It’s Not Broke

Each year about half way through the playoffs, I find myself slightly depressed because I realize just how few games are left in the season. For 22 weeks of the year, there is something to look forward to every weekend. Wins and losses are easier to deal with in other sports with the teams playing much longer seasons. NFL games are events that are built up every week. Every day leading up to gameday we find ourselves monitoring injury reports, game plans, and fantasy projections. A win in the NFL can boost your entire week, while one loss can make you feel like a season is in shambles. The emotional investment in our teams is so great since there aren’t chances to see them all the time, but that is what makes the league so special. Unfortunately, Roger Goodell disagrees, and has proposed an extended season.

Football is so popular because it is always in demand. Most fans get to see their teams play 16 times, then wait NINE MONTHS to see them again, and are completely fine with that. That’s what makes the games so meaningful, so why try to water that down? Goodell says that preseason games are not up to the standards of the league, but who says they are supposed to be? No one wants their stars risking injury playing meaningless football, and that is understandable. I would have no problem with the preseason being shortened by a game or two, but that does not mean they should be replaced by regular season games. Injuries are already prevalent enough over the season as it is, so why risk even more.

The linemen that play in the trenches are the ones that I’d worry about the most over an extended season because no one realizes how banged up they get. If they can’t play at their best, quarterbacks will be left unprotected, and that makes them susceptible to injury. Let’s say it’s Week Nineteen, and the Giants are a win away from the top seed in the NFC. Their O-Line is beat up from the extended season and rough NFC East schedule, so they are not at their best. Eli Manning takes the snap, and is immediately crushed by DeMarcus Ware, who had no problem coming off the end. Manning ends up with a separated shoulder, making him questionable for the playoffs. You play that long of a season just to see it go up smoke. Does the league really want to see one of their stars go down just before the playoffs because his line was too beat up from the long season to protect him?

What is so wrong with the way things are right now? Have we ever clamored for the need to overhaul the NFL schedule? The league has already been watered down enough with games being played three days a week before Thanksgiving, which has cut down on the amount of Saturday games late in the season when there is no college football to watch. There are plenty of other problems that the league has to deal with like a possibly uncapped 2010 season, which would be followed by a possible work stoppage in 2011. It would be difficult to extend a season that may not even exist. 

Category: Matt Camp

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11 Responses

  1. JOOCE says:

    I must respectfully disagree with both your reasons for your position.

    I for one would love to have 2 extra weeks of football, and would STILL find the offseason to be too long! I am not “completely fine” with waiting so long, and have to resort to watching the several WNFL’s out there (MLB, NBA, etc). Thank god for NHL! I’m sure I will get it nice for that comment…

    And sure, playing 2 more games would increase the likelihood of injuries. But it would also increase revenue, player salaries, and fan enjoyment!

    Yes, the schedule is not nearly the NFL’s biggest issue, but lack of NFL is the biggest issue in the lives of many a fan.

    For shame Mr. Camp, for shame! :)

  2. JSMITH says:

    This article may be some of the most uninsightful garbage I have ever read.

  3. Matt Camp says:

    Thank you for the constructive criticism

  4. Bryan says:

    I have to agree with Jooce. Just because I suffer in silence doesn’t mean I’m not suffering at all. I also agree with Jooce’s point that the off season is the only reason for watching baseball and such and even that wouldn’t be worthwhile without adding the fantasy game aspect.

    To Matt’s point that two more games is too much wear and tear on the players, I’m not sure I take that at face value. Yes there’s a lot of wear and tear, but that goes with the territory. Even most vets play at least some during the preseason anyway. While we all want to see the best product on the field possible, attrition has always been and will always be an important part of the game. Heaven forbid we actually force teams to do a better job of creating quality depth to go along with a top starting lineup.

    If nothing else, start the season a week earlier and add a second off week for each team. I know one week doesn’t allow that much time to recover from injuries, but I bet the players (especially linemen) would jump all over the idea of an additional week to recover during the season. Play 5-8 games, have a week off, then play another six weeks before taking a team’s second break. That would allow the NFL to spread the teams on bye weeks over a 4 week period while still allowing each team 2 breaks. Players get additional rest, fans get an extra week of quality football, and the NFL gets an extra week of tv revenue. Sounds like a winner to me.

  5. Stretch says:

    I agree with Matt. R.Goodell must’ve lost his mind. We need to keep the 4+ preseason games to evaluate talent and build a solid 53 man roster. I am also a Vikings fan. For example, T.Jackson needs all the snaps against live competition he can get before the season starts.

    Plus the players union would not agree to it anyways.

  6. JBeau says:

    Matt my man..you are killing me bro!! haha. I agree with the commentators here, except for JSmith(everyone is entitled to their opinion…but if you want to rip Matt’s comments…at least give a reason). I love the NFL and wouldn’t mind if we had 3 or 4 extra games. I am not concerned with injuries, it comes with the territory. Sure the owners and NFL will make more money, but obviously so will the players. Players get paid around $1500 for a preseason game, so you mean to tell me, they wouldn’t like to eliminate 2 annoying preseason games getting paid dooky to possibly get injured and instead get paid for 2 extra regular season games? If the owners don’t think they are gonna have to cough up extra loot, then there is no way this flys and we are definitely looking at a lockout though. I hope that doesn’t happen. NHL, NBA, MLB….Yawn…boring, boring boring…would rather watch Tiger or Serena on the courts.

    Bryan..interesting idea about the extra bye week…but that would throw a serious wrench in fantasy and drafting kid!! Keep the blogs coming though Matt, nice to get some new reading material.

  7. Sportster says:

    We all know the NFLPA do not like the 18 game season proposal. But we as fan want more meaningful games. The players will want more money, well I say to bad for them. There JOB is to play football. They get paid to play a game but football is a business and the business side demands that we have more meaningful games to generate more revenue. In the end the owners get more money to pay the players more money.
    As far as the fantasy aspect, who cares about our playoff schedules? This is about the game we love to watch and be a part of. Sure we all want our FF players to help us win our FF playoffs but the game is bigger than just Fantasy Football.
    We are fine with waiting nine months between seasons only because we do not have a choice. If I had my choice the season would be nine months long. I don’t see baseball fans complaining about a 162 game season. Do you? Did you see the fans complain about changing the season from 14 games to 16 games? I don’t recall a huge outrage from the fans. We accept that there are only 16 games but that does not mean we are not content with it.
    Injuries are a part of the game. We may not like them but they happen. Will adding to more meaningful games increase the amount of injuries? Probably a little but the players are paid to play a physical and dangerous game. They know the risks, they know the pain but they make a conscious choice to play. If they don’t want to play more games then they can retire, after all they did go to college. The CFL plays 18 game seasons, is there a reason why the NFL cannot?
    Now, let’s look at the economics of a 16 versus 18 game season from fan’s/my point of view. Most teams charge the same price for preseason games as they do for regular season games. A season ticket holder pays for 10 games, 8 regular and 2 preseason games. I would much rather watch 1 more meaningful game than a week 1, 2 or 4 preseason game at full price to see the starters play 1-2 quarters. The players get paid to play 10 games a year. I know their pay is divided by 16 but they still play the other 4 preseason games. If the owners want more games then increase the player’s salaries proportionally to include two more “game paychecks”. Now, don’t you think they would rather get paid 2 more full season paychecks than only getting $1500 for a preseason game.
    I for one would be ecstatic with an 18 or 20 game season. I only accept 16 games because that’s the way it is. Matt, I have to fully disagree with you that we “and are completely fine with” a 16 game season the waiting 9 months for the next season to roll around.

  8. Tony the Drummer says:

    It really would be best if they just went to a 32 games schedule, played each division opponent four times and did away with off-season mini-camp because the players must hate that also.

    I love football as much as anyone else, but the longer you keep making the season, the closer you get into Mike Webster territory, and no one wants that. Fantasy football is inherently a cold, statistical pursuit, but no one would want to look back and see this already disturbing trend get much worse.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/research/article970962.ece

    http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/health/2009/jan/Football-Injuries-May-Have-Lifelong-Consequences.html

  9. JSMITH says:

    Uninsightful garbage as in this whole article is based on hypothetical situations. Futhermore, if you look throughout the course of the season, I think you will have a tough time arguing that lineman sit out with more injuries than any other position. That was stated to make your comments stronger when in actuality the running back position is the most injury prone position.

  10. Jeff says:

    I don’t understand why the NFL doesn’t voice the option of extending the season by increasing the amount of bye weeks for individual teams. If each team had one or two additional bye weeks as well as a one week bye for the entire league (at the halfway point), we could theoretically extend the season another month. No additional games are played so players don’t risk injury, and television revenues are up due to 3-4 additional weeks. NFL fans would certainly enjoy that options. IMO

  11. Brian says:

    i can’t believe all the backlash Matty’s getting from you guys. first of all, the ONLY reason the NFL is even considering extending the season is to generate extra revenue out of you (the fan), period.

    not to mention, if you extend the the season you are essentially nullifying all the existing records dating back to when the season was made into 16 games. And all you guys that call the preseason “meaningless”; well it must be nice to win the super bowl every single year since that’d be the ONLY reason you wouldn’t need to use the preseason to evaluate talent and decide who starts, who makes the 53man roster, and who will be going home unemployed.

    if the only thing you care about in regards to football is fantasy football, then i can at least understand where some of you are coming from, as everything i mentioned really has zero effect on fantasy football, and you’re most likely only thinking about how “cool” it would be to play fantasy football for 18 weeks (OMg!11!!1! gimme naow!!~). you guys need to get over that, and consider more so the integrity of the game, and less about how it effects YOU. sorry to burst your bubble, but none of you are associated with the NFL, so it doesn’t effect you, at all.

    but now in regards to reality (see: real life), extending the season offers far more harm than it does benefits for both players and fans.

    good luck Matty, and dont let the haters get to you ;)

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