De Smith says fans have been “abundantly clear” about not wanting 18 games

Last night, Jim Trotter of reported that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said that the union won’t be agreeing to an 18-game regular season.

Our friends at 106.7 the Fan in D.C., which hosted the event at which Smith spoke, have video of Smith’s remarks.

Apart from citing player safety, Smith explained that the fans have made it “abundantly clear” that they don’t want 18 regular-season games.

Of course, the league consistently has said the fans want 18 games.

As far as we can tell, most fans want a shorter preseason, but not a longer regular season.  The sooner the NFL realizes that, the sooner this mess perhaps can be resolved.

Put simply, there are other ways to grow the pie that don’t involve expanding the regular season.  The league knows it, and it’s time for the league to act on it.

87 responses to “De Smith says fans have been “abundantly clear” about not wanting 18 games

  1. Every business in America ends up paying their employees less & working them harder, I can’t see why the NFL would be any different.

  2. I would vote for a shorter pre-season and a longer regular season, with a larger salary cap and larger rosters and two bye weeks. Then put a quarter limit on each player. Where has it been made clear that fans don’t want 18 games? Blogs, full of players calling themselves fans??

  3. Goodell is openly lying everytime he claims the fans want an 18 game season.

    Yet there’s never a mention that he’s losing credibility as NFL commish? I’m not saying he’s doing a poor job in all areas –I’m not in position to say so, honestly– but now I have a hard time believing ANYTHING he says.

    He’s got to do damage control. Someone ought to tell him that sucking up to the owners is only half his job description.

  4. He is right.

    The consensus is clear.

    2 FREE intra squad games (tickets first come first served) and 2 pre-season games (at 50% off reg season prices) and then the regular season.

    The ONLY folks that object are the owners. I am optimistic that the owners will do the right thing and listen to the fans and ignore their natural instinct to gouge for all they can get.

    Of course I am also optimistic that Jamarcus Russell will rebound to All Pro status, that Obama will call out the GOP as a bought and sold wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, and Scarlett Johannsen will be calling me tonite to get together for a wild weekend in Vegas.

  5. The same way that Goodell has been lying to and insulting the public’s inteligence about what they want along with changing the style and quality of the game for the owners’ agenda of forcing more games down everybody’s throat, I think this guy has more than shown what a phony peice of crap he is.

  6. Can someone (ANY and ALL of the rest of you, apparently) explain to me why you wouldn’t want a longer football season?

  7. I’d take a longer season but strangely no one asked me. I don’t expect a longer season and certainly don’t need one to keep enjoying the NFL. I do worry that a longer season would leave the NFL in a similar bind to the the NBA, where players are playing so many games it hurts the product.

  8. I have no problem with 18 games. The third preseason game is almost a regular game, so really they are adding one game. They just need to give the backside of the roster 1 and a half games to win their spot, and the vets a half game, then lets sort it out in the regular season

  9. @ clinton

    Come on man we agree on something finally and then you ruin it with your blurb at the end! Maybe the GOP will call out Obama for being a wholly ownder subsidiary of GE and George Soros?

    See how asinine that sounds? And to think my claims are rooted in fact.

  10. A lot of posts claim that Goodell is lying about the fans wanting an 18 game season, maybe Smith is lying because he is always just listening to the players. I probably think all season ticket holders may not want 18 games but do something about the pre season games. I wish Smith would comment on how the fans want this CBA signed and no matter how much he digs this game it is still all about money.

  11. I will be abundantly clear as a season ticket holder:

    I do not want an 18 game regular season.

    I want a FAIR PRICE at minimum for the preseason games.

    Owners – don’t lower the preseason ticket prices and raise the regular season prices – we are not idiots.

  12. This fan does want two less pre season games and two more regular season games! I don’t understand why people wouldn’t want more games!!! If you love the NFL, then whats wrong with more! If you like NASCAR then you’d want more races. If you like ice cream you want a bigger cone. If you like the NFL Draft you get three days instead of one.

    Its seems that most people think of it as if they were a player. Well the players are being stupid. More games means more revenue. More revenue means more money for them and more JOBS for them. Rosters automatically get expanded! How on earth do they disagree with more jobs for their own membership!?!?!!

    An extra bye week more than makes up for the strain of two “added” games (except theres two less preseason games.)

    De Smith, please, stop the insanity, add the two games and don’t let that issue stand in the way.

  13. If $ is the issue for fans not wanting an 18 game schedule – sell some of your tickets. Who said you had to go to all the games. And we are talking about 1 more home game – that shouldn’t break ya.

  14. “Every business in America ends up paying their employees less & working them harder, I can’t see why the NFL would be any different.”

    Agreed. I feel like businesses are perfectly within their rights to figure out ways to increase profit but the workers are just as within their rights to fight for their interests. At least that was the case in what used to be America and not in my state of wisconsin where a few politicians wholly owned by billionaires have decided otherwise.

  15. yeah, i gotta say…. i haven’t agreed with much that De Smith has said to date, but he is spot-on with this…. i don’t know a single soul that actually wants an 18-game season…

    in fact, i’ve thought that was such a given that the league has been dangling the notion of an 18-game season just so it has somethign it can easily concede… they don’t actually think anyone wants this, do they?

  16. Funny thing, De Smith….you, much like your adversary Mr. Goodell seem to assume an awful lot. First and for the record, NO ONE has asked my opinion about an 18 game season and in fact, both of you clowns have publicly said that you have asked my opinion in statements that “fans want this” or fans don’t want this”. Leave me out of your school boy quarrels. You idiots are about to alienate millions of us ‘fans’, so you’d better tread lightly. Don’t go making these statements assuming that we fans want this or want that….just resolve your differences like men and get on with your lives…

    Mr Smith…keep me out of this !

  17. Lose two preseason games, starters don’t play anyway, and add two regular season games and I’m for that.

  18. i dont know a single person not in favor of 18 game season. not 1. people get hurt in the first game. doesnt matter if there is a 2 game season people get hurt. i hope they go on strike for 2 years and all the players lose everything they own.

  19. If you want an 18 game season then look at playing 2 more games after this last Super Bowl. How many of those guys would not be playing in the actual Super Bowl. For the Packers both Woodson and Driver would be gone. Nelsons knee swelled to twice its size after the game so he would probably not play. For the Steelers you really think Ben R would have been able to limp through 2 more games and Troy P wasn’t himself as it was.

    The solution for many seems to be an extra bye. I remember when they had 2 byes one year and it sucked. You never knew if a team was playing that weekend or not. Once the season starts you want teams to just play.

    The NFL season as it is now is great time of year for all of Americas sports fans and an 18 game season played so 31 billionares, and the Packers, can pocket a few more million each would fundamentally change it for the worse.

  20. Numerous polls conducted by various writers have resulted in about an 80/20 split of NFL fans on the issue. Most people do not want 18 games, and realize the insult to our intelligence that Goodell engaged in when he spent 6 months trying to equate “not liking the preseason” with “wanting 2 more regular season games.”

  21. Personally I want them to go to 17 games. then when you play games in London, Canada, or Mexico people won’t lose home games.

    What I really want if for them to move the Super Bowl wo Presidents Day weekend so I don’t have to go to work the monday after super bowl sunday.

    I love Scarlett Johannsen could you get her autograph for me Clinton??? With you looking like Klooney and singing like Striesan you guys should have a good time…

  22. Not sure what fans this tard is talking about, but most fans want the extra two games. That would be more for Belichick to videotape.

  23. To all NFL season ticket holders:

    When is the last time an NFL owner (other than Dan Snyder) has held a gun to your head and forced you to sign your renewal contract?

    If you don’t like what the NFL is peddling, don’t buy it, dummies. DUH!

    People are such sheep!

  24. As a fan I have no problem with a 2 preseason – 18 game regular season schedule. It really doesn’t bother me that Peyton Manning or Drew Brees may have to play an extra 8 quarters of football. It may bother them though, maybe they are the fans that DeSmith is talking about.

    The lower half of the rosters is going to play that extra time anyway so it shouldn’t matter to them.

  25. “I wish Smith would comment on how the fans want this CBA signed and no matter how much he digs this game it is still all about money.”


    Also, how does Goodell know fans want 18 games? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a poll up at asking (unless I missed it). Has anyone ever been officially asked by the league if they want more games?

    What we want is this CBA signed so the offseason can play out like it’s suppose to or when the games do start they will be run like preseason games because the players will be out of shape and out of sync…

  26. No to 18 games. More is not better when the injuries leave too many starters on the sidelines.
    I had season tickets for 24 years, having to purchase preseason games never affected that. Looking around the league I’m not the only one who felt that way. If it was such a big problem why do so many people continue to buy season tickets?

  27. how does bigfrank post a comment like:

    “…i don’t know a single soul that actually wants an 18-game season…”

    immedietly after like 10 people said they are in favor of an 18 game season?!

  28. Why don’t they just play year round like baseball. I think 180 games sounds just about right. Then they could play a 7 game series for each playoff game. Ha!

  29. Let me think about this for a second, football through Feb or NCAA basketball, NHL Hockey or NBA Basketball, or worse, spring training previews.

    People understand that more players will get hurt, but Smith is fooling himself if he really thinks that people wouldn’t want two more games a year, Hell, give me a 24 game schedule and run the playoffs in May.

  30. it just sickens me that the commissioner pushes player safety like theres no tomorrow, but does the same with an 18 game season? isnt that a little hypocritical?

  31. As a fan I would be a little apprehensive about advocating an 18 game regular season. I would worry about the high rate of injury in our beloved game. It seems like adding two more games to the season, a season which already stretches from September to January, would be asking a little too much.

  32. Lol, trying to go to ONE game at any time breaks my bank. As it already is now. Just sayin’…

    If the NFL wants to expand, how about adding two playoff teams per conference? Actual meaningful win-or-go home games that gets 10-6 teams into the playoffs with 7-9 teams, instead of excluding the 10-6 teams, seems like something to look into… but I’m no rocket surgerist.

  33. What the hell kind of fan doesn’t want to be able to watch their team play in more games?

  34. Mr Smith, let me be clear, as one of the fans you reference, I would really “DIG IT” if we have ANY games this fall. 16-18 I really don’t care. Just get it done so we have games to watch.

  35. I’d like 17 games and 2 less preseason games.

    If they want more revenue, dump the NFL Network and get more games on broadcast/network TV.

  36. cmstrick says: “Can someone (ANY and ALL of the rest of you, apparently) explain to me why you wouldn’t want a longer football season”

    Since you asked, I don’t want to watch a Championship game and/or the Super Bowl where the 2nd string QB is throwing to the 3rd string WR who is being tackled by the DB that was just brought up from the practice squad because they had no one else left. Also, seeing how there is not enough truly talented football players to go around NOW, adding the games would increase rosters which, in turn, would dilute the talent pool on each team even further. I’m not interested in seeing UFL and CFL players taking the field because there simply isn’t enough NFL quality players to go around to fill the expanded rosters.

  37. We’ve also made it abundantly clear that 4 Preseason Games at Full Price is pretty much robbery.

    The debate is actually quite mixed on 18 games. I’m not buying that fans don’t want MORE Football. I think fans sympathize with what players put their body through to endure a 16 game season+playoffs so they agree that 18 might have some downside, but most fans would easily adapt to a few extra Sundays to watch their team play.

  38. @mikehuntsmellztu…….re: the more games the better

    Mike, I would love a 30 game season for that matter – I love the NFL and football. I do get my fix watching the many many games of NFL and college football on TV.

    I am more speaking to attending the game. The total cost of going to these games are outrageous, with gas, parking and etc. The total cost to go to 8 regular season games and 2 preseason games is equivalent to going on great Caribbean vacation. We choose as a family to go NFL.

    All I can tell you is that I save money by not going to a preseason game. So in the end, I am essentially paying for 8 regular season games

  39. You are correct that most people don’t want to see (and pay for) four preseason games. Most fans would be very satisfied with a season that consists of two preseason games, and 16 regular season games.

    The problem with that is that you are also eliminating two games of revenue for both the owners and the players. The teams would lose ticket revenue, parking revenue, concessions revenue, and local television revenue for two games. That’s two of twenty or ten percent. Now that’s not ten percent of ALL revenue, but it’s still a pretty good chunk of change.

    Now, some would argue that the players don’t get paid for preseason games, other than a small stipend. But the total salary cap for the season is based on all income, including preseaon income. If the fans want fewer preseason games, but the players don’t want to play 18 regular season games, then the players would need to take a pay cut. Would the players be willing to see the cap drop ten percent from, say, 120 million down to 108 million per team? I doubt it.

  40. “Of course, the league consistently has said the fans want 18 games.”

    That was Goodell, simply shifting the “blame” from the owners (who really want it) to the fans (who have no say in this) for PR purposes.

    The fans never wanted it and Goodell knew it… but as George C. used to say;
    “It’s not a lie, if you believe it”.

  41. The game is perfect. Why change the formula of a perfect game?

    Oh, I know why. Greed. It’s all about the money, as usual. The owners are already getting full price for preseason games, which is a joke.

    Lower preseason ticket prices and makes the fans happy. Then make up the difference on the back end with playoff ticket prices, and endorsement fees. Hell, networks are already climbing over each other to broadcast games. Sell them the thursday night schedule of games that the NFLs own network televises, and not very well I might add.

    Theres money to be made in areas other than tweaking a game that is near flawless.

  42. Some of the previous remarks were right. Evidently, a lot of the respondents are actually Players. I stupidly didn’t realize that before.
    Of course, the only “fans” that do not want 18 games is the Players themselves, responding here.
    No real NFL fan would want less games.
    i would rather they played 12 months a year.

  43. I can’t say that I’d ever turn down the chance for more football, but I agree with De Smith. If owners want more of the pie, no way should the players play more games. #commonsense

  44. bengalsown says:
    Mar 10, 2011 8:32 AM
    What the hell kind of fan doesn’t want to be able to watch their team play in more games?

    Many Cincinnati residents could not stomach 2 more games from Mikey, just sayin,,,,,

  45. I’m for 18. Don’t want the extra bye though. Bye weeks suck. They need to increase roster size and allow all players to be active to increase rotation.

  46. I do want an 18 game season at the cost of forfeiting 2 preseason games. The owners are greedy but if you think I feel bad for football players who are being paid millions of dollars for playing two extra games I don’t. They have college educations to fall back on in case of injury.

  47. I do not side with the players on many of these issues, but I do agree with them on this. The beauty of the 16 game season is the urgency in each game. As a Dallas fan, 2 extra games may have allowed us to recover from a 1-7 start…too bad! You start 1-7 you do not deserve a shot at the playoffs. Everything Goodel has done has been in spite of the diahard fans wishes not because of them. Moving the draft to Thursday night, having games in Europe, and now expanding the season is all about $$ and drawing in the casual fan. Not the guy like me who looks forward to draft weekend every year and doesn’t have to go to work the day after round 1, and now has to clear out a thursday and friday night to go along with the weekend and deal with the reprocussions with the wife. The casual fan who maybe knows 10 guys in the draft may tune in on Thursdy night to see where they go.

  48. Fans: “We don’t want to pay full price for pre-season games.”

    Goodell: “The fans are not happy with the schedule we have in place, they have made it clear they want an 18 game season.”

    D. Smith: “No you dumbass, they don’t want to pay full price to watch special team players play a game.”

  49. I am a fan of QUALITY over QUANTITY. Please keep the regular season 16 games and cut the pre-season to 2 games. As someone else mentioned, I’d be alright with 2 INTRA-SQUAD scrimmages (free to fans) in place of 2 pre-season games.

  50. “According the an poll, roughly 75% of the nearly 40,000 voters would like a 16 game regular season.”


    Most of the 75% against 18 games are actually NFLPA Players stuffing the ballot box.

  51. Compromise position:

    17 regular season games (and the added revenue associated therewith); and

    3 pre-season games.

    A simple “in the middle” solution.

  52. Right. We fans… who love football… are really against more of it.

    We would also like to pay more for the beer at the stadiums. And we unanimously favor increasing ticket prices so the players can have higher salaries.

    It makes complete sense.

  53. “17 games, 2 byes, 2 Pre-Season games

    There’s your compromise…..”

    19 games? There are 20 games played right now, do you really think a compromise is eliminating a game? If the union said this there would be a lockout for sure…

    “Hey Goodell, why don’t we eliminate 2 preseason games, add 1 regular season game, and give the players another week off during the season?”

  54. Sorry DeMaurice,

    Nice name by the way. Why would you want 4 meaningless pre season games. 18 games is better. 10-8, 9-9 could make the playoffs.

    It’s the players whining about more money, not the fans. Fans don’t want a lock out but your unreasonable demands will lead to one.

    Players are making 10 mil a yr for 6 sacks or 8 td’s or 1000 yds. That’s like 60 yds a game & a td every other game.

    They are paid fine.

    Biggest mistake the players union ever made hiring this clown.

  55. The more this idiot takes to the press for sympathy and to manage the spin – the less likely they will get anything done

    Shut up and do your job – insinuating you need to poll fans on these issues is ridiculous.

  56. The fans have made it “abundantly clear…The truth is,……The FANS opinions mean very little to either one of these parties….OR WE WOULD HAVE HAD A DEAL BY NOW !!!

  57. Somehow I don’t think that fans object to seeing two more meaningful NFL games and eliminating two preseason games that are little more than a scrimmage. There are obviously issues to work out in how that would be accomodated, and until those issues are worked out between the NFL and the players we’re not going to see an 18 game season. Perhaps the two sides can agree to keep the 16 game season for 2011 and pursue talks on an 18 game season at a later time. I don’t know that it has to be tied in with the CBA now. Can’t it be added in later by mutual agreement?

  58. shallowfan says: Mar 10, 2011 11:13 AM

    “17 games, 2 byes, 2 Pre-Season games

    There’s your compromise…..”

    19 games? There are 20 games played right now, do you really think a compromise is eliminating a game? If the union said this there would be a lockout for sure…

    “Hey Goodell, why don’t we eliminate 2 preseason games, add 1 regular season game, and give the players another week off during the season?”

    Ok, 17 games, 2 byes, 3 Pre-season games. You have an extra real game for the owners, still have 20 games, you have 19 weeks of real game revenue now instead of 17, 1 less boring pres-season game and the players get two bye weeks off to recuperate. How does that work for you now?

  59. with the lies about the fans wanting a 18 game season & trying to take the NFL over seas .. Roger Goodell is starting to look the rest of these corporate swindlers that are fleecing our country

  60. I am all for an 18 game season.

    Why would anyone argue that adding these two games would make it more like the NBA or MLB? The difference between the number of games each of them play compared to the proposed NFL number of games is still enormous. To say that that the games would carry the same amount of weight is borderline retarded.

    Did increasing from a 14 game season to a 16 game season “water down” the games? Since going from 14 to 16 (14.3% increase) was statistically a larger increase in the number of games than changing from 16 to 18 (12.5% increase), the quality of games must have took a nose dive when that happened.

    The only drawback I see is that we will be guaranteed to see Mercury Morris and all those other guys mugs for eternity.

  61. i want to watch Troy Polamalu, Big Ben and Heath Miller not Ryan Mundy, Charlie Batch and Matt Spaeth, yes a player can get hurt any given Sunday, why increase the chances by adding two more serious games, the damn game is fine as it is, keep it at 16

  62. mshu7 – 18 games IS quality.

    shazow – it isn’t corporate swindlers, it’s public-sector kleptocracies and the entitlement pyramid schemes of the last century.

  63. 18 games stinks,, leave it alone!!! 18 games is not quality, i dont want to see waterdowned talent when guys get hurt or they sit guys out at the end of the season to save them for playoffs, they do that now!!

  64. as a season-ticketholder for the past twenty-nine years, the only thing is that is “abundantly clear” is, I am sick and tired of paying regular-season prices for glorified scrimmages. I could care less if they expand or not. Just quit raping your loyal customers.

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