Goodell is making the rounds of the NFL teams again, rousing the possibility of an 18-game season. The players almost unanimously turned it down during the lockout last year, but Goodell has never been one to take no for an answer.
So here he is again, earlier this week, on ESPN radio 1050 am bringing up the subject.
“People want more football. I think they want less preseason and more regular season and that’s the concept we are talking about here. We wouldn’t add an extra two games without reducing the preseason and we are not going to do it without the player’s support, so we did that in the collective bargaining agreement instead of having the unilateral right, which we had.
Even after stepping down from his soapbox, Goodell manages to go back to the players and make them responsible for at least a part of the decision.
“We determined that we were going to do this together. We are going to make changes in the offseason and during the preseason and during the regular season to make the game safer. If we can accomplish that we’ll look at the idea of restructuring the season and taking two preseason games away and the potential of adding regular season games, but I don’t think that will happen until at least 2013 or 14.”
Goodell is amazingly correct and yet wrong in the same context. Yes the fans believe the pre season schedule of 4 games is way too long, coupled with the tickets prices being the same for a regular season game yet showing a sub standard product is what fans have distaste for.
Yet as far as the regular season, the fans believe that is just right. 16 games are enough for the pallet to appreciate and enjoy during the fall and beginning winter months. The 16 game season is easy to schedule, it matches up rivalries and divisional races well, and injuries are kept at a workable number.
Goodell makes safety one of the prime issues in the league this season, yet he wants to extend the hitting another two games. This was the players’ primary argument. Two more games would increase the hitting and thus, injuries. Yet Goodell manages to evade that aspect when he states “If they can make the game safer then they will look into lengthening the season.” Maybe what he means is legislating hitting out the game.
Yet Goodell isn’t looking out for the fan on this proposal. He is looking out for the owners pockets. All owners would love to bring in more money, and business venture would. Not only would ticket revenue go up, but so would parking, concessions and of course, the television money.
Goodell might say he is for the game and the player’s safety, but what he is really all about is increasing the bottom line for the owners.