Not too good, according to Ray Lewis and Tom Brady.
The possibility of expanding the NFL season to 18 games, and the various possible methods of achieving that aim, has been on the NFL radar for quite some time now. Today, the NFL took the issue one step further, bringing it to the table at a meeting between the NFL and the players association negotiating teams. While, according to Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy, the issue itself was not formally discussed, upcoming negotiations should address the details. Possible reconfigurations including shortening the pre-season by a game, expanding rosters, and changing injured reserved regulations are being listed as possible ways to accommodate teams facing two additional games. Although the NFL clearly favors the additional gridiron action, some players have spoken out against the change. Here’s what Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis had to say in a statement released by the players union:
“I’ve been blessed to play this game for so long, but it’s time to start thinking about what legacy and impact changes like this will leave for the players of tomorrow and us after we retire. I know our fans may not like preseason games and I don’t like all of them, but swapping two preseason games for two end-of-season games—when players already play hurt—comes at a huge cost for the player and the team.”
I would like to be convinced that the NFL is not just looking at this with dollar signs in their eyes, but I can’t really get past the idea that more games means more tickets, commercials, and revenue. While I probably just watch preseason games to satisfy my off-season withdrawal from the NFL, replacing those games with regular season contests will only compromise the quality of play late into the playoffs. It hurts me to shun the possibility of more football, but I have to argue against the extra games. Nevertheless, it should be interesting to see what additional propositions the NFL brings forward regarding the matter and leading into the 2012 season, when this schedule could potentially come into effect.
NFL Brings Expanded Season Proposal to Union [NYT]