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18 Game NFL Season???

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18 Game NFL Season???

Postby Guttpuppy » Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:18 am

Friday, September 5, 2003
Updated: September 6, 8:41 AM ET

ESPN.com news services

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue is considering authorizing the league to study the feasibility of adding two games to the current 16-game schedule and reducing the number of preseason games, the Washington Post reported in its Saturday editions.

The proposal would be made at a league meeting in Chicago in late October, with the 2005 season the earliest target for change.

The league has drawn criticism this summer for the length of its preseason after injuries to some key players, including quarterbacks Mike Vick of the Atlanta Falcons and Chad Pennington of the New York Jets.

But during an interview in his Washington office, Tagliabue said the proposal would be considered by the owners for competitive reasons and not in response to the loss of key players.

"We need to focus on whether or not two games are sufficient to get a team ready for the season," Tagliabue said. "Some of these clubs are concluding that for many players, including the top players, the second and third preseason games are critical while the first and fourth games are merely complementary."

Starting players generally get most of their work in the first half of the second and third preseason games, with younger players trying to make the club playing in the first and fourth games.

Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said he was aware of the possible proposal. "The game has changed so much a player does not need four games to get ready for the regular season. You're not going to get any complaints from the players if they shorten the preseason," he said.

The NFL has had a 16-game regular season for 25 years, with teams playing four and five preseason games. Also, each team has one week off during the season.

"There have been tremendous changes in our football operations over the past 25 years," Tagliabue said. "Everything today is at an incredibly high level, with great team practice facilities, great medical care and tremendous athletes preparing to play at least 11 months a year in most cases."

The economics of adding games to the regular season would have to be worked out. The players, under the current labor agreement, receive 64 percent of revenues, including the preseason gate. Upshaw said players are paid over 17 weeks of the regular season, by the game, and earn additional preseason pay. Additional regular-season work would have to be negotiated, Upshaw said. The NFL estimates the preseason generates $350 million in revenues.

New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi is opposed to any change in the schedule.

"You have to have contact," he said. "Look at how many injuries happen in practice. It's football. You cannot approach football trying to avoid injuries. Playing 18 games scares me. Year in and year out we have more teams in contention for playoff spots. What would two more games do to that?"
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Postby Homeless » Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:51 am

I SO hope they do it.

I would also LOVE to see them drop bye weeks, from a purely fantasy standpoint.
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Postby AF » Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:56 pm

Shorter preseason would be awesome. I hate seeing the comercials for the first pre-season game being played overseas then realizing that means the season still doesn't start for another month :~(
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Postby chaindog35 » Sat Sep 06, 2003 1:26 pm

This is just a bad idea. talking about wearing out your players. This is bad news.
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Postby L.A. Smogg » Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:05 am

I love the Idea ;-D ..........Preseason injuries suck..........Let the games begin....after all you are professionals making tons of cash.........Less preseason....mo season!
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Postby Shitney™ » Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:52 am

i hate the idea..

sounds like tagliabue wants to rename himself bud selig...
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Postby hawksfan896 » Mon Sep 08, 2003 12:25 am

It's stupid, and it makes things harder for guys trying to make teams. If the starters play basically a whole game's worth of time now, with 4 games, it makes sense they would do the same with 2 games. That means the starters would more than likely play the first half of both games, limiting the time for the "scrubs" to try to impress the coaches from 12 quarters now to 4 quarters. Plus, if the starters play the same amount of time, just not as spread out, what planet would you be from to assume there would be less injuries? I'm all for more meaningful games, but I think the sacrifices of quality time put in by guys trying to make squads doesn't warrant this change. It comes down to being a physical job with certain risks involved. All these guys know this. Of course it is unfortunate for the league for two of their rising stars out a majority of the year from games that didn't count, but injuries happen at practices and scrimmages too. It's part of their job. Why not let the coaches decide how much PT their stars get instead of handcuffing them with less time to tinker with their rosters/lineups?
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Postby Arlo » Mon Sep 08, 2003 7:46 am

A change like this would also make all the old season records meaningless, and skew career marks down the road as well. Leave things as they are...
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Postby fntsyrookie » Mon Sep 08, 2003 12:22 pm

Here's an idea. Scrap two of the preseason games...and keep the regular season at 16.
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