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Are You Ready for Some More Football? NFL Owners Want 18-Game Season

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National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell announced yesterday that the thirty-two owners of the teams “overwhelmingly support” an 18-game season. He indicated that they would like to see this implemented as soon as the 2012 season.

This is interesting timing since, according to a report in Forbes Magazine, things do not look good for the upcoming negotiations between NFL players union leader DeMaurice Smith and Goodell. They note that “expert observers think the chances are real for a drag-out battle escalating to a strike or a lockout.”

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires in March 2011, so this concept of an 18-game season would definitely be one of the hot items on the table. Since Forbes is almost guaranteeing some kind of stoppage due to problems in negotiations, why would owners put such a proposal on the table at this time? Probably because they want to be certain to have some kind of leverage should a lockout drag on for more than a few games.

This cannot please players very much, considering the 16-game season is already grueling enough for them, but an increase in games played is not unprecedented. The NFL has gone from a 12-game season to a 14-game season to the current 16 games, so it has happened before. How would the schedule look if this is implemented? Would we be playing the Super Bowl in March?

I think the 16-game season is certainly long enough; with some teams going into the playoffs and playing additional games, it would definitely drag the season out unnecessarily. Two more games added to the season, while no doubt enhancing the owners’ coffers, will increase the chances for more injuries and certainly will present a tougher terrain for the players each year. This could well be one of the sticking points if a lockout occurs during negotiations next year.

We do not need an 18-game season in the NFL. I think Goodell and the owners would do much better to start thinking about ways to avoid a lockout next season by doing everything they can to make certain the current 16-game season is played in its entirety in 2011.

 

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About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charley Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.
  • charlie doherty

    The idea of expanding to 18 games per year makes me sick, quite frankly. And the fact that supposedly all the owners are on board with it doesn’t surprise me one bit.

    As a football fan who knows how an entire division’s and conference’s outlook can be changed in an instant due to a key injury (see Tom Brady’s 2008 season-ending injury in week one, for example), you can bet there will be a ton of angry fans if this goes forward in 2012 and you see key injuries happen in games 17 or 18.

    The move many seasons ago from 14 to 16 games was a big enough deal for the NFL. There’s just no need to expand to any more games. Like you said, all it does is fill up the coffers of the owners with two more weeks’ worth of money. I just hope the players and players union speak out and take a against this before it’s too late.

  • http://philiptortora.blogspot.com Philip Tortora

    The NFL should increase to a 17-game regular season. But in doing so, it can also add a second bye week for all teams. Additionally, it should make the extra game for all teams a neutral site game against a foe from the opposing conference.
    http://philiptortora.blogspot.com/2010/07/nfl-should-play-17-game-regular-season.html