Friday, January 7, 2011
Pro football labor Talks: longer season does not always mean better
With the NFL's current labor agreement about to run out, the league is scraping for ideas to help its 32 franchises, many of whom lost money in 2010, pull in more revenue in 2011. And while adding two more games to the schedule may sound like a no brainer, at least on paper, its probably not going to give teams that much more money. For starters, many teams are already finding that in today's economy it's hard enough to sell out all 16 games. Expanding to 18 games means teams like the Bills, Browns, and Panthers will have to find even more creative ways to sell out the last two games(sorry fellow Browns fans, had to take that shot, cause I don't think it was a coincidence that when I went to Cleveland stadium October 10 of this past year that Browns management was trying to entice families to come to the game vs. Carolina by offering family packages consisting of 4 tickets, 4 soft drinks, and 4 hotdogs for under $130). And then there are the concerns voiced by the players that adding two more games will only add up to more injuries. This argument is not without merit, as it seems every year the number of players who are put on injured reserve before the final three or four games only increases. What if the Indianapolis Colts, for example, having clinched a playoff birth, and homefield advantage throughout in week 15 of a 19 week season, decide to rest Peyton Manning for the final four games, rather than risk the chance of having to put him on injured reserve? The only valid argument for adding two more games as I see it would be that the regular season would start earlier, and, perhaps cut into Major League Baseball's viewership. Cause I have thought for years that 162 games is way too long a season for any sport, let alone one whose playoffs now extend well into the meat of the NFL schedule. Yet that is a debate for another time. So, Roger Goodell, if you want to be known as the man that saved pro football, expanding the schedule from 16 to 18 games might not be the first place to start.