From time to time, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell talks openly about the poor quality of preseason football.
There were no such complaints today.
Today was the day the NFL announced the 2013 preseason schedule, with multiple press releases and/or tweets from teams and the league all landing at roughly 4:00 p.m. ET. The first tangible evidence that football eventually will return (other than the Hall of Fame game, which was announced two weeks ago) created a real buzz — even though the games in question won’t.
And that’s further proof of the behemoth the NFL has become. Fans can gripe about paying full value for meaningless games, and yet the announcement of the who, where, and when for 64 of them gets people excited.
As a result, there’s no way the NFL will get rid of any portion of the preseason, absent a way to not only capture the lost revenue but also expand it. Many still believe that, once the game has been made as safe as it reasonably can be made, the arguments will resurface for replacement two weeks of fake games with two weeks of real games.
And if the argument that the two extra weeks of the regular season never will be accepted by the players, look for the postseason to expand or for the NFL to embrace an outside-the-box approach that would require each team to play 18 games but limit each player’s annual participation to 16.