a majority of the owners (the owners could fire Goodell if they disagreed with him, and there is a clear example of that from baseball when the owners fired Commissioner Fay Vincent).

    The issue with the Redskins and Cowboys were that both teams adjusted player contracts so that a lot of what would have counted as salary cap payments in 2011 and later years were accounted for in 2010, an uncapped year. The NFL teams had informally agreed to treat 2010 as having a salary cap since they expected the renewed CBA in 2011 to continue the salary cap. The party that had the best legal chance to challenge that decision was the players’ union. The union could have challenged that under antitrust grounds but the union agreed to accept the Redskins and Cowboys punishment when the NFL agreed that the cap for the other 30 teams would rise the same amount that the Redskins and Cowboys were docked.

    Anyone can whine and moan and pretend that John Mara made the decisionbut all Mara did was serve on the team owners committee that presented the matter to the other owners for a vote. If Mara had been in the minority, then the Redskins and Cowboys wouldn’t have been penalized.

  30. realfootballfan says: May 20, 2014 11:37 AM

    Is it a coincidence that he is a direct descendant of the old guard and not one of these new dumb owners who are ruining the league along with their puppet commissioner? I don’t think so.

  31. gbmickey says: May 20, 2014 3:39 PM

    Why cant they just leave well enough alone. You would think they would take a cue from the watered down NBA does anyone even watch the opening rounds?

  32. ohnoflorio says: May 20, 2014 5:58 PM

    This guy really needs to go away. When is enough enough? He ISNT the commish, nor is he half the man his father was….the guy is a joke.

  33. n0hopeleft says: May 20, 2014 9:46 PM

    The year that the Redskins and Cowboys used more money than every other team, the GIANTS won the SuperBowl. Go cry.

  34. kev86 says: May 21, 2014 8:10 AM

    Mara for Commish!!

  35. kpmom says: May 27, 2014 4:26 PM

    I have no problem with them adding 2 teams to the playoffs, but I think they should change how you get in. Take the top 14 teams overall by regular season record. You won’t be guaranteed a playoff spot just by winning your division. Why should a 8-8 team get in over an 10-6 team? That’s how I think it should be if they are going to expand the playoffs. If you’re gonna open up 2 more spots, you gotta make it harder to get them.

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