Sunday, December 19, 2010

Roger Goodell on an 18-game NFL Schedule

He was just on NBC's "Football Night" with Bob Costas.

It sounds like it's going to happen.

If it does, it's stupid.

Unless, of course, the league were to expand rosters from 53 to 75 (and pay the players accordingly) and have two bye weeks during the season. Let's face it, 53-player teams get decimated during the regular season. The Eagles, the team with which I am most familiar, lost a DE (Victor Abiamiri) before the season, their Pro Bowl fullback Leonard Weaver in the first game, their center, Jamal Jackson, early on in the season, and their right tackle, Winston Justice, has missed the last two games. Their middle linebacker and signal caller on defense, Stewart Bradley, dislocated his elbow last week. Their kick returner and starter corner, Ellis Hobbs, re-injured his neck halfway through the season, and today starting safety Nate Allen tore a patella tendon and looks to be done for the year. Their other starting corner, Asante Samuel, came back today against the Giants, but he missed a few weeks. And there's more than that.

What does the league think will happen if it were to expand the season to 18 regular-season games without adding to rosters, creating a disabled list, or putting extra players on the roster. By week 18, teams will be playing fourth-string QBs in meaningful games or offensive linemen who were working for UPS lifting packages only a month earlier.

And then there's the issue regarding concussions and the concept that players want to keep their jobs and won't admit to being injured. The average NFL career is about 3.5 years right now. Unless rules are changed, that average could come down.

The owners need to be prudent here. Go to an 18-game season, create more jobs -- for players, for coaches and for trainers. Spread the money around a bit, build depth, extend careers and perhaps create more demand for your product. Failure to do that will dilute your brand and have fans suffering Arena League-quality players for the final month of the season.


Doug said...

Have you read Tucker Carlson's column about Michael Vick on ESPN today?

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