An idea the NFL has been looking into lately is an 18 game regular season. I will be looking into the pros and cons of the idea after the jump.
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Pro 1 - More Money - Money makes everyone happy. There would be more regular season games to be broadcasted and more stadium seats to be filled. The NFL, not including postseason and preseason, would be making, theoretically, 12.5% more money from actual games. That extra dough would make contracts more lucrative and make more multimillionaires take on the risk of being the owner of a sports team.
Con 1 – More Injuries – Playing football is a dangerous and bruising job. As most of you know I live in Wisconsin and one of the adds I constantly see on TV and hear on the radio is Donald Driver convincing people to where their seatbelts. He informs the average Joe that playing pro football is like being in several car crashes. That’s how bad it is. Players would ask for even more guaranteed money because it would be even more likely that they would be sidelined for the rest of the season. Injuries are unpredictable, like how Tom Brady got injured in the first game of the 2008 NFL season and Wes Welker in the last game of the 2009 season.
Pro 2- Who wants to see the Preseason anyways?- Fans want to see as much football as possible and adopting the 18 game schedule would allow us to end the boring and tedious preseason quicker and allow the regular season the start two weeks earlier.
Con 2- The answer to Pro 2 is Coaches- The preseason is a time for young rookies to prove themselves to coaches against actual NFL competition, albeit usually 2nd string competition. Coaches can experiment with certain players and see if, in our case, how good Joe Webb and Chris Cook are in actual games. They can do whatever they want because they don’t affect their record.
Pro 3 – More games means more players on the roster which means more young talent discovered – Remember how Miles Austin burst onto the scene with Dallas? Who would have thought he would have been a star? By expanding the roster it allow teams to develop more late round picks and give more players a shot. The later rounds of the draft would also become slightly more relevant.
Con 3 – Get ready to through stats out of the window………… again – Most people forget that the NFL season was once 14 games so what the NFL is thinking isn’t unheard of. The NFL started playing with 16 games in 1978. Pretty much all stats before or after then, it depends on the way you look at it, are skewed. How often will 5000 passing yards, 20 sacks, 200 tackles, or 2000 rushing yards be broken then? Where will we set the new bar for statistical greatness? What if a team went 17-1? Are they better than the 2007 Patriots who went 16-0?
All in all, despite being a fan, I don’t want to see the schedule expanded. Why fix what’s not broken? Well the answer is money but still. I don’t want our Vikings to get injured more often. I just don’t like the idea. What do you guys think?