Bill Polian calls 18-game schedule a done deal

Colts president Bill Polian, an influential member of the Competition Committee, addressed in his weekly radio show on Monday night the question of whether the NFL will “enhance” (a marketing buzzword which presumes more is better) the regular season from 16 to 18 games.

Per the Associated Press, Polian said that enhancement is a done deal.

Actually, he used the fancy Latin term — fait accompli — which literally means “accomplished fact.”

We’ve danced around this one before, but let’s remove any ambiguity.  We don’t like it.  We think that, if anything, the regular season should be “enhanced” to 17 games.  With barely 32 competent quarterbacks and nowhere close to the 64 needed to ensure that a team would be able to survive an injury to the most important guy on the field, adding more than 10 percent of live reps to each season will result in more injuries to starters, along with a diluted significance of each and every game.

But why bother?  If it’s a done deal, it’s a done deal.

87 responses to “Bill Polian calls 18-game schedule a done deal

  1. If this goes through, the NFL should tone down the personal conduct policy to only suspend people for after a guilty verdict/plea. There has to be some give and take. There are way too many dumb suspensions.

  2. I definitely haven’t read all the comments on here for past articles regarding this topic, but amongst all my friends, all of the sports radio stations, etc that I have heard and talked to, no FAN of the NFL has actually endorsed this idea. The only people that seem to think this is a great idea are the owners that want to make money off of it. When are they going to actually listen to the fans and realize they are making a mistake? Let alone, look at the number of players going down so far this year and realize there stars aren’t going to make it through an 18 game season… terrible.

  3. This guy sure seems to talk out his ass alot. You would think the powers that be would pull the plug on his “radio show”.

  4. Kiss the 2011 season goodbye.
    The Players Association have already stated this was a hot point in their talks.
    If the Competition Committee went foward with this without talks, it will be a LONG fall and winter next year.

  5. Good…f*ck the greedy ass players…most. of them are thugs that would probably be in jail if they couldn’t run fast and jump high….just saying. ….

  6. I like it.. More football to watch plain and simple… Football Season isn’t long enough to fill my desire so this is a good thing.

  7. this is how pro football dies. i, for one, love the 16 game schedule. 18 is just too long. Records won’t mean anything once this starts. 2000 rushing yards in a season will happen yearly. I hope they have a lockout and try coming back with this crap…good luck goodell. way to ruin the game.
    Next we will have teams in europe and mexico. what a joke!

  8. This, along with the looming lockout, is suicide.
    The league is absolutely perfect as far as season length, number of teams, etc.
    This will water down the importance of each game, and with so many teams having blackouts as is, I don’t know how this is a good idea in any way possible.

  9. Why not go with an 18 game schedule with two bye weeks for each team? If the games started the week that the third preseason game usually starts, the Superbowl would only be pushed back one calendar week. The second bye week in the last third of the season would serve as a additional rest period to help players heal. Actually, they would get more rest this way in the season than they get now(KC will get a bye this week and then play at least 13 straight games).

  10. As much as I love football…I believe this is a huge mistake. Football is interesting because of the quality of good games. You add 2 more weeks of Football is just blah. 16 is perfect. We are going to go to a time when it could be possible for a team to go 8-10 and make it into the playoffs. Is that a scenario anyone would like to see?
    Teams already are not able to sell out stadiums, what do you think is going to happen when the Colts go 10-0 and the Texans or the rest of their division is 5-5. The games at the end would be worthless. Even I wouldn’t pay to go see the Colts backups.
    The 16 game schedule keeps things interesting till just about the last week. I don’t see that happening in the future with 18 games. Things will get boring around week 15.

  11. Garbage.
    Goodell is single-handedly trying to destroy the greatest sport in the world and so far he’s doing a damn fine job at it.

  12. bill polian is the worst thing to ever happen to football. thats what i take away from any article involving that clown. he probably figures 18 games will help the colts because that seems to be the only reason the nfl changes rules any more.

  13. Why haven’t we seen a proposal that offers two additional playoff teams? Who wouldn’t want to see two more teams slug it out on wild card weekend?
    More playoff football is what is needed!

  14. Get rid of two preseason games, add a second bye week and expand rosters for game days to add at least another 4 players for special teams only (thank Howie Long for that one).

  15. You may not like it Florio, but tuff $hit. When your paying thousands of dollars for longtime season tickets and part of that package is 2 preseason games being charged at regular season prices, it is a rip off. Do you pay for season tickets?
    What part of this new scheduling is so hard to understand? All teams are playing 20 games right now. 16 regular season games and 4 “practice” games.
    New scheduling will be 18 regular season games and only 2 “practice” games.
    Players are still playing 20 games. The only difference is that instead of the star players sitting out a couple of practice games in which season ticket holders are forced to pay full price to attend, the star players will be actually playing in the new games and fans arent being ripped off.
    BTW, how many injuries are suffered in the final 2 preseason games now? How many are injured in the first 2 games of the season?
    Players will get hurt just as much in week 1 of the season or week 16. it DOESNT MATTER DIMWIT!!!
    Maybe if you were actually paying for season tickets you would not be so quick to give asinine opinions

  16. Gonna be freakin’ hilarious when Peyton Manning blows out his knee and Polian has to start Curtis Painter through the end of that “enhanced season”. This is going to really backfire on the owners.

  17. Well, if Lord Polian says it is so then why discuss a contract with the players? Perhaps, he’s wrong? It wouldn’t be the first time. Look at the strategy he employed to assure a loss by the Colts in the Superbowl.

  18. Petition time….someone needs to get a million signatures or something, and fast, and deliver them to as many owners as possible, asking them to please, PLEASE worry about other problems in the game (rules, drugs, salary, etc) before even considering expanding the schedule. While the NFL is a great product, it has some faults that have been exposed in the past couple of years especially, and it would be better to deal with these rather than expanding the season.
    A small part of me believes that the owners just want more games so that they can placate the players with “better” compensation (not truly better given the additional workload) and avoid a lockout.

  19. Mike, I have been an NFL fan since the middle 60’s … when black and white TV with rabbit ears and aluminum foil was the norm …
    with every merger and expansion there has always been a dilution in the talent base. This fact has not resulted in a boring product on the field …. in fact, the games are more exciting now than ever…
    they are not adding teams (yet) … they are only expanding the number of games played …. so the talent will dwindle only with injury (or arrest) …
    my team’s coach said he wished he cold keep all of the 75 he had on the roster at cut down day … and that the cuts were incredibly hard to make …. I believe there is plenty of talent available … they will just need to increase the rosters to handle the long haul ….
    I am for the extra games … the down time after the Super Bowl until the first preseason game is excruciatingly long …. I wear out my NFL rewind watching the same games over and over … an additional two games and and additional bye week will make that time a little bit more tolerable ….. hell, I wish they could play 10 months out of the year!
    Now let’s go get a goddamn snack!

  20. Hopefully they find a way to work more closely with the UFL and figure out some way to get a workable minor league system set up of some sort.

  21. Let’s remove any ambiguity, you never danced around this one and it was always clear you were against it.
    Lets also be clear, that those players you used as an example who got injured in the first couple of weeks, STILL would have gotten injured.
    So yeah, these excuses are the exact same ones that were used the last time the schedule was expanded and some didn’t want it to happen. We see that worked out pretty well.

  22. Stupid… Stupid… Stupid
    By the time we get to the playoffs all that will matter is whose players are healthy.
    What’s next, adding 5 players to each roster.
    I hope the owners will use some of the extra monies to compensate all the players whose careers will be over at age 29, after four years, because of all the extra injuries.
    I’ve never seen a decision like this in sports where the motivating factor was so blatently….

  23. Ooh, poor gameday. Most NFL fans can’t afford season tickets. I spent a grand on a nice TV, and at least I can smoke cigarettes, weed and drink cheaper beer when I watch games.
    If the NFL knows what’s good for it, it would embrace gambling. That’s one of the only things that can make every game interesting.

  24. If the NFL were systematically trying to destroy the popularity and goodwill it has enjoyed from fans for the last 30-odd years, it could not do any better than it’s doing now. Pedantic possession rules, crackdowns on tailgating, PSLs, and now this.
    Goodell keeps saying that fans are overwhelmingly in favor of the bloated season (I won’t say “enhanced”). I’d like to know what fans he’s talking to. Most fans I talk to hate the idea. Four words sum it up: More injuries, less special. Why do they always feel the need to tinker with something that’s perfect? Is it ego? Does Goodell need to change the game to feel like he’s doing something? Everyone is getting rich…when is enough enough?
    Besides, what does Polian care? All it means to him is that his team will throw four games instead of two.

  25. The NFL will never have a minor league. The NCAA accomplishes the same thing – without paying any of the players, while tricking retarded fans into thinking that it’s somehow more pure.

  26. Actually, some players that would be considered out for the year, may be able to make it back in time for playoffs. There is no real reason to stay away from 18 games. There will be no more injuries. If your argument is that the players will be injured due to more fatigue, then consider a second bye week. That will actually give players more rest.
    Personally, I see more injuries happen in preseason when some no name is trying to make a name for himself and puts a borderline hit on a starter that is not going full speed because it is not a “real game”.

  27. Here’s the deal, they’ve been ripping off us season ticket holders for years by charging us full price for “exhibition” football. I mean, let’s call it what it is, it’s a freakin’ exhibition. Anyway, so now they really think they can sell it to us that we’ll be getting more football for the same price? Right jackass, you’re just going to raise the price of my tickets. Either way I get screwed. Oh sure, I could always get rid of my tickets. But you know…I’m a junkie….and they know it….bastards!

  28. Go to 18 games, 2 bye weeks, make the season a month longer–nothing wrong with that.
    My name says it all.

  29. The best part of the NFL is that each game means so much. Each week, the fans are able to live and die with their team. Adding more games, putting games on days other than Sunday or Monday night and taking games abroad in effort to spread the game to places where it’s not wanted are all ways that Roger Goodell is slowly eroding the magic of the game.
    The season ticket holders are being brainwashed into thinking this is actually good value for them, when the easy solution is to not charge full price for preseason games. Halve the ticket price for those games and probably double attendance. It seems the fans are strongly against this proposal and that will only hurt the game long-term. Hard to get the fans back once you’ve lost them.

  30. An 18 game schedule is inhumane, and it conflicts the NFL’s perceived focus on player safety. Fibs!

  31. the league says it is so worried about concussions and player safety? Adding 2 more games is going to make it better?
    this idea of 18 games is STUPID.

  32. Setting aside the enhanced risk of injury tied to an 18-game regular season, there are compensation issues that loom as potential road blocks. For example, would the NFL agree to giving players enhanced compensation based on the addition of two more meaningful games? Basic equity dictates that if the NFL enjoys enhanced revenue, then its players must be allowed to “wet their beak” as well in that increased—or enhanced— revenue stream.

  33. All those against 18 games need to stop crying. 2 more games isn’t the magic number where all players just suddenly implode.
    Things will work out fine and in a couple of years no one will remember that they use to play 16 games, much like no one remembers they once played 14 games.
    Enough with the injury fears….its football get use to it!

  34. i guess if you play in the colts sorry-ass division most of the games are like preseason games anyway.

  35. More football, yeah baby!
    Now, if and when a player gets hurt to the point that his season is in jeopardy, at least it won’t be in a ‘nothing’ game.

  36. A few years ago there were rumors of wanting to expand the playoffs to 16 teams. The NFL is getting greedy. I would not be surprised if they do try to expand the playoffs next.
    That would completely kill the regular season just as it does with the NBA. Really, who cares about regular season NBA when half the league makes the playoffs.
    Look at the first few weeks of the season so far. There’s been lots of sloppy football. Week 3 saw better played games.
    It takes several weeks for teams to be playing their best. If they cut down the preseason, it will probabaly lead to a bunch of crappy games to start the season. I also would not be surprised if injuries increase, not just because of the added risk of no games but because the teams aren’t in shape.
    Look how Revis showed up late and blew out his hammy. Won’t that be great, to watch NFL teams play like crap and have tons of guys injured just to have 2 more games where the first place teams will rest their starters at the end of the season?

  37. If they can play 16 two more aren’t going to hurt them. They should have stayed at 12. Baseball is what i would love to see cut back. March to May and gone. I hate that sh*t.

  38. Who cares about whining season ticket holders? A few thousand idiot spendthrifts are utterly irrelevant compared to an entire nation of football fans.
    This is a horrible, stupid, self-defeating idea cooked up at the expense of working people and otherwise unemployable future cripples who sacrifice their bodies to further enrich a bunch of country club drunks that inherited or married enough money to buy sports teams so they can pretend they are involved in some kind of manly activity at last and get a few more people to call them “sir”.
    I hope the players form their own league. I really do.

  39. The 16 game schedule as it stands right now is as close to perfect as it can get. the numbers add up right: 2 conferences, 16 teams, 4 divisions, same number of division/conference/non-conference games, every team plays each non conference division every 4 years, etc. Adding two more games dilutes the game, makes the end of the season less meaningful and screws up the fairest schedule possible. To everyone that is saying it is better than paying full price for preseason games: you are fooling yourselves if you think that the tix won’t go up in price…since they are giving you another “meaningful game”. Divide the cost of season tix by 8 instead of 10 and pretend the pre season games are free. It’s all how you look at it, but the full price for exhibition games argument only adds to their ability to “legitimately” raise tix prices.

  40. Polian isn’t voicing his support for it, he simply is stating that the momentum for an 18 game season is making it an inevitable move.
    It’s actually one of the few things that would derail a lockout IF in turn the Owners pass most of the additional revenues on to the Players.
    Regardless, 4 Preseason games is too many especially at Full Price and the “quality” of Preseason games are a joke. So you either cut 2 Preseasons and add them to the Regular Season … OR … cut 2 Preseasons and expand the Playoffs (which they should NOT do) and take the additional revenues to boost the Player Salary Pool.
    The players might not like outside of the additional money, but are Fans somehow against 2 more Regular Season Games?!? I don’t think so. People will tune into Reg Season games regardless, they will NOT for Preseason.

  41. More football (to 18 games) does not mean good football for 18 games. This could hurt the quality of the game.

  42. this 18 game schedule idea is merely a plot for the rich to get richer, they claim the fans want it but that is an ignorant justification as fans do not want to water down the season into a snooze-fest like the nba, nhl, and mlb. Championships will be won off pure luck by the team who can make it through the season without having half their roster on ir. with all my heart SUCK IT GOODELL

  43. 17 games makes a whole hell of lot more sense then 18.
    You say the league is concerned about player safety. Obviously not. Preseason sucks, we all agree on that and maybe the greedy owners should not charge you for preseason and preseason tickets should be chopped in half. The moron, Roger Goodell, fails to realize in this economy they need to cut prices and still grab a hold of future generations. Reducing preseason prices by half would allow almost anyone to get to a game. People that fill stadiums often buy merchandise.
    On a side note for all of the people in agreement about the 18 game season realize this, most people say baseball’s season is too damn long. With 2 more games you are talking about a super bowl close to march. Also these clowns are going to push for 16 team playoff system because playoff games are more profitable. 16 teams playoff make the season pointless. Look at basketball and hockey sometimes teams under .500 make the cut. Not to mention all the records/benchmarks become meaningless. IF IT AIN’T BROKE YOU DON’T FIX IT.

  44. season needs to be over in january, just like baseball needs to be over in october. the greed is out of control. next we will be paying to watch the games on local television. it is never going to end

  45. this would better be described by another FRENCH word “feint” The CBA is all about negotiating what both sides really want and giving up what is less important to you. The NFL is trying to convince the union that 18 games are really important, so that the union gives up something to prevent it, and the nfl will get what it really wants.

  46. Look at the NBA Playoffs this year. The Blazers weren’t the same with Brandon Roy recovering from torn meniscus surgery and Greg Oden out. With Coach George Karl gone, the Nuggets looked out of sync. The Celtics were missing Kendrick Perkins from the 5:30 mark of the first quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals. It was a pretty big injury, if not series-deciding.
    They were still entertaining, but fans of those teams had to be disappointed.
    An 18 game season, I think, would really take away some of the specialness of the NFL season. I won’t get tired of football but, even before the NBA became my favorite sport, I really didn’t miss the NFL when it was gone until probably a week after the draft, then the NBA and NHL playoffs really heat up. I also got into arena football this offseason.
    Rookies especially are going to have a hard time being conditioned for 18 games and playoffs.

  47. Idiots, Polian doesn’t want the 18-game season. He just states, that more influential people want it.

  48. When the NFL says the fans are in favor of the 18 game schedule, much of the weight in “fans” is the season ticket holders.In the preseason the owners get to charge full price for a diluted product to its season ticket buyers while not paying the players in season salaries; not good for the paying fan. Also the television revenues for two regular season games versus two preseason games is not even closely comparable.
    It seems that (surprise!) it is all about money. In the beginning of his tenure I liked what Goodall was doing, but now I think he really has become a divisive force between the players and ownership. A true commissioner would always have the games best interests at stake; instead Goodall is bought and paid by the ownership groups. Why should one single persons opinions and decisions have such weight and influence on such a large corporate entity? The answer is he does not; he colludes and works for the ownerships.

  49. I have an idea. Hold onto yourself because its pretty radical:
    Leave things just as they are.
    I know….call me crazy.

  50. I’m with you on this, Florio.
    If they feel the need to expand into new foreign markets for $ome rea$on, then the 17 game season is the perfect solution because every team can keep 8 home and 8 away games, plus add a neutral site game to their schedule.
    It makes sense.
    So the league will not do it.
    They are also likely to use this issue as a weapon in the labor dispute.

  51. I owned season tickets for 24 years.
    Did I like paying for 2 preseason games, no not really. Did it stop me from buying season tickets? No.
    I like Goddell but this is a plain bad idea.
    We all saw how sloppy week 1 was this year.
    Just imagine how sloppy the early games will be / a shorter preseason.

  52. Setting aside the enhanced risk of injury tied to an 18-game regular season, there are compensation issues as well that loom as potential road blocks. For example, would the NFL agree to giving players enhanced compensation based on the addition of two more “meaningful” (vs. pre-season) games? Basic equity dictates that if the NFL enjoys enhanced revenue, then its players must be allowed to “wet their beak” in that increased—or enhanced— revenue stream.

  53. Its the preseason games that are the problem. Make them half priced and cut two of them and add a reg. season game and its all good. SO maybe Florio has it right at 17. But it amazes me the way they ignore the preseason full-priced ticket game. They dont even allow their own ticket exchange to be used for those games. RIP OFF.

  54. >>Every sucker that has to shell out regular season price for preseason tix disagrees with you.
    I posed thsi question on the Jets website (I am against teh expansion to 18 games)
    100% of seson ticket holders wanted it because they felt like they were being ripped off having to pay for pre-season exhibition games.

  55. There is nothing in an 18 game season for the players, the coaches or the fans. It’s simply a bunch of billionaire owners getting richer and richer.
    My guess is that this will backfire on the owners. Lower TV ratings, lower game attendance, less general interest in the game.
    Let’s face it, with 16 games, you don’t want to miss a single game. I just don’t think it will be the same with 18. Not to mention, the quality of the play will suffer. Simple as that.

  56. Gee, I wonder how the golden boy feels about this??? You know once he cries to Polian then he will have to change his mind. “Manning told me I was wrong so I didn’t understand what I was voting for…”

  57. Nobody has even discussed how this will affect scheduling. As it stands, six divisional games are a joke. Will you play everyone in your division three times instead of two? That will create some huge inequities and uproar in certain cases, for sure.

  58. This talk of an 18 game schedule really has me bummed as a fan of the NFL (I’d rather them go the other way to a 14 game schedule). There comes a point where you over-saturate the market and your product is no longer special. I believe this push by the owners towards the 18 game schedule is nothing more than a way for owners who have over-extended themselves to receive a cash infusion.
    So we’re not only expanding the number of games in the season but we’re also expanding the number of games televised per week. I bet we’ll see an 18 game Thursday slate when all is said and done.

  59. Florio, you can argue until you’re blue in the rface and will never be right. The facts are the 18-game schedule INCREASES the importance of the games in general and late-season games in particular, and there is NO CORRELATION between increases in the schedule and incident of injuries – the injury argument is a crock and shown as such by past increases in the schedule. The idea that the product is no longer special because of 18 games is insane.
    BillJ – how did owners over-extend themselves?

  60. I’m getting so tired of Goodell and what he’s doing to football! “Futbol Americano” on Sunday night football, games in London to expand interest and make more money, 18 games instead of 16 (when clearly it will cause an increase of injuries). Stop f***ing with what we have!!! No American cares about games in other countries! No American wants to see “Futbol Americano” on their tv screens! And nobody wants to see an increase of injuries before playoffs begin!!! Damn it…leave the game alone!!!!!

  61. Hey BillJ,
    How can playing a full slate of Thursday night games be bad? There should be Thursday games every week. If 18 games equals more thursday games, another great reason to expand to 18.
    I wonder if some of you guys even like football. More games on more nights of the week…oh no the horror!

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