Should the league "enhance" the season?

Today, NFL owners are meeting in Atlanta to discuss the “enhanced” season.  It’s possible that the owners will vote on the matter, especially since most of the football people, many of whom  could be opposed to a reduced preseason, are otherwise occupied with, you know, practices and games.

Once the meeting concludes, we’ll take a broader look at the pros and the cons of the “enhanced” season, along with some details that could dramatically impact the eventual fate of the measure — whether the union will agree to do it, and how much money the union would want to increase the number of regular-season games from 16 to 18, with the understanding that, in turn, the number of preseason games would be cut in half.

Regardless of whether enough owners will endorse the move, the league office’s position is clear.  Commissioner Roger Goodell has on numerous occasions spoken out in favor of shifting the 20-game schedule from 16 real games and four fake ones to 18 and two.  And the league office has posted at its labor-specific website a blurb regarding an article in Dolphin Digest.  Former NFL player Tom Curtis, publisher of Dolphin Digest, gives a “[b]ig thumbs up” to the notion of increasing the length of the regular season by two games.

“No matter what it takes to get a new CBA agreement between the owners
and players, it will dictate an 18-game regular season
and two preseason games,” Curtis writes.

“With the offseason training programs, minicamps, and required
conditioning, the players do not need more than two preseason games.  And coaches already know, within a couple of players, the
make-up of their final roster after a few weeks of training camp.

“The fans will be the real beneficiaries of the extended regular
season.  Their season-ticket dollars will be better
spent and they get two more weeks of real NFL football.”

We’ve yet to develop a final opinion on the matter.  Before we do, we’d like to hear what you have to say about it.  So feel free to drop a comment on the question of whether you want the NFL to play 16 regular-season games and four preseason games, or 18 regular-season games and two preseason games.

90 responses to “Should the league "enhance" the season?

  1. Why not expand to 17 games? That way you either have a winning season or not. None of this 8 and 8 or 9 and 9 crap. Then you could make pre-season 3 games – one at home, one on the road and another at another stadium in your home territory. Give the fans that are unable to see their team a chance to see them in their own town. In addition, with 17 games, each team could play another game at a neutral (London or LA) site. Flame away.

  2. “The fans will be the real beneficiaries of the extended regular season. Their season-ticket dollars will be better spent and they get two more weeks of real NFL football.”
    Oh please, tickets will increase based on the fact that “You get 2 more season games” even though you are paying for the same number of games. Though maybe the fact that you spend more for more season games makes it worth it.

  3. Keep the regular season at 16 games (it works so well now) and drop the preseason games to 3. Otherwise you’ll be playing regular season games either in August in Miami or through January in Green Bay. More regular season games = more injuries. Help owners out by paying rookies less $$ through a true slotted system like the NBA.

  4. So are the NFL owners offering to increase everyone’s pay based on playing two more games? That should be a minimum requirement before this is even considered. Of course, management asking for more work with no increase in pay is becoming an American tradition.

  5. @ TheDPR says:
    August 25, 2010 12:52 PM
    I want 17 regular season games and 3 preseason.
    It would never happen.
    Why? The owners get 2 home preseason games each, and the uneven numbers would mean that 16 teams wouldn’t get 2 home games. I wouldn’t mind 17 games with the 17th game being at a neutral site. Imagine the Browns trying to fill up The Horseshoe (of course how my Browns have played lately they might have a hard time filling Akron’s new stadium), or the Lions trying to
    fill up “The Big House” (as a Buckeye fan I just threw up a little bit.
    What I would like to see more than anything is a reduction in the prices of preseason tickets AND the erasure of the policy that makes season ticket buyers pay for preseason, too. To have to pay full price for 2 games starring players that are much more likely to be playing in the UFL than the NFL isn’t appealing for me. I am not asking this for myself. I have NFL Sunday ticket, so it doesn’t matter to me. But there are a lot of fans who this rule directly affects.
    I said before, it isn’t that fans hate the preseason…the fans hate paying regular season prices for preseason games.

  6. I would love for the season to be increased! However!
    The players are grinding at it for almost 6 months a year from opening of training camps at the end of July until Superbowl time in early February.
    The extended season will no doubt take more toll on the players bodies and shorten careers and skew stats and records that have been long with standing.
    I am in favor of the new 18game format because I am a fan of the game and want more of it. The players need to cut a deal to extend the number of bye weeks per team to atleast 2 instead of the current one.
    Whether the lockout happens will depend on how much the owner are willing to offer the union for the extended games. I think we will definitely be looking at a lockout because right now the preseason tickets cost the same as the regular season games. So all in all there will not be any new revenue generated via ticket sales in an 18 game schedule but the players want more compensation. This will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  7. “enhanced”
    yeah. Can I get Albert Haynesworth in here to demonstrate those quotations?
    Then afterwords maybe he can face-stomp whoever is pushing this crap. I haven’t seen better crap-pushing since the health-care bill.
    waa waaaa waaaaaaaaa

  8. I’m a season ticket holder for the Ravens and I would prefer they stick to the 16 game regular season. If we go to 18 games, the likely hood of meaningless December/January games significantly increases. I’d rather sit outside in 80 degree weather for meaningless football than 30 degree weather. I’m afraid the vital importance of each regular season Sunday will get watered down. What makes the NFL great is that you can’t take ANY Sunday off, every single game could make or break your season. I would also be fearful of when your team is having a bad/rebuilding year 18 games is going to feel like an eternity. By week 14 you know who the upper echelon teams are and who the middle of the road lucky to squeak in the playoffs teams are. We don’t need more weeks of top teams going through the motions, more weeks of bad teams losing 31-3 at home in front of frozen fans in the middle/late January. If the NFL is worried about the game day stadium experience, DO NOT go to an 18 week season. It’s going to be hard to convince the wife that we need $2k to renew our tickets every year in March when 6 weeks ago we sat through a 31-3 meaningless January 21 game in 24 degree weather when we have a $2500 HDTV with the $300 Sunday Ticket package at home. Give me meaningless football in August anytime, great games to take your kids to get the stadium experience.

  9. Any added games should be coupled with an increase in the amount of active players on a teams roster. This would help lessen the wear and tear on starters who also lay special teams. Player percentage of gross should increase. Rookie wage scale will help save billions.

  10. I think 17 is great. Makes it more natural to play in different venues which I think is good for the game and fun to track. One thing I have not seen mentioned and that I have thought would be a natural solution whether 17 or 18 games, give each player a personal ‘bye’ week (or two). You could do this on a semi random basis to keep positions groups balanced, or give the teams more flexibility. In theory, if the full teams are available at the end of the season, it should also make for more compelling end of season football.

  11. Don’t dilute the season. The excitement of each game in part is because there are so few. Each game represents about 6.5% of a 16 game season. 14 games was what I thought was right back when. Currently for me, at the end of the season it starts feeling old and than to add in the playoff and super bowl, I feel it’s long enough.

  12. There is nothing wrong with the regular season (OK, other than having different OT rules than post season games). If they want a change for the sake of cvhange…kill 2 preseason games outright, leave the 16 game schedule, start real football 1 week earlier, and add another bye week for each team. Make all AFC teams have same two bye weeks, and all NFC teams have the same two bye weeks (on different weeks than the AFC) No more adevantage/disadvant age because a division rival gets a “better” bye week slot, and the end of the season dates are unchanged. The only thing looking to be “enhanced” is the bottom line. Just a scheme to justify higher prices because the same number of games (assuming 2 preseason games are cut) will have two more “meaningful” games. That’s why the keep saying they will be added on to the end of the season when the games supposedly seem to mean more. It’s insulting that they believe fans won’t be able to see that

  13. lets see….
    players will want more money for more real games so there will be some sort of rookie pay scale to help pay the expanded saleries. more injuries and fatigue so you will have to expand roster limits which also costs more. Have to change the scheduling formula and the added expense of an extra away game.
    just what the owners need to do when they should be focusing on 2011 for lockout/strike purposes.
    Now they will complain about the added costs of 18 games and they need more of the pie to pay for it all.
    screw 18 games. totally messes up the balance of importance of each game and division games.

  14. “The fans will be the real beneficiaries of the extended regular season. Their season-ticket dollars will be better spent and they get two more weeks of real NFL football.”
    What giant greedy brass balls. The next time the owners truly do something for the fans will be the FIRST.
    The owners like to p*ss and sh*t on the fans and then tell them it’s raining lemonade and gumdrops.

  15. Just cut the preseason to 3 games and leave the regular season at 16. If anything, change to 3 & 17. But what are they thinking? Not long ago the league started exploring ways to make the last few games of the season more meaningful. Adding two more games just makes that problem worse. It will also dilute the quality of play at the very time fans want it to the best: the playoffs.

  16. @TheDPR – you are 100 percent EXACTLY right.
    Setting injuries aside..
    Have you seen how Poopy your team plays in the first few preseason games??
    Dont you want to get your new draft picks who are late rounders a chance to shine?
    They need these games!!
    but 3 is plenty and 17 has a great ring to it.
    2 is not enough. People will start to play the starters entire games and have no idea whats going on with there undrafted and late round picks

  17. This is a terrible idea.
    The Fans will benefit by not having to buy 4 preseason games??? It is outrageous that the NFL forces FANS to buy preseason games to begin with. Only buying 2 now at FULL price does not solve the outrageous insult this is in any way.
    What about all the records we have come to know any love?
    So with 18 regular season games, I guess I will no longer need to watch 75% of NFL games in December (the have’s and the have not’s will be well established 12, 13 games into the NFL season).
    Why not have 26 regular season games? where does the insanity stop? Simply because the NFL owners and players are stealing money from fans by forcing FULL price preseason game tickets, does not justify expanding the season. Here is an idea, REDUCE the money owners and players get from selling 20 game tickets to 16 regular season tickets and FREE preseason tickets (or highest bidder, which should be $0.00).
    What NFL player can actually get through a 18 game regular season PLUS a potential 4 game playoff. you are talking 24 weeks of NFL games now, 6 months!!! When does it become to much?
    What is wrong with the 16 game regular season? If it aint broke, why fix it? oh that’s right money…

  18. I like the idea of an enhanced season, but with injuries being a factor, I’d like to see the 53 man roster increased to 58 (Practice Squad would be included) As a matter of fact. Kill the preseason and have a 63 man roster. Sweet!

  19. Anyone who thinks that the owners will keep prices flat when adding two extra regular season games to the schedule is a food.
    There has to be some compensation for the players, or the NFLPA will reject this in a heartbeat.

  20. I’m all for it. I can see injuries being a concern but beyond that I’d like to see it. Preseason games are meaningless…..

  21. The NFL doesn’t care about the fans and is doing nothing for the fans. It’s all about “Maximizing Revenue”. Most of these guys can’t stay healthy for 16 games so why would that change for 18? Keep as is and (Heaven forbid) make the pre-season games more affordable and make it more like a ttraining camp style event. I know, will never happen.

  22. I agree with the suggestion for 16+3. Use that extra week to give each team two bye weeks. Players are getting beat up enough as it is, I think an 18 week season will result in decimated teams competing in the playoffs.
    Of course, who cares as long as the NFL makes more badly-needed money. I’m sure ol’ Roger wants to replace that ’86 Buick he’s driving around.

  23. You need to watch your framing, man…you can’t “shift” apples into oranges. 2 more reg. games means two more full games of wear and tear on starters’ bodies. The last two weeks of the season generally determine which marginal teams will lose in the first two rounds of the playoffs, with only a few notable exceptions. It’s more revenue for small-market teams to get them to agree to lower overall, but higher than they would like, players salaries…

  24. They really shouldn’t expand the regular season to 18 games until they expand the league to 36 teams, because then you could have six 6-team divisions and the 18-game schedule would be perfect. You would have:
    – ten intradivisional games, playing each team home-and-home
    – four non-division intraconference games
    – four non-conference games
    With six team divisions, the math works perfectly for the out-of-division games AND you could reintroduce the strength-of-schedule/better teams play better team a bit back into things.
    (Note: I REALLY have looked into this. This next part is math-y and nerd-y.)
    For the games within the conference, you could have group the teams so that the first and second-place teams played each other, the third and fourth-place teams played each other, and the fifth and sixth-place teams played each other. Like this…
    East #1 and East #2 play Central #1 and #2 and West #1 and #2
    Central #1 and Central #2 play East #1 and #2 and West #1 and #2
    West 1 and West #2 play East #1 and #2 and Central #1 and #2
    And that would work for the third and fourth, and fifth and sixth-place teams, too, for four games per team making 14 total intraconference games.
    Then for the cross-conference games, if you match-up divisions like East vs. East, Central or West, you can match-up the teams and get four games per team.
    #1 plays #1, #2, #3, #4
    #2 plays #1, #2, #3, #5
    #3 plays #1. #2, #3, #6
    #4 plays #1, #4, #5, #6
    #5 plays #2, #4, #5, #6
    #6 plays #3, #4, #5, #6
    That gets you from 14 to 18 games.
    The biggest problem with the four-team divisions is the weakest ones get the 8-8 team into the playoffs, so having six 6-team divisions would largely solve that.
    I know there is too much involved in expansion for the players to really push “four new teams” (and 220-ish new jobs) as a trade-off for an 18-game schedule, but if I were the commissioner I would take at LEAST take a look at it, because surely they could find four more markets that would love to have an NFL team.

  25. Sundays used to be sacred. You waited all week for Sunday afternoon. Now it’s Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, Monday night and for significant chunks of the season, Saturday night and Thursday night too.
    The NFL rose to become King of the Hill because they resisted the urge to become over-exposed. That was the genius of the Sunday ticket – the game in your area sucks? Change the channel to a better game. With so many “feature” games every week, Sunday afternoon doesn’t seem so special any more. Week one of the season is the perfect example. Thursday night season opener. Sunday Night Game. 2 Monday nighters. What are you going to do if the 3 games at 4 o’clock on Sunday are all snoozers? With 2 of the 3 games featuring NFC West matuch-ups, it’s a distinct possibility.
    Expanding the season to 18 games is the next step in that evolution. I cannot conceive of how 2 additional games will lead to a more competitive product on the field. If anything, it’ll lead to more injuries. It will lead to more teams benching their starters later in the season once post-season seeding has been sewn up. It will lead to teams having less ability to find and groom talent.
    It is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. The league needs to be honest about what this is – a cash grab.

  26. I would like to see the preseason eliminated. And training camp.
    But, to make that happen, I’d like to see pro football players become pros and go to work 5 days a week, year round, like the rest of us. If they practiced year round, there’d be no need for abusive training camps or more than maybe a scrimmage or two in August. And maybe they’d only need a week or so in full pads – just to get revved up for the season.
    It would get rid of the desperation that injured players and bubble players feel in camp – folks would see the progression of players long before any cutdown date. And there’d be none of this Favre / Haynesworth foolishness. Show up for work or pay the penalties.
    Roger the Dodger for Commish! No, for King!

  27. I think there should be 19 preseason games and just one regular season one. Then, all the 1-0 teams make the playoffs.

  28. The game is so brutally violent that I fear adding 2 more games will make playoff football less appealing, more of a war of attrition.

  29. Mike you got it right man.
    Yeah, I want two more regular season cames so that the whole league goes on injured reserve in time for the playoffs.
    You eight, four team divisions with some symmetry to the sked – 16 games makes the most sense . Sorry 18 games is a big money grab. You think they’re gonna stop at 18 ?

  30. Leave it alone. I don’t want to see ‘the replacements’ every time December comes along. Its hard enough for most guys to stay healthy, and I don’t want to see all the coaches trying to ‘shorten’ the games, due to trying to stay healthy and limit the number of plays the lineman are participating in.
    I know they’d likely have a larger rotation, but at the end of the season, I’d prefer not to have my back up G getting blown up and giving up a sack/fumble that changes the whole game.
    Also, I like the current records that exist and discussing who can compete to break them. If the games go up to 18, there is a chance (if anyone stays healthy) that the old records become easy (relatively) to get to.

  31. I’m divided, while I DO want to see the pre-season shortened, I don’t like the idea of an 18 game season.
    I believe the players when they say they are beat by game 16. If the roster is expanded, you just get additional sub-standard players. The team left standing will probably be the one that lucks out with the fewest injuries.
    I’m assuming dropping the two pre-season games and sticking with a 16 game season is out of the question, but that’s the only way the FANS will win.
    On balance, I’m against it.

  32. I’m for anything that reduces the current 4-fake-games to 2-fake-games. Just think, if we were in the enhanced season right now, the Saints would be hosting the girly Vikes tomorrow night instead of 09 Sep 2010. That would rock! Especially since i’m a Saints fan. It would give us the oppurtunity to finish off Lord Favre 2 weeks early……ha ha…..ain’t it cool….!….Saints had Champ Camp this year. The other 31 loser teams just had Loser Camp…..ha ha….and the Saints will have Champ Camp again next year…..ha ha….!…Geaux Saints….!

  33. Fine, and don’t forget to keep the final two weeks as division rivals – so that they’re NOT meaningless “rest-your-starters” games. That hurts paying fans as much as preseason games do…

  34. The NFL regular season did survive the the 14 to 16 game increase 1978. It survived the 12 to 14 game increase in 1961, and it will survive the increase from 16 to 18 in 2012. Look, the only real issue here is whether the owners choose to make more money or use this as a tool to help reduce the cost of games for the average family. As of 2009 the average cost of a family of four was about $410 and the Cowboys charge and outragous $750 for the same product. If you figure the median size of a NFL staduim of 68,000 that 6.8 million per home game or 54.4 million per season. I challenge the owners to not take a dime more then a 8 game home season and save the consumer on average about $14/per ticket per game. Now….we all know that they will never do this, but that is why baseball still is the national pastime. I can still by a $10 bleacher seat and spend less than $100 for my family to enjoy a game. Not spend a car payment.

  35. Like put spinners on it, and a big stereo? Or order something off the internet to “enhance” it?

  36. I do not want to see the season extended at all, for various reasons. I feel that even though the NFL claims that there is no proof more injuries would occur with 2 more regular season games, it seems to me just the typical NFL attrition would affect the end of the season more. You have enough injuries happening now in the preaseason as it is. If the last 2 preseason games become regular season games (in theory) you will have sloppy football which no one wants to see, and the games will mean something. I do feel rosters would need to be expanded for the “enhanced” season, but then we’re talking about 80 more NFL players. Are there really 80 more NFL caliber players out there right now? Do you want 5 UFL guys on your team now?
    From the Players perspective this is a lose/lose situation. Negotiations are already going slow for the new CBA, and it sounds like the NFL’s position is that the increase in games would cause and increase in the overall revenue pool which goes to player salaries so there is no reason to increase player compensation. Of course, the owners want to blame all of their problems on rookie salaries, which, in all reality account for about 5 % of a team’s player compensation salaries in a year. If the NFL guaranteed contracts against injury (but not skill) without all these absurd signing/roster bonuses, etc. the players would be more willing to accept the “enhanced” season.
    Also, as a fan, I just plain like the 16 game format. Division rivals twice, a NFC & AFC division once each on a rotating basis, and the last two games are the teams from the other divisions in your conference that finished where you did in the standings the year before. Plain and simple, fair, and yes, every game means something.

  37. The only way I can see the enhanced season working out is if the active roster and practice squad rosters are expanded and at least 20%. More and more injuries are going to occur. Depth at key positions is a must to try and maintain the quality of the game. Players need to be in the team practices working in the systems. Teams also have to have a chance to develop more players that most likely would be cut because of reduced playing in only 2 preseason games.

  38. Yes they should. More games means more revenue for everyone involved and also two more opportunities to make close division matches.
    The fact the CFL has run 18-game schedules forever should say something – that the NFL can manifestly handle an 18-game schedule.

  39. The league can’t field 32 elite QBs as it is. More games = less healthy players. Perhaps the owners
    want to change to a flag football league and be able to play 5 games a week. I think I’d rather have 16 games of tackle.

  40. Great, so now we can watch the Colts rest their starters for four games after clinching the division instead of just two.

  41. Honestly, I don’t care if you enhance the regular season. But 4 games of preseason is ridiculous. I’m sick of holding my breath through 4 games of potential season enders for my starting players. It’s unnecessary.
    Here’s a thought. Would the same NFLPA that says an increased season should increase players salaries accordingly be okay with reducing players salaries accordingly if the 4 preseason games were reduced to 2, thus, reducing the amount of games played? Didn’t think so!!!
    I’m okay with the first 2 games of the regular season being a bit amateurish due to lack of preseason action as long as when a player gets hurt, they’re not getting hurt in a meaningless preseason game.
    Also, if players are going to cry about increasing the amount of games, they don’t have to play football. There are plenty of cafe’s and corner stores that need employees. The pay might not be what you’re all used to, but, hey, them’s the breaks. Hell, even the players in the CFL can handle 18 games and 2 preseason. And they make nothing for wages, have a way harsher drug testing program, and have to play in way more adverse conditions than NFL players. Time to stop sucking up to these players and make them realize they have it pretty damn good.

  42. First off, while the current system is technically 16 regular season and 4 preseason games, it really isn’t for the starters. Most play in less than 30% of the preseason snaps, and those games don’t have the intensity of a regular season game. It really isn’t even that subtle of a distinction.
    Short Answer: I want the regular season to stay at 16 games, and I do not care what they do to preseason games.
    Longer answer: I can’t wait for the (regular) season to start every year! And with nearly the same passion, I can’t wait for the regular season to be over. Except for a few teams on the cusp, we know which teams are in the playoffs, and more games just get more meaningless. And for the teams on the cusp, they’ll likely stay on the cusp until the season is finally done. And frankly, for this football fan who is about to type heresy, the last weeks of the regular season are just boring. I watch as many games as I can in September, October and November, but in December, I can be easily persuaded to do skip games.
    More is not necessarily better: just look at how long and painful the NBA and MLB seasons are. The NFL is already on the verge of that pain with 16 games covering 5 months.

  43. More REAL football in a season? I am all for it. Injuries will play more of a role in the end, where the teams depth will be tested, and not just the starters. I think this will be incorporated with an expanded roster and a rookie pay scale. They just need to get a deal done.

  44. 16 and 2 and let the owners spread the “lost” preseason stadium revenue over the 8 regular home games.

  45. How can the league increase their focus on player safety while subjecting the players to more games?
    The NFL is suffering from a lack of respect for the players and records that paved the way for the modern age of the NFL, with two more games all of the records are going to fall too.
    Current player will have 4 more games each year to break records that were set in the glory years of the NFL.
    Also, this will just cause more games with backups because teams will rest their starters more frequently once they clinch playoff positioning.
    It’s not like the bad teams will suck less with two more games and more injuries. Good teams will still clinch in week 14 and we’ll get our preseason games on the back end.

  46. One, This has nothing to do with the FANS because it’s only going to generate more money for the League in TV contracts and ticket costs. It would probably be good for the union because they will expand the number of Active Rosters and offer some incentives/guarentees for players who are not your high profile guys. More importantly this enhanced season is now involved as a chip in the whole CBA bargaining. So has you can see it has nothing to do with the FANS.
    As a season ticket holder I like the situation now. I have two pre-season tickets that are great giveaways to friends and family members who are excited to go to the games and it makes a great gift. Although if anything they should shorten the season to a total of 18 games, 2 preseason and 16 regular season.

  47. “The fans will be the real beneficiaries of the extended regular season. Their season-ticket dollars will be better spent and they get two more weeks of real NFL football.”
    Totally disagree. This will lead to a crap end of the season and playoffs/Super Bowl that suck because the players are already exhausted.
    Once the league does this is will be one of the final nails in the coffin holding my interest in the league.

  48. For the amount of money NFL players make, they should have to play 20 games on broken glass, for cryin out loud! Lets stop worrying about what the cry-baby players are concerned with and lets focus on what we, the fans, the ones that pay the outrageous ticket and concessions prices want. And we want 18 games! If players don’t want to play 18 games, let them utilize their college degree to get a job more suitable to their demands.

  49. Maybe I’m the only one that doesn’t mind the 4 preseason games. Gives me a chance to see some of the younger players get some playing time. I actually enjoy watching an entire half of Dennis Dixon–and he’s making me pull for him to start.
    I don’t like the NFL claiming more regular season games are for the fans–I’m not stupid and neither is anyone posting here (for once) because we all know it’s for money.
    Injuries are part of the territory. You can just as easily get hurt in a regular season game compared to a preseason game. If you get hurt, there is a backup to take your place. Maybe if they trained year round like someone said earlier, that wouldn’t be a problem. Players should suck it up if they have to play two more games. In all honesty, they only work 16 days a year (20 if they’re lucky and 19 if they’re really lucky).

  50. OK, here’s the best answer as I see it…
    2 pre-season games
    17 regular season games
    2 bye weeks
    This would make the players happy because they get an additional bye week during the year.
    Leave the schedule as is, but create a “rivalry week” for the 17th game. Most teams have a geographical rival in the other conference (Giants-Jets, Ravens-Redskins, Eagles-Steelers, Lions-Browns, Cowboys-Texans, Rams-Chiefs, Niners-Raiders, Bucs-Dolphins, Colts-Bears, Titans-Falcons, San Diego-Arizona). The ones that don’t can be thrown in a hat and play a different team each year from the other conference. Make these home and home contests ever two years (Eagles home team in even years, Steelers in odd years).
    Play the 17th game at a neutral site in or outside the U.S. That way, no team ever loses a home game. The neutral site game can never be a divisional opponent or a “rivalry” team. Teams split the revenues from the neutral site games.
    This formula 1) gives the players an extra bye week, 2) Keeps the teams from losing a home game, 3) Gives the owners more revenue from the neutral site games (to offset revenue lost from the second pre-season game) and more interest because of the “rivalry week”, and 4) cuts down on two meaningless preseason games. You could also expand the rosters to 60 to make up for injuries. That would give coaches more latitude, and the union six more additional salaries per team.
    If you’d got a better idea, then let it fly….

  51. Best idea-
    3/17 with one extra bye
    This gives the NFL their 18 WEEKS on television, only one extra game for the players, an extra bye week for injury/rehabs, one less preseason game for fans to complain about.

  52. Lets make it like a Nascar season . From Sept till June . Life sucks without football . I spend to much time with the wife then . PLEASE GOD GOODELL I NEED MY LIFE BACK . Just make it 25 weeks but add in three more nights of the game

  53. Keep 16. The tradition, numbers and records are important. 5084 passing yards for example. Career records will be different too.

  54. Well, if they’re going to “enhance” the season, warn them not to click on the “People! Drive your womens crazy like mad making them screams for more and more in very high voice!” ad that might show up on their E mail account.
    The season won’t be any longer, but it will develop a strange cant to the right and turn an odd orangish brown color.

  55. No to enhanced season. I’m sure >50% of the owners only enhancement they need comes from Cialis.
    But seriously, players can’t physically handle a 16-game season well enough as is. The almighty dollar will damage the annual season in due time.

  56. I’d like 18 games…
    -Reducing off season training
    -No mini camps from the pro bowl until june except for one after the draft in april
    All in the name of player preservation, I believe two byes are already in place if the deal goes down. Give the players a chance to rest, enjoy their families, and get away from football long enough to have a real life. They’d gladly play an eighteen game schedule after that.

  57. 18 regular season games means more overall revenue. The owners should agree to expanded rosters to account for the possibilty of more injuries.(including concussions) This gives the players’ association a larger union and addresses the rising national concern of concussions in sports.

  58. There will never be an odd number of regular season games because no owner is going to want to miss out on a home game every other year.

  59. I can’t imagine a single fan who wouldn’t want to see more “real” football games. Obviously there are other factors that need to be addressed as in either larger rosters or more flexible injured reserve status. I’ve always felt there should be a flexible minimum of 4 week injured list with a maximum number of players that can be on it at one time in addition to the “out for the season” IR. Why not make it possible to play your best players sometime during the year. It’s better for the fans and ratings. If teams can use it to their advantage then give them credit just like you do when they have a great play in a game.

  60. Few thoughts:
    Why change a schedule of 16? It balances nicely and fits between Labor Day and Christmas.
    If fans aren’t getting their money’s worth with preseason games, why not a schedule of 2 and 16?
    Revenue’s a problem because so many owners have built their Taj Mahals. Now the recession is knocking their revenue projections around. Guess Jerry and Bob will have to pocket fewer millions.
    “Enhanced season” is NFL propaganda. Glad Florio’s using it in quotes. Makes him still seem like an outsider.

  61. If the owners go to an 18 game regular season (which they will because they want to), and 2 preseason games, they should consider some additional changes:
    1. Eliminate the toin cosses in playoff games. Instead, the team which has scored the most points in the regular season gets to choose whether to kickoff or receive the ball. (In case of a tie, quite unlikely, use win-loss record.) This will help reduce the tendency of some teams who have already made the playoffs from tanking late season games. It will also make late season games more exciting, even if one team has no chance of making the playoffs, especially if it is a rivalry game.
    2. Expand both regular and practice squad rosters.
    3. Eliminate OTAs for veterans with a minimum of 3 years in the league. Training camp for both veterans and rookies starts on the first Monday of July each year for all teams. That leaves approximately five months from the Superbowl for players to physically recover from the previous season. This also allows stadiums and practice fields, often funded by taxpayers, to be used for other purposes during those idle months.

  62. Moved from 9 to 12 to 14 to 16, don’t see the big deal going to 18. Used to have like 6 preseason games so expand the rosters a couple of players and add two games. Not that hard, look at the history. No brainer.

  63. As a season ticket holder, I’d love to see more bang for my buck. Having said that, I’m against an 18 game season simply for the fact that because I’m a season ticket holder, I want the best product put out on the field. I just don’t see a coach being able to determine the quality of a player in two games.

  64. It must be a “done deal”. I think I saw Jimmy Johnson doing a commercial for it …

  65. I agree with what steelersmichele said about seeing young guys get their chance to perform and see what they can do. Yeah, it’s not real, but tell Desmond Howard that in 1996 during the preseason when he returned a punt for a touchdown against the Steelers and secured himself a roster spot and went along to produce the greatest special teams return season of all time (until Hester/Cribbs came along) and then won the Super Bowl MVP.
    I also like theravenlives2 thinking outside the box a little bit. Why can’t NFL management think of anything like this? Their only solutions for anything are add more games, put a game in London, put a team in LA. How about a neutral site game? Sure, the owners would gripe about ticket sales, but you would split the revenue between the teams, or whatever. It could be done. Giants/Jets in London? Cowboys/Chargers in Mexico City? Bills/Packers in Toronto? Raiders/Niners in Los Angeles? Dolphins/Buccaneers in Puerto Rico? Texans/Saints in San Antonio? Those would make huge money for the league and those locations, a la a Super Bowl.
    Anyways, I just had to say I really like some of the ingenuitve thinking by some of the commenters as opposed to the generic thinking by the NFL.

  66. I’m in favor of such an enhanced season. For a simple reason : 16 games is too short for today standards. Other american sports play over 80 games, while in Europe, soccer is played during over 10 months.
    For people supporting bad teams, it’s frustrating to know you’ll only play 4 months of meaningful football. Plus, if football really wants to be America’s n°1 sport, it needs to be played during an extended period. More generally, people love football, and providing them with extra meaningful games can’t be a bad thing.
    There are other good things about enhancing the season : stadiums would be use for 9 regular season games. These extra revenues could help finance new stadiums more easily. Of course, there’s aways a risk of games being blacked out, but the country is slowly getting out the recession, and the long run trend is an increase of the per-game attendance. So I think the black out problem is only minor, to say the least.
    The only true problem for me is that we would only have 2 preseason games. The best would be 3, because you can’t really -as a player- get ready, or know your roster -as a coach-. But this probably won’t happen.
    Still, to make it work, some things have to be done :
    Less training, more games = more injuries. The IR rule should be turned into a DL rule to allow players suffering injuries between 2/3 weeks and 8/10 weeks to come back after a while. In addition, the roster and the training camp should be expanded to give teams more flexibility (that’s also a reason why the NFL is interested in the UFL : the UFL could work as a minor/developmental league for the NFL)
    Implementation a 2nd bye week : it would expand the preseason + season for 1 games, and help players rest. Of course, it would make teams play in january in the cold or in august with the heat, but hey !, it’s football, the guys are already used to it.
    The final problem is a monetary one, because players will want more money. I think it would work ok under a new CBA, because players won’t ask for the “usual-in-a-new-CBA increase of salary” + “enhanced-season premium” : two requests don’t add up just like that. On the other side, it would be ok with the owners who would be agree to giving more money to the players using some kind of “bigger pie => bigger slices” theory. So I think both parties could reach out to an agreement more easily that if the enhanced season is not implemented.

  67. My wishes are simple. Either play 20 regular season games or regardless of how many preseason games there are, dont include them in my season tickets.

  68. Well, its a good idea in theory, but if I were a player I wouldn’t want those extra 2 games unless I was getting paid to hit with my helmet and pads for a full 60 minutes. It would also change the record books, every old record would be broken, 2 more games and guys like Chris Johnson would break the all time single season rushing record and 50 TD passes will become a past record as well. It changes the game for better or worse. I love football but 16 games is good enough for me, plus the 4 weeks of postseason. If only baskeball would have the potential of a lockout….

  69. Maybe I’ve been around too long, I say go back to 14 regular season games. If you want more football take 3 division champs and 5 best records after that. This gives good teams more football and spares those fans who have nothing to look forward to after week 3. You will see hard football for 17 weeks. No bye week, and we have our super bowl in mid January again. Owners would never go for this but Ithink it’s just what the doctor ordered.

  70. They are not being logical. End of season games are mostly boring affairs while playoff games are always exciting. Playoff games also generate more revenue.
    16 game regular season
    16 team playoff
    5 weeks for playoffs: 16 teams, 8, 4, week off, superbowl
    Now give me my zillion dollar consulting fee.

  71. preseason games, 16 regular season games, wild card games, championship games, football talk on numerous radio and tv channels 24/7. The NFL (and other sports) should spend as much time cleaning up their act and image before expanding which, in the long run will only cost the fans more money. If the players whine about the longer season and wear and tear on their bodies, they can always look for another profession (Mcdonalds) and, look at the plight of most citizens in the country today. Average annual in the country is less than 60K……..

  72. So as the senator’s son Goodell claims “we have to listen to our fans”, the informed comments by the fans on this website run directly COUNTER to his statements.
    The vote is a vast majority NO!
    Put that on your ESPN crawler- you money grubbing, earth-killing, interbreeding, same-country-club-golfing, network (mind) controlling, billionare cocks!

  73. Why stop there? Lets lift the ban on players coming out of high school, erase the ban on performance enhancing drugs, stop suspension for violent offenses, lets lift it to a season where you play every other team in the league twice to 62 games. Lets just jack these freaks up so big and so fast then put it all on pay-per view. I mean if were gonna make some money, lets frickin make some money.
    Whatever, lets get the season rolling bitches.

  74. go back to 14 regular season games…..1). 14 puts the focus and pressure on to play well and win now….2).18 is more dilution,and makes it an ‘injury war of attrition’ marathon….3). who wants to go 0-18?it will happen. say you are the colts(i’m not a colts fan) and 5-0,suddenly manning and 2 other stars go down,and you finish 0-13 remainder of the way. not a good locker room. someone will beat the lions 0-16 record,and it could easily be YOUR TEAM (with the right 2-3 injuries)…….4). what does 16 games or 18 games decide any better than say 14? …..5) shorter preseason also,2 games;4-6 is boring and dangerous for the players….6).shorter,better more focused product and effort(14)…..7). 18 only means they will jack up the prices again!!!….(opps,that’s the whole idea, to heck with player safety and wear and tear)…as our economy heads into japan’s lost decade the nfl is going to find it has a very overpriced product,and don’t be surprised to see some bankrupt nfl teams…..

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