Monday, August 30, 2010

18 Game Season

It seems all but a certainty at this point that the NFL owners are going to switch to an 18 game season in 2012.  Obviously the owners favor this because it means more money for them, however it doesn't seem like a good idea to me.  It's hard enough to keep players healthy for 16 games, and adding two more seems to me that it will have more negatives than positives.  I think there will be an increase in injuries and careers will be shortened not to mention that getting to the post season will be more about who has roster depth than who has the best players and team work.  Not to mention that with 2 extra games all of the current records will become meaningless.  I don't see this as providing a better product for NFL fans but rather a diluting of the current game.

The other issue is that adding 2 regular season games presumably means cutting 2 preseason games.  This means that developing and evaluating young players becomes that much more difficult.  Without this playing time, it's not just possible but likely that future stars will not get the opportunity to make it on a final roster.  Would players like Tom Brady and Kurt Warner who began their careers as back ups have made it into the league without adequate playing time to learn their trade and showcase their skills?  What future pro bowlers and hall of famers will we be denied because of a shortened preseason.  Granted, preseason games are less interesting for fans since the outcome isn't important, but a better solution would be for greedy owners to charge lower ticket prices for preseason games instead.  Charging full price for exhibition games seems to me to be a bigger point of contention for fans than the number of games. 

From what I've read, the players' union is opposed to the expanded regular season so with any luck they will have the leverage to put this bad idea out to pasture.  In the end though, I fear that they will be bought off with more money and expanded rosters.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed though that this isn't as imminent as it seems. 
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