As a fan, there is nothing better than more football. But as a former player and former coach, 17 games is a lot.
If you haven’t heard, the NFL has officially added an extra game for the 2021 season. This comes on the heels of a few big name players saying they were not happy about the proposed new rule. Saints running back Alvin Kamara was vocal on social media about it. Kamara tweeted “shit dumb....as hell” Not sure about you but, I don’t think he likes the idea.
As a part of this addition, the NFL also lopped off one of the 4 preseason games. But nobody cares about that. The preseason is nonsense anyways.
If anyone is asking why the NFL did this, they’re dumb. The answer is simple. Money.
If you add another game to each team's NFL season, then you add another week of ticket sales, concessions, parking and whatever else they sell at NFL games. Not to mention another week of TV time and advertising. The owners saw dollar signs and slapped another game on there.
Let’s look at this from a pros vs. cons perspective.
Like I said at the top, this is an NFL fans wet dream. More football that matters is never a bad thing for us. We get to rid our lives of a useless preseason game and gain one that actually matters. That is GREAT.
Another pro is the elimination of the dreaded 8-8 season. Nobody likes a tie. It’s said that a tie is like kissing your cousin. It doesn’t count. No fan likes their team to be 8-8. Except maybe the Jets. That’s a great year for them. The 17 game season makes it so a team either has to have a winning season, or a losing season. Unless teams tie in a game, which is another thing that the NFL needs to eliminate.
How about the cons you might ask?
Well, the NFL is a league that has claimed player safety as one of their highest priorities. That doesn’t seem to be the case with the addition of another game to the regular season.
Like it or not, the NFL is one of the most dangerous major sports in America. One hit can end a player's career in a fraction of a second. Not to mention shortening someone’s life. The NFL has tried to rid itself of the concussion stigma for years now. Even settling a HUGE lawsuit with former players for not disclosing the risk of head injury. They have trumpeted about their concussion policy for years now and how they take these kinds of things very seriously.
You can throw all of that right out the window now. Clearly, the NFL doesn’t care that much about player safety. Adding another game does nothing for the players but adding more risk of serious injury. The NFL says that player safety is one their “highest priorities.” The key phrase there is “one of” because we now all know that money is the highest priority for the NFL.
I can call out the NFL all I want, but I’ll still watch all 17 games. They’ve got what’s referred to as a monopoly on football. And there is no way anybody is going to boycott because they added more football. It is just that simple.
All of that being said, the adding of 1 game won’t have that big of an impact. I mean come on, it’s one game. But this is a slippery slope. Where does it end? Will we add more and more games until the NFL is watered down? The old phrase why fix what isn’t broken comes to mind here. The NFL has a stranglehold as the biggest drawing sport in America, and no other sport is close. One wonders if they keep tinkering with the game and the season, will the hold loosen? Couple the new rule with one more team reaching the playoffs each year, and you’ve got some fundamental changes to the NFL.
Will this have a huge impact? I guess we will find out. In this blogger’s humble opinion, it is a dangerously greedy path for the NFL to go down.