For once I agree with the majority over at NFL.com – the 18-game schedule is not such a good idea.
Of course the original idea stemmed from the notion that fans could have more games to watch, but we would all be naive to think that the idea didn’t spring from anywhere but an accountant’s office.It’s the bottom line that has kept this idea afloat – in other words, more revenue.
While that’s always a good idea in a capitalistic society where competition makes the world go around, it doesn’t really apply to the NFL because the league has no competition.
If revenue is what the league wants and needs, there are other ways to generate it … Surely the league beancounters and marketing departments can come up with brighter ideas than this one – a plan that puts your greatest commodity – the player – at risk.
Yes, the league has increased its number of games from 12, then to 14 and finally to 16 because it helped the numbers fall into place for the schedule makers. With the addition of teams and the merger of the NFL and AFL the increase in numbers of games became a necessity.
The notion that the league must go to 18 games comes only from greed and I certainly understand the Players’ Association’s opposition to it, especially if it’s done without reducing in other areas such as OTAs or preseason games.
With an 18-game schedule, of course the potential for more injuries would increase, but even more importantly, the potential for meaningless games at the end of the season would also jump. Consider how many starters would be in street clothes for those games, reducing the game’s importance to that of an exhibition.
Another interesting point was that a team could lose a majority of divisional games, finish 12-6 and still qualify for the playoffs – now how fair is that?
So, the bottom line here is just that … Leave the schedule be … If anything, reduce the number of OTAs or drop one or two preseason games, but do not increase the number of regular season games.
As it is, it’s like Goldilocks said, “it’s just right.”