18-game season remains a real possibility

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Though recent comments from Commissioner Roger Goodell to ESPN 1000 in New York regarding the league’s lack of an intention to expand its number of teams have gotten the most attention, it’s important to point out what Goodell said — and didn’t say — about the still-looming possibility of expanding the regular season.

People want more football,” Goodell said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com.  “I think they want less preseason and more regular season and that’s the concept we are talking about here.”

Actually, the more accurate statement seems to be that the fans want less preseason and the same regular season.  Only season-ticket holders endorse the prospect of fewer fake games and more real ones, for obvious reasons.

“We wouldn’t add an extra two games without reducing the preseason and we are not going to do it without the players support, so we did that in the Collective Bargaining Agreement instead of having the unilateral right, which we had,” Goodell said.  “We determined that we were going to do this together.  We are going to make changes in the offseason and during the preseason and during the regular season to make the game safer.  If we can accomplish that we’ll look at the idea of restructuring the season and taking two preseason games away and the potential of adding regular season games, but I don’t think that will happen until at least 2013 or 14.”

Well, obviously, it won’t happen in 2012.  If the season were going to expand, plans already would have to be made for finding a way to wedge two regular-season games into a schedule that has 17 weekends of the regular season (with one bye per team) and one dormant weekend between the conference title games and the Super Bowl.  (Unless, of course, the league would be interested in starting the regular season before the weekend after Labor Day.)  And if it’s going to happen in 2013, the NFL will have to work around the February 2, 2014 date for Super Bowl XLVIII in New York/New Jersey.

Regardless, the 18-game concept remains on the table.  And even though the league no longer has the unilateral right to expand the regular season, the current CBA gives the league the unilateral right to cut the preseason in half.

As we’ve previously explained, that’s how the players would eventually be squeezed into agreeing to expand the regular season.  The league would tell the players that two preseason games are going to be dumped due to the poor quality of play and the unacceptable risk of injury in games that don’t count.  Given the current revenue-sharing model, the players then would realize that they’d be losing a ton of money if the preseason gets chopped in half — and they’d also know (thanks to the league’s detailed studies on the matter) the extra revenue that would be generated by the addition of two regular-season games.

And so the players eventually would choose to add two regular-season games to replace the two preseason games.

Whether it happens in 2013, 2014, 2015, or beyond, the league most likely will exercise the right to dump two weeks of the preseason, and then the players will have a big decision to make.

115 responses to “18-game season remains a real possibility

  1. No. Please don’t push this into a case where we don’t care about the regular season like baseball, hockey and basketbal!

    And while we’re at it, let’s move the super bowl to saturday. No reason for it to still be Sunday.

  2. Roger Goodell is disingenuous. He knows what the fans want, and he knows that it’s not what he says it is.

    Roger, once and for all let us be clear: What the fans want is to not be required to purchase two preseason games with season ticket packages, or to at least have prices that reflect the (lack of) quality of preseason games. The end.

  3. Goodell 16 games is Plenty. 18 games will lead to less quality play, more injuries and shorter careers. 4 preseason games are to much. 2 would be perfect but keep the 16 games.

  4. I doubt that fans have told him we want an 18 game season.. i agree with Mike….no more meaningless pre-season games…I like Goodell less and less every time he opens his mouth..

  5. Good. If you cancel all of the preseason games and the Pro Bowl since not a one is worth watching and add an extra real game or two I think it would be a better product.

    Even if you don’t add a few extra regular season games you can still cancel these worthless scrimmages.

  6. Goodell – Stop It!! You’re not as smart as you think you are…too many drastic changes are going to ruin this game. Just look at what our “idiot-in-chief” is doing to this country…we’re becoming Greece.

  7. i dont like the idea of 18 games; keep the 16 AND reduce the preseason. what i would do however is have a tue, wed, and thurs night game all season long AND i would condense all the byes into weeks 8, 9, and 10. ten teams off in week 8, twelve teams off in week 9, and the last ten teams off in week 10.

    it would be much fairer to the whole league if everyone was getting their week off during a 3 week window in the middle of the season….as opposed to seeing teams getting meaningless early season byes when they really dont need them yet.

    lastly…..screw the probowl and get rid of the extra week off in between championship sunday and the superbowl (like the way it used to be).

  8. With what we’re learning about head injuries (and what I’m sure they already know)… I can’t believe they are even thinking about this. If they do this I see a nine figure settlement in the NFL’s future.

    You can cry assumption of risk all you want, but when there is only one show in town (antitrust exemption means the NFL basically holds a government sanctioned monopoly over this level of football) – then you hold all the cards. If NFL does this without sanctioning and releasing to the players union credible studies on the impact it will have on brain trauma… they are setting themselves up for trouble. Don’t tell me you care about protecting players (with fines, rules, etc.) and then invite them to experience two additional car crashes a year… it doesn’t make sense.

    Purely from a fan standpoint, I think it is ridiculous. I love football, but the NFL is already too much of a battle of attrition. Teams are MASH units by the end of the year and it’s one reason why the best regular season team rarely wins the super bowl anymore.

  9. It’s coming in someway or another even it starts with a 17 game season 8 home, 8 road and 1 neutral. So a lot of new markets that’s haven’t been had exposure to NFL can without taking away from the teams current markets.

  10. Well, Goode$$ and the NFL only care about money, not the health of the players, so this is no surprise. Does everyone know there is a better helmet available, that significantly reduces concussions. But the NFL won’t use it, because it is not made by an “official” sponsor of the NFL. But yet they continue to levy fines to players that hit with any part of the helmet. They are just a bunch of lawyers covering their a**es for future lawsuits.

  11. It would be great if someone could quantify what the league got out of their lockout shenanigans. The players, who were the ones locked out, walked out with unreduced salary, less contact at practice, no 18-game season and better retirement benefits. Is it that the owners simply got a bigger piece of the future revenue pie? I guess I’d just like to see the number of dollars they strongarmed.

  12. Players don’t want an 18 game season. Only greedy owners do and Goodell is happy to kiss their feet.

  13. dmartin17 says:
    Feb 17, 2012 6:22 PM
    No. Please don’t push this into a case where we don’t care about the regular season like baseball, hockey and basketbal!

    And while we’re at it, let’s move the super bowl to saturday. No reason for it to still be Sunday.
    Anything else we can do to accomodate you sir? How about all regular season games be moved to Saturday. Wait, how about no more commercials and less time for timeouts so we can get you in and out of the game quickly.

  14. If the season increases to 18 regular season games, the NFL would have to add a bye-week, thus extending the regular season to 20 weeks. The regular season would start in mid-August. Also, a longer season would call for increasing roster size to 58 players, with 51 active on game day (compared to 53 and 45 now). I can’t imagine the players’ union would balk at that change. I would also add a bye week before the start of the playoffs, for all playoff teams. Teams with a bye would have 2 weeks off.

    An expansion of the regular season would probably result in more ‘meaningless’ games at the end of the year-and more weeks of playoff teams resting starters at the end of the year. The NFL should consider a model that would use win-loss records over the last 4-5 weeks of the season to be a partial factor in playoff seeding.

  15. Wrong, we want 16 regular season games and less preseason OR preseason games that don’t cost the same price as regular season games.

    16 games already is too many games, most who have played football would agree. All 18 games would do is ruin fantasy, as players would be more inclined to miss games due to injury (more games = decreased value of each). It would be similar to baseball, in that a cut finger would keep some one out for a week. Maybe not to that extent, but you get what I’m saying

  16. and whie we’re on rule changes, when are the morons in charge going to realize that you need bigger rosters??

  17. Call their bluff players!! If it reduces your check from $2M to $1.98M, I’m sure you’d gladly forfeit those shillings if it meant two more weeks off in the offseason. Plus, if the owners cut those games, you can bet your rears that they’ll raise regular season ticket prices to compensate. You have no worries!

  18. “All 18 games would do is ruin fantasy”

    You sure have your priorities backwards. For real men, that “time of the month” is what is supposed to “ruin fantasy” not the addition of football games.

  19. I love football and want more of it.

    I can’t understand why a die-hard NFL fan wouldn’t want 2 more reg season games. It boggles my mind. Sundays without football are exceptionally terrible in comparison to NFL Sundays.

    Why would anyone be against it? More injuries? Really? I would love for someone to try to convince me that adding 2 more reg season games and also adding a bye week would affect injuries to a considerable degree and affect the quality of play. Ridiculous.

  20. SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY, less kick returns because they cause concussions. Don’t touch a QB they are fragile. Don’t hit a receiver and try to separate him from the ball. But oh let’s add two live action games.

    It’s garbage, money hungry, garbage.

  21. Love how u say ‘only season ticket holders’
    You mean THE PAYING FAN who is also the most PASSIONATE
    Yes as a season ticket holder I want 18-2!
    Till u pay $$ shut ur pie hole.
    Next time let me decide what u eat for dinner…then u pay for it.

  22. What fans want Roger are lower priced tickets for preseason games. Fans do not want to pay full regular season prices for preseason games when the starters only play to halftime week two of the preseason and three quarters in week three of the preseason and they do not dress in the final preseason game. The 4 preseason games and 16 regular season game schedule is perfect for the fans so please stop blaming the fans as you try another greedy money grab you selfish prick.

  23. This will kill the game. The reason baseball is seen as the more enduring sport is that you can essentially compare players from today to those who played 100 years ago. We’ve had 16 games for 30 years and van finally
    compare era to era with some statistical significance. If it goes to 18 games, we have to recalibrate all our records again. And football will once again be relegated to flash-in-the-pan status. We need to stop the money grab and keep it to 16 games. Stop fixing what ain’t broke, Roger!

  24. Roger Goodell finding new ways to ruin the NFL by the minute.

    I bet in three years i wont even care about the NFL just like I started not to care about the NBA after the 90’s

  25. How about a 17 game season and a REAL Pro Bowl that is at mid-season like the NBA All-Star Game.

  26. No no no!! We don’t want more reg season games! Like it’s been said already we just don’t want to have a month long of preseason games but to be honest I still don’t really mind that. I don’t really want 18 games though. 16 is the perfect number.. Not too many and not too few. It’s kinda like the number of teams in this league. 32 is fine. now leave it! Don’t mess with something when it’s not broken mr. commish.

  27. “People want more football,” Goodell said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “I think they want less preseason and more regular season and that’s the concept we are talking about here.”
    Rog, the “People” of whom you speak are the owners of the teams. The players on those teams, and whom are the hearts and souls of the teams and, not coincidentally, are why we fans shell out fortunes to the owners (and they in turn pay the players) for this entertainment.
    We, the fans, DO NOT WANT our beloved players to be ground into meat more quickly than they are already.
    50 years ago, players had off-season jobs. 30 years ago, players were making enough to make their football careers their single incomes. Now, they make so much money that they employ whole squads of people to train, feed, clothe, find oxygen chambers, manage and pamper them 24/7/365. 10 years from now, with your 18-game schedule in place, there will be retired players making speeches telling youth to quit this game and find other sports. There will be so many head injuries and ‘mush-brained’ ex-NFL players out there, that there will be a backlash.

    Roger, you already have gladiators every Sunday. You have scalpers and criminals hovering around each stadium and entire networks in place to make illicit money from your sport. With an 18-game season, you will have players shooting up in the locker rooms just to make it ‘one more game’ and prove that they can compete and ward off the dreaded ‘Turk’.

    You are teaching our youth that insane riches are more important than the ability to speak clearly and pass a day without a migraine. Or to walk smoothly without titanium joints – or a walker. At the age of 35.

  28. Penalize all helmet-to-helmet hits even for running backs. Not fair that they can be concussed. At least don’t allow the ball to be turned over. Let’s limit these.

  29. Football is great the way it is. 2 more games will add to injuries, shorten careers, and be a lot sloppier due to player fatigue.

    Another huge issue I have is shortening the preseason. Undrafted rookies need all 4 of those games to show they belong. Where would guys like Romo and Victor Cruz be if there were 2 preseason games, one of which would be for starters to warm up for the regular season? Late round draft picks and undrafted rookies can end up becoming wasted potential if they don’t have a shot to prove themselves in the preseason. From a coach and GM’s standpoint, this would be horrible for talent evaluation and roster finalization.

    All the fans want is to not have to buy preseason tickets at full price when they buy season tickets. This is a bad idea, and I’ve been against it all the way. Greedy owners are the only ones that can benefit from this idea.

  30. I want the 18 game regular season. Yet I want 9 division games, 5 inner conference games and 4 games vs other conference. I always hear the most important thing is to win your division… So the home-away-home alternating every season would make the divisions more important. The vs other conference would hold little value.

  31. The owners are slowly but surely killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

    – Increasing the regular season beyond 16 will add injury risk to the key players. Even though many fans want it, many fans don’t want it as well. And I sure hope the players union has the courage to simply say, “we aren’t going beyond 16”.

    – This insane obsession with L.A. and London is going to cause the leage to expand beyond the currently perfect number of 32 franchises. What will fans do if a Super Bowl is played in London? What will fans do when expansion causes an odd number of teams into the league producing all kinds of scheduling nightmares? It’s perfect as it is, leave it alone.

    – Owners are holding cities hostage by threatening to move their teams to greener pastures. This old trick is wearing thin, and hopefully these cities grow the balls to say, “Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out!”

    – All these new rules make the game more frustrating to watch. Defensive linemen don’t have anywhere to tackle QBs, too low is a penalty, too high is a penalty. Just go ahead and put flags on QBs and say all tackling is illegal for them.

  32. Goodell preaches a good game of ‘player safety’ yet wants to extend an already grueling regular season by two games. Typical corporate mentality of let’s take a good product and dilute it for more profit. The more I hear from Goodell the more I think he’s an incompetent greedy hypocrite.

  33. I’m a long time season ticket holder and preseason games cost me the same as regular season games, so give me 18-2. The starters don’t play much until the third preseason game anyway.

  34. We the fans don’t want 18 games? I know this site beats this idea like a drum and I get the idea of pandering to the players and agents who are sources to stories — but football’s off season is the longest in world sports as far as i know. If your team doesn’t make the playoffs, you go into eight months of football hibernation. so yeah call me crazy but I think 8 months of no games of any sport is a long time, so heck yeah I’d want 18 games. The season is too long? — it by a mile is the shortest season in all of professional sports.

  35. Why not 16 games and three bye weeks? Player health and game quality would greatly improve and the league gets 2 more weeks of ad revenue.

    Goodell and the owners only see the players as perishable assets that are to be replaced as soon as they’re used up or too expensive. Their stated concern for safety is an absolute lie.

  36. How about just adding 2 more bys for teams – and keeping the preseason. This would add 2 weeks more tv revenue for the league, extend the number of good weekends a year, and wouldn’t hurt more players (more recovery time might help some too). I hate when my team has a by but would trade it for 2 more weeks of football watching. I am with the need 4 (at least 3) preseason games to get the backups and rookies some experiance at football speed.

  37. spenser737 says: Feb 17, 2012 7:39 PM
    — it by a mile is the shortest season in all of professional sports.

    That’s why the regular season is so important. More games means each game becomes less important.

    Keep it at 16, its fine where its at.

  38. 18! and 3??? With one of the preseason games as
    what would amount to a back-ups & rookies only
    game so fans can see all the new talent?
    Perhaps the second game of the preseason?

  39. contra74 says:
    Feb 17, 2012 6:42 PM
    dmartin17 says:
    Feb 17, 2012 6:22 PM
    No. Please don’t push this into a case where we don’t care about the regular season like baseball, hockey and basketbal!

    And while we’re at it, let’s move the super bowl to saturday. No reason for it to still be Sunday.
    Anything else we can do to accomodate you sir? How about all regular season games be moved to Saturday. Wait, how about no more commercials and less time for timeouts so we can get you in and out of the game quickly

    Contra, being the Viking homer that you are..maybe you should worry more about the posts about a new stadium and the updates on AP’s knee

  40. Noone wants an 18 game schedule, just like noone wanted changes to the OT rules.

    This Goodell is so out of touch with reality, I’m surprised he’s not running for President.

  41. They’ll need a 100 man roster to expand the games to 18.
    Way to go Goodell. Make more money for the owners, thats what this is really about

  42. Screw an 18 game season. A 20 game season with 4 bye weeks evenly spread out. 2 preseason games. 2 extra months of football and plenty of rest time for the poor millionaires.

  43. I think any fan would like to see the new talent on the teams more??
    Teams have lots of new additions, back-ups and rookies to field a game of these type of players only.
    Charge fans less for preseason games like we do in the CFL

  44. Why are sixteen-games “perfect”? What’s the basis for that?

    Why would anyone NOT want to see a little more football. I don’t know a single fan of any team who doesn’t fear the all-too-quick end of the season. The extra two games would stretch-out the excitement just a little longer, without significantly over-burdening the league.

    Also, leave pre-season the way it is. The casual fan can bitch and moan about it. But for those of us who enjoy the sport with a little greater fidelity, it’s the very best time to watch new talent, and see a unique side of the game, as the coaching staffs sort though their options.

  45. ruffing the passer, horsecollar tackles, defensless recievers…a longer season is just a consolation for the pussification of the sport… Anytime you see a new type of penalty introduced, the number of games will increase. Purist should view the increased seaon as an assault on their game.

  46. I ont have a problem with 18-2 but they would really need to come up with a rookie develemental league that was 2-4 games and focused on later round draft picks/undrafted free agents. I think only 2 pre season games wouldnt be enought to find some of the real players comming out of college.

  47. Compromise – 17 game season.
    8 home games
    8 away games
    1 “special location” game for each team (e.g., London, Mexico City, Milwaukee, etc.)

    Get rid of the Hall of Fame and ProBowl.

    2 preseason games are free admission with emphasis on tix for youth groups and other social programs to help those who couldn’t ordinarily afford to attend a game.

  48. This is still something I dont agree with… Its too many games, which will result in more injuries…

  49. So, they’re worried about kickoffs causing injuries but they’re ok with 2 extra games?

  50. As someone else also noted, I think the most logical compromise is a 17-games season. Eight home, eight road, and one neutral game that can grow the game both abroad and at home (in non-NFL cities). How cool would it be to see the Bengals and Browns play at Ohio State? Or the Eagles and Steelers at Penn State? With a neutral-site game, you could potentially hold it in a larger stadium and with the right teams, each side could sell almost enough tickets to make it like an extra “home” game. Plus, non-NFL cities get the excitment of hosting an NFL game and a jolt to their economy. It also eliminates the .500 team. You’re either a winner or a loser. You can’t go 8.5 -8.5. Seems like a win all the way around

  51. How about NFL network on every cable station 1st!


  52. Less is more! I think it’s necesary for 4 “preseason” games; but charging full pop for them is robbery.

  53. Keep firing rounds at the golden goose. Goodell. One of these days you’ll actually connect and even the biggest lemming, crack addict fans will decide the fix is no longer worth it.

    20 mil per year you get paid? Hell, i’ll ruin the league for 2 mil. Sign me up, owners, and save yourselves some cash.

  54. This isn’t going away, unfortunately. The owners and their ginger puppet are salivating. There is no whopping lie too big to justify their hubris, consequences to the players and their careers be damned. Someday, This tool will no longer be the face of the League, and the League will be better for his absence.

  55. As a 10 year season ticket holder I would love for them to add more regular season games to the schedule. Nothing sucks more then paying Full Price to attend a Pre Season game where the starters play 1 series. Not to mention Thanks to the SAINTS AND 49ERS who let us know that Coaches call each other before each Pre-Season games and set game plans….

  56. A 17 game season. Two less preseason games. Play the extra game in a Non-NFL city ie London, Mexico City, LA. Add an extra bye week and everybody gets something. New fans in new cities, more football, fans can follow there team to a different city, Players get an extra week off. Its a no brainer. No more 8-8 seasons (sorry Jeff Fisher)

  57. I would also favor a 17 game season and 2 fewer preseason games-where hardly any of the important players play anyway. Coaches have plenty of time to evaluate players during the underwear practices and spring camps. Preseason games are glorified scrimmages. The fewer, the better. And mandate that teams must charge 1/2 price or less for preseason tickets. Play some preseason games overseas-the NFL has done that before.

    Playing the 17th game at a neutral site (London, Iceland, Moscow) will help spread football, and indeed we will avoid 8-8 seasons-sorry Buffalo. This is a good compromise solution, and would not lengthen the real season significantly. I would still bump up the size of the rosters for a 17 game season.

  58. NFL’s math system- Addition through subtraction. Add two games, take away 2= New NFL season in 2013.

  59. 18 Game Season= Quantity up, quality of play down. But the great equalizer is that all the teams share the same length of schedule so depth of backups will be key.

  60. Do you HONESTLY THINK THE SEASON TICKET PRICES WILL STAY THE SAME WITH 2 more ” regular” season games???

  61. The end of the empire. Wtf. The super bowl would be a match of the last men standing. As it is rosters are too small and injuries are too decisive. Don’t mess with success!

  62. Let it stand at 16, mainly for the records. The 16 game season denotes the modern era. Let the records stand the test of time.

    As for the four preseason games, why not we did when I played high school ball?

    Have four team jamborees, where each team plays a half and make the them as regional as possible.

    The coaches will be able to evaluate in game like situations. For the players less wear and tear and for the fans an opportunity to see more players. Lastly the owners will fill their pockets and the local hotels and restaurants will also benefit.

  63. I am in the overwhelming minority of an 18 game season and 4 preseason games. But I don’t care. The NFL by far has the shortest regular season of the 4 major sports in terms of months. And the # of games is too DISPROPORTIONATE — NBA (82 g) NHL (82 g) MLB (162)…. they are not complaining as much. Of course football is more physical and brutal (so is the NHL) but not to where the season needs to be a FIFTH to a TENTH LESS than the others. Nothing wrong with making these millionaires earn what they deserve.

    And no it won’t significantly increase injuries. Add an extra bye-week during the season, and increase roster size by about a dozen players. Everybody WINS….. the fans (more games), the owners (more money), the networks (more money), Goodell (he gets what he wants), the media (more coverage and longer business) and the players (more employment in the NFL & men getting to earn a better living.) There you go.

    We need the preseason though because you want the coaches to adequately be able to evaluate their talent. And to maximize the rosters as far as talent and depth.

    This may get a bunch of thumbs down, however I don’t care.

  64. But the cost of preseason tickets need to be severely lessened. Makes zero sense for it to cost equivalently to a regular season game. None!

  65. tapper0510 says:
    Feb 17, 2012 11:07 PM
    A 17 game season. Two less preseason games. Play the extra game in a Non-NFL city ie London, Mexico City, LA. Add an extra bye week and everybody gets something. New fans in new cities, more football, fans can follow there team to a different city, Players get an extra week off. Its a no brainer. No more 8-8 seasons (sorry Jeff Fisher)


    I like this also but would add one thing. Any neutral site should be ineligible to be the destination for any relocations for 5 years time after hosting last neutral game but would still be OK for expansion teams only. Otherwise, the owners would gain great leverage over their current cities in stadium negotiations, etc as based on turnouts, threats for relocation would be a given.

  66. I think 18 games is a great idea. Start Labor Day, end President’s Day. Each team could play their division opponents twice, and all other conference opponents once, then playoffs, and then the Super Bowl is the only inter-conference game.
    I think worse than 18 games is the idea of further expansion, especially outside of the USA

  67. Fans may not like the preseason, but so what?

    There is a reason that teams have OTAs, Training Camps and Preseason.

    Its getting the team ready for the rigors of a 16 game schedule.

    Has everyone already forgotten with the LOCKOUT killing the OTAs, and a shortened Training Camp how HORRIBLE the play was at the beginning of the season? The massive uptick in the amount of injuries in the beginning of the season?

    Of course the quality of play is less during the preseason. ITS CALLED THE PRESEASON!! Teams are trying to reduce a 90-man training camp roster to a 53-man season roster. They have 4 games to figure that out. This is also the opportunity for the players to battle for one of those 53 spots. Teams have to mature throughout the season and get themselves into championship form by the end of the season; that starts with the preseason. Preseason is where the players start to toughen up to the hits that they are going to take through out the whole season.

    In other sport, the fans do not complain about the preseason.

    If you do not like the preseason, tough. Do not tune in.

  68. We need four pre season games for good player evaluation. December football won’t be the same with an 18 game regular season. It will be less exciting because there will be a much smaller chance of a cinderella story for any given team.
    Please don’t change the current schedule.

  69. pixelito says: Feb 17, 2012 8:24 PM

    Noone wants an 18 game schedule, just like noone wanted changes to the OT rules.

    This Goodell is so out of touch with reality, I’m surprised he’s not running for President.


    We needed changes to the OT rule, but this was not the set of rules that we wanted. The new OT rules only went half way to fixing it.

  70. It’s all about money. So, have two bye weeks and spread the season out over 18 weeks. That way, you add more games to the tv schedule without endangering the players by having to actually play more games.

  71. “Actually, the more accurate statement seems to be that the fans want less preseason and the same regular season.”

    Funny that 18-2 is leading the poll.

  72. player safety my ass, geez, how much money do these guys need, just what I want to see is backups playing backups in the playoffs

  73. Why do you think ole Roger just got a big ass raise?… He doesn’t give a rats ass about player saftey. He cares about his boss’s getting richer and richer. The dude is a total Joke. He is nothing more than an extremely well paid “Mouthpiece”

  74. 18 game season is gonna happen folks; like it or not; its just a question of ‘how’ and ‘when'[ not ‘if’.

    The players want more money; the owners need higher revenues to pay the bills, there’s only one answer…….. more games and higher TV deal receipts

    I personally favour 18 game reg. season, 2 pre-season ‘scrimmages’ (with half-priced admission), with two ‘bye-weeks’, giving the ‘NFL’ three extra reg.season weeks to sell to the TV broadcasters.

    Give those players on existing contracts not wishing to play the ‘extra’ games, the option of ‘opting out’, and increase the ‘gameday’ roster to 61 guys to include the 8 practice squad players.

    Problem solved.

  75. Keep the 16 games with 2 preseason, or 18 games, no preseason. Rather stand pat with 16 games, making an 18 game schedule will result in more injuries and will delute the end of season games. Adding 18 games with 4 preseason would put the super bowl sometime in April,,,,lol,,
    The super bowl in Feb. is silly, season lasts to long.

  76. Firstly. Can people stop saying that nobody wants a 18 game season… According to the poll on this article, roughly 40% of people want an 18 game season. PFT readers are generally quite well informed, so assume that the majority of those are actually basing their opinion on something legitimate.

    I imagine if you were to poll the casual fan, the percentage favouring more football would be even greater.

    Secondly, we’re not talking about adding two games to the season, we’re talking about switching two games with no meaning, which a lot of fans hate—preseason games—for two games which have meaning.

    I’m not saying a 2-18 season is the perfect formula, but since reducing the length of the season is off the table (neither the players nor the owners, the only people with a say, will agree to lose the tv and gate money of two games per season) then i think a 2-18 season is a much better prospect than a 4-16 one.

  77. 60% of people DON’T want an 18 game season. The problem is, the owners were allowed to get away with for decades getting people (the fans they claim to love) to pay full price for preseason games, now, 40+ years after the fact they want to do this for “the fans”. They should have done this is 77 instead of putting 2 more games in, but they were greedy and wanted their cake and wanted to eat it, too.

  78. The 18-game schedule would do two things that no one typically talks about when discussing the pros and cons of it:

    First, it will promote competitive balance if, as expected, the 17th and 18th games are made to be out-of-conference games matching up teams that finished in the same place in their division the previous year. Thus a 1st-place team would have to play six of their 18 games against other 1st-place teams, while a last-place team gets to play six of their 18 games against other last-place teams.

    And second, it will give teams that get off to slow starts a better chance of salvaging their season: No team has ever even gotten to a conference championship game after starting 0-3, and only one team that opened a season with two losses, both at home, has ever made the playoffs in a non-strike year (the 2003 Eagles).

  79. been watching NFL football since 1970. And at the age of 59, I want more GAMES ! yeah…

    enjoying my close to retirement ‘SUndays’….

    not enough NFL action in between SuperBowl and Draft

  80. Returning to my theme of the “side effects” of the 18-game schedule: It will also result in the Super Bowl being played on the Presidents’ Day weekend, which the league says it wants for “travel-related” reasons – and will also give tens of millions of workers the following day off (a while back there was actually a movement to make “Super Bowl Monday” a national holiday; this would in effect do that for many) – something employers, both public and private, would love since it would save them untold millions of dollars in lost productivity and overtime costs (to cover for workers who have called in “sick”) because the day after the Super Bowl has far and away the highest worker absentee rate of any workday in the entire year.

    Furthermore, with fewer preseason games for coaches to evaluate talent, some of the “wrong” players will inevitably get cut, and, most of the time anyway, claimed on waivers by weaker teams (as the previous season’s standings are used to determine waiver priority until Week 4 of the regular season), thereby promoting competitive balance an additional way besides in the schedule, as I pointed out previously.

  81. Of course a significant portion of fans like the idea of 18 games. Many of them regard the players as nothing more than entertainment commodities, to an even more pronounced degree than the organizations themselves. I understand the legal reasons why teams pretend they care about what becomes of these athletes after they’re used up. I guess fans are just more comfortable with self delusion.

  82. trojan: That would be the palpably obvious #1 demand by the union; and the owners would have no trouble at all giving it to them because another slam-dunk change would be the addition of a second bye week for each team, increasing the number of WEEKS in the regular season from 17 to 20 – so, presumably, the owners would get a 17.6% raise from the networks (in that 20 is 17.6% more than 17).

    And that brings up another “side effect” from the 18-game schedule: No more off week between the conference title games and the Super Bowl; otherwise the Super Bowl would end up being played three weeks later than it’s played now instead of two, and the owners want it played two weeks later so that it can be held on the Presidents’ Day weekend.

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