Wednesday, September 22, 2010

18 and Life to Go: A Letter to Roger Baddell and the Extended Season Injury Impact

Dear Roger,

I have a proposition for you. How would you like a 12.5 percent pay increase? (Don't worry; I won't embarrass you by printing the actual dollars to which that would translate.) The only catch to my offer is that you'll have to work 12.5 percent more hours... And you increase your chances of getting hurt on the job by 12.5 percent (and probably more than that if I actually crunched the numbers but I dropped Probability and Discrete Math in high school for the all important second study hall)... And if that injury affects your performance, we won't renew your contract... And if that injury is really bad, we won't even honor your existing contract. Sound like a good deal? Let me know.

Chris Legentil

Increasing the NFL season to 18 games is a bad idea if you care about player health (and the NFL front office does, right? That's the reason it protects the quarterbacks, right? Riiiiiiight). In this case, the NFL front office cites "pleasing fans" as its motivation to consider an 18 game schedule. Season ticket holders are forced into buying their seats for both preseason home games as part of their package and, much to the fans' chagrin, the preseason is filled with lackluster performances and very little playing time for starters. By adding two games to the regular season, the NFL would be pleasing its fans by eliminating two of the four meaningless preseason games.

Wow, what a simple solution: NFL games are good, so more NFL games would mean more good... or gooder. (Yikes. Did I drop my English class senior year as well?) Why stop at two games? If we jump the amount of games to 32, we could double the amount of NFL goodness. Okay, maybe that's stretching it. Let's stick with two. After all, the NFL would just be increasing the season length by 12.5 percent and teams could bump up players' salaries accordingly for their troubles.

Adding two games shouldn't be that big of a deal. Realistically, how many players could possibly get injured in two games?

Reggie Bush, Casey Hampton, Kevin Faulk, Ryan Grant, Jason Witten, Kevin Kolb, Matthew Stafford. The list goes on.

Here's a hint: Teams don't play their players in preseason because they are afraid of the players getting hurt!

Hurt players could mean a ruined season for a team. Hurt players could also mean a ruined life for the injured and their families. Maybe that's the extreme case but by increasing the length of the season, you either shorten the average career length of the players or water down the talent pool by expanding rosters to avoid/accommodate injuries. Either way, it's not the fans who are making out.

More on the real reason behind the proposed 18 game season in the near future. It's not even 9 a.m. and I already have agita.


  1. What's that old saying? "Don't fix it if it ain't broke." The 16 Game Season is more than adequate for the populous. If anything they should cut the pre-season games to 2, but to extend the season any further would dilute the greatness that is the NFL Season. I unsderstand the owners desire to have more games in which to sell more tickets, but i feel the result of an extended season would be more negative in the long run with more injured players, strikes, and an overall negative relationship between owners and the players (as if it isn't bad enough already).

    But we forget that the NFL is a business and, sadly, it all comes down to money....

  2. Well stated Chris & especially before 9 A.M.!

    I think the season would be diluted for real with any longer regular season. I think the fewer preseason games would be nice but then again the regular season can't be extended either.

    Folks thought the game would be watered down with a Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football on the regular schedule but those work. I feel that it is not cool to add to the season and risk more injury.

    Remember last year the Commissioner was concerned that stars barely played in the fianl games of the season and was thinking of incentives? The problem will get worse with More games added to the end of the year. 18 games is a no go for me.

  3. Excellent point on the Commissioner's late season concerns last year. What's next? Incentivizing teams to activate injured players early so fans can see them on the field?


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