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Old 04-05-2009, 07:50 AM   #1
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Default On the Steelers: An 18-game season could hurt a lot if you're a player

The NFL is determined to kill its golden goose and apparently will stop at nothing to do so.

The latest evidence is the league's eagerness to extend the regular season to 18 games, which would push the Super Bowl into mid-February. The public reasons given, of course, are for the enjoyment and fairness of the "fans" but the real intent is to milk it for all the money it can get.

If they extend the regular season to 18 games they will shorten the exhibition season from four games to two. They'll get two more real games at the expense of two practice games. And since teams charge the same price for tickets to exhibition games as they do real games, fans should love it. And what's wrong with extending the season of the most popular sport in America? Not to mention, playoff games now will extend into television's February sweeps month. The networks -- and local TV stations that have programs and pepper local news around football -- can't wait (although there is a disadvantage for local TV stations, such as KDKA, which make money producing and broadcasting most preseason games).

The networks will provide more money for the rights fees to the season. Thus, extending the season is really for the money, not the fans.

There's nothing wrong with making money; that's why they call it professionalfootball. But let's examine the downside of the 18-game schedule.

NFL owners approved more rules at their meetings last month to continue to promote player safety. That issue has been at the forefront of many rules, fines and emphasis by the league office for quite some time. Yet, extending the season by two more real games will put the players in more danger on many levels.

The reasoning by proponents of the expanded schedule is that they really are not expanding the schedule. They call it a 20-game schedule now, with 16 regular-season games and four exhibition games. All they are doing, they note, is making an adjustment by taking two exhibition games and turning them into regular-season games.

Again, that looks good on paper but starters play only a fraction of four preseason games. They play maybe two series in the first game, a little more in the second, a little more than half a game in the third and hardly at all in the fourth.

In an 18-game schedule, starters would play 18 full games. And with only two exhibition games to prepare for the bloated regular season, coaches will want to play their starters more often to get their team ready in the shorter preseason for the start of the regular season.

So, for the average starter who plays 16 games and perhaps one full preseason game, he now must play nearly 20 full games. Not only does that add to the players' risk -- think Ben Roethlisberger as a sack target for two or three more full games -- it adds to their wear and tear as the season drones on.

The reduced preseason also will limit the playing time of younger players and thus fewer chances to display their wares in game situations because starters will play deeper into them.

There's talk that the extended schedule would mean expanded rosters and perhaps even a developmental league for that very reason, because more players will be hurt. But if they expand the schedule to bring in more money, why would NFL owners want to dilute that by expanding their rosters? And the idea of a developmental league failed miserably with the collapse of NFL Europe.

There also remains the danger of more late-season games rendered meaningless as teams either run away with their division titles or fall hopelessly behind. What now has some teams playing two or three games at the end of the season that mean nothing could turn into four or five meaningless games -- with all the accompanying empty seats.

Dan Rooney always opposed attempts to lengthen the NFL schedule beyond 16 games. He believed that each NFL game holds a significance no other pro league can attach to one game. But now, he and Steelers president Art Rooney II are willing to compromise on the issue. The Rooneys favor a 17-game season because they sense the rising tide among their colleagues who favor an expanded schedule and want to limit the damage.

There remains one hope to prevent the expansion of the NFL's regular season -- the players. Any expansion of the regular season must be negotiated with the NFL Players Association. But the idea of more money in the players' pockets will provide an intoxicating reason for them to vote for it. And if they do, they then deserve what they get.

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Old 04-05-2009, 08:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: On the Steelers: An 18-game season could hurt a lot if you're a player

Think back when heavyweight championship boxing matches were 15 rounds. Unless you got a first round KO there was lots of dancing until you got to the 10th or 12th.

Now 12 rounds makes lots of sense. Just like 16 regular season games.

Greater parity has made the season exciting for a majority of the teams and the entire league has been refined over the last 20 years adapting to 16 games, FA, etc..

What seems like simply changing the status of two pre-season games and making them count would have far reaching implications. On the positive side, Detroit may have actually won a game, but the torture of being a Lion, Bengal, or Brown fan would offset any positive gains. Sure, there would be more money, but at what cost? Don't fix something if it is working in the way the NFL has evolved.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: On the Steelers: An 18-game season could hurt a lot if you're a player

I hope they let teams add a few players to the roster so they can rotate players in and out a little more to prevent the increase in injuries that are bound to happen with two more games. They barely make through the season now as it is.

Cripes, I can't get anything done on Sundays during the season. I love my Steelers football and all...but it's nice when it's over and I can get back to my regular routine and get some things done at home and get back to my regular workout schedule. This is gonna be a killer................

On the other hand, it will make the winter seem to go by much faster.
"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:37 AM   #4
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Default Expanded season means one thing....

re-sign Byron Leftwich and Willie Parker.

Having depth at the QB and RB spots will be essential to winning a SB.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: On the Steelers: An 18-game season could hurt a lot if you're a player

I posted this a few times now but he has it right

this is what driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. said about Nascar adding more races ,

"What's happened is we have saturated the market with race after race after race," Earnhardt said at Texas. "The NFL, they do such a great job. I hate to keep comparing to them and using them as examples but they do the best job. They give you just enough to keep you wanting more. The season ends before you want it to. You get just enough to get excited and then it's all over and there's such a long wait. The model works."

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Old 04-05-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: On the Steelers: An 18-game season could hurt a lot if you're a player

12 to 14 was fine. 14 to 16 was fine. 16 to 18 will also be fine.

Increase the roster though.

For all the teams that "run away" with their division, there will be just as many tight battles for playoff spots created by an extra 2 games. Just look at last year and picture how many of the 6 seeds in each Conference would remain up for grabs. Plus the scheduling will work out better.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: On the Steelers: An 18-game season could hurt a lot if you're a player

16 games is fine with me.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: On the Steelers: An 18-game season could hurt a lot if you're a player

I would be for 18 games, if there are two breaks in teh schedule and not one.

That way, each team can be rested twice. it only seems fair. Start the season two weeks earlier, let it run a week later, then play the SB ONE week after the AFCCG.

Also enlarge the team. . . add 7 more players to each squad, and enlarge the practice squad, without the rules for how many games can be played before a player cannot be sent to the PS. However, give the player the chance to reject the demotion and go FA if they are put on the PS after starting so many games.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: On the Steelers: An 18-game season could hurt a lot if you're a player

I'm convinced that Mr. Goodell just wants the players/teams he dislikes the most to suffer more injuries. I guess he gets pleasure in seeing Ben getting sacked 10 times in a game while doing whatever he can to protect Tom Brady from getting hurt again.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: On the Steelers: An 18-game season could hurt a lot if you're a player

i think that if they increase the reg season.. that they will try and push more teams being allowed to play in the post-season...

if it ain't broke don't fix it

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