Green Bay is one of the “fortunate” teams to get to play five preseason games this year, but Packers president Mark Murphy said there’s more talk about shortening the exhibition slate to three.
Via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, Murphy said that the league’s competition committee has talked about reducing the preseason by a game, and Packers coach Mike McCarthy is all in favor of that.
“That would probably be a little more practical, especially with all the emphasis on player safety,” McCarthy said. “Hell, they’ve cut back everything else. I wouldn’t be surprised if they go to three games. Three games with a two-week bye week, with two weeks before the opener. That’s just my opinion. Nobody’s told me that. I’d be for it. I think it makes a lot of sense. Then you could be a little more aggressive in that third game. Just take the fourth one out.”
Since fourth preseason games rarely feature starters, or at least stars, few would miss the “game” if it went away. And Murphy said McCarthy’s suggestion has some traction.
“I think there would be support for three,” Murphy said. “I think Mike’s [idea], that’s what we’ve talked about. Rather than playing that fourth game on a Thursday, . . . don’t play a fourth game and then you’d have an extra week. We’ve looked at different models, but I think that’s the one that makes the most sense.
“You’re giving up some revenue, but it’s one of the worst things we do. The move we made on variable [ticket] pricing helps a little bit in how preseason is viewed, but especially that fourth game is kind of a throwaway.”
Of course, shifting the cost to regular season games — as the Packers did last week — will make up for that revenue hit. But getting rid of a meaningless game sounds like the kind of thing coaches and players and consumers would support anyway.