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Old 09-30-2010, 10:10 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll

Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll
Associated Press
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print...427&type=story

PITTSBURGH -- Hines Ward rarely looks forward to late December and early January, when his shoulders sometimes ache so badly they hurt on every pass reception and his legs start rebelling after multiple games on unfriendly artificial turf surfaces.

He can't imagine what it might feel like if those games, now the 15th and 16th of an already long NFL season, start arriving sooner as the 13th and 14th games of an 18-game season.

Clark I might get in trouble, I might get a call, but it's all about money. If you want guys to play 18 games, there is some ways guys are going to have to be compensated for that.
” -- Steelers' Ryan Clark on motivation for 18-game schedule

The very thought of playing two more games that count each season led Ward to predict the days of players spending a dozen seasons in the league would quickly end.

"I'll probably be the last double-digit guy," said Ward, the Steelers' career receptions leader who is in his 13th season. "The 10-year guys you won't see any more, except for your quarterbacks. The running backs, you're really going to see a short lifetime span. The season's just too long [already]."

Any player who lasts eight seasons -- and Ward doubts there will be many -- could play as many games as a current nine-season veteran. That player also will have played far more games than the NFL players who experienced 12-game schedules in the 1950s and 14-game schedules in the 1960s.

Another prediction from Steelers players: Many records may stop being broken because players can't last long enough to set them. And a team's roster in August may not resemble the one in January.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and many league owners want to add two regular season games and cut two from the four-game preseason, when many starters play extensively in only one game. Goodell believes an expanded season would give fans more games worth watching and eliminate some that are next to meaningless.

However, numerous NFL players, including many in Pittsburgh, believe it would result in a poorer product because more games would be played without injured stars.

Steelers safety Ryan Clark can't believe that, at the same time in NFL is making a stronger push to protect players from concussions and other head injuries, it appears intent on expanding its season, thus increasing the risk of such injuries.

"Sometimes you need to have foresight," Clark said. "In one sense, we're saying we want to protect players from head injuries, but then you want us to go out there and do it two more times in the regular season."

Despite Goodell's argument that an 18-game season would improve the product, Clark said money is the driving force behind the push. More games mean additional ticket revenue and more TV money.

"I might get in trouble, I might get a call, but it's all about money," Clark said. "If you want guys to play 18 games, there is some ways guys are going to have to be compensated for that."

Colts president Bill Polian said Monday he believes an 18-game season is a "fait accompli." He backtracked two days later and said such a schedule would require lengthy discussion with the players union.

Steelers player representative Charlie Batch is adamantly opposed to such an expansion because of the increased chance for injury, but concedes it might happen if the owners offer players considerably more compensation during current labor talks. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu's suggestion: Guarantee all contracts, as baseball owners do.

"Obviously, our contract situation now and how we're not guaranteed is probably the worst in professional sports," said Polamalu, one of the league's top defensive players. "So it wouldn't be a problem if they started guaranteeing contracts."

Currently, numerous players sign multiyear contracts at inflated salaries they will never earn so owners can spread signing bonuses, for salary cap purposes, over more seasons. In most cases, only the signing bonuses are guaranteed.

"If the owners aren't worried about players' health or anything like that, then of course they would guarantee our contracts," said Polamalu, who missed 11 full games and parts of two others with injuries last season. "Adding more games, there's more risk, so I doubt they would do anything like that."

The league and the players union are negotiating a labor agreement that would replace the current deal that ends in March. If no agreement is reached by then, the players association believes owners will lock out the players, putting the 2011 season in jeopardy. Major League Baseball lost parts of its 1994 and 1995 seasons to a labor impasse, and the NHL shut down for the 2004-05 season because owners and players could not reach an agreement.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll

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Clark said money is the driving force behind the push. More games mean additional ticket revenue and more TV money.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll

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Unnecessary. It may be obvious but he was asked a question and he chose to be honest unlike Goodell. He should be applauded for having guts and risking being fined.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll

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Hines Ward rarely looks forward to late December and early January, when his shoulders sometimes ache so badly they hurt on every pass reception and his legs start rebelling after multiple games on unfriendly artificial turf surfaces.
I saw an interview with Bettis after a game back in 2004 when he was starting, later in the year, like week 10 or so. He could bearly walk and bearly lift his arms up. I know many older players have this happen, and with an 18 game season, and then playoffs, running backs are gonna suffer late in their careers. Running backs in general aren't known to play past 12 seasons. You might see teams drafting more finess runners than big boulder like running backs.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll

18 games is too many...Hell they are benching starters the last 2 weeks now..
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll

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I saw an interview with Bettis after a game back in 2004 when he was starting, later in the year, like week 10 or so. He could bearly walk and bearly lift his arms up. I know many older players have this happen, and with an 18 game season, and then playoffs, running backs are gonna suffer late in their careers. Running backs in general aren't known to play past 12 seasons. You might see teams drafting more finess runners than big boulder like running backs.
It will be smart to use committees and keep players fresh. I believe they will be expanding the Roster size too.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll

As much as I love the NFL and our Steelers I think it would be stupid to expand the regular season myself. You take away 2 preseason games and where does the rookies prove that they can or cannot play? I think its just stupid to even talk about it, and as far as injuries and taking care of its players? How can the Commisioner think adding 2 regular season games help that? It cant and I hope the Players Dont Allow it myself.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll

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Unnecessary. It may be obvious but he was asked a question and he chose to be honest unlike Goodell. He should be applauded for having guts and risking being fined.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll
Associated Press
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print...427&type=story

PITTSBURGH -- Hines Ward rarely looks forward to late December and early January, when his shoulders sometimes ache so badly they hurt on every pass reception and his legs start rebelling after multiple games on unfriendly artificial turf surfaces.

He can't imagine what it might feel like if those games, now the 15th and 16th of an already long NFL season, start arriving sooner as the 13th and 14th games of an 18-game season.

Clark I might get in trouble, I might get a call, but it's all about money. If you want guys to play 18 games, there is some ways guys are going to have to be compensated for that.
” -- Steelers' Ryan Clark on motivation for 18-game schedule

The very thought of playing two more games that count each season led Ward to predict the days of players spending a dozen seasons in the league would quickly end.

"I'll probably be the last double-digit guy," said Ward, the Steelers' career receptions leader who is in his 13th season. "The 10-year guys you won't see any more, except for your quarterbacks. The running backs, you're really going to see a short lifetime span. The season's just too long [already]."

Any player who lasts eight seasons -- and Ward doubts there will be many -- could play as many games as a current nine-season veteran. That player also will have played far more games than the NFL players who experienced 12-game schedules in the 1950s and 14-game schedules in the 1960s.

Another prediction from Steelers players: Many records may stop being broken because players can't last long enough to set them. And a team's roster in August may not resemble the one in January.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and many league owners want to add two regular season games and cut two from the four-game preseason, when many starters play extensively in only one game. Goodell believes an expanded season would give fans more games worth watching and eliminate some that are next to meaningless.

However, numerous NFL players, including many in Pittsburgh, believe it would result in a poorer product because more games would be played without injured stars.

Steelers safety Ryan Clark can't believe that, at the same time in NFL is making a stronger push to protect players from concussions and other head injuries, it appears intent on expanding its season, thus increasing the risk of such injuries.

"Sometimes you need to have foresight," Clark said. "In one sense, we're saying we want to protect players from head injuries, but then you want us to go out there and do it two more times in the regular season."

Despite Goodell's argument that an 18-game season would improve the product, Clark said money is the driving force behind the push. More games mean additional ticket revenue and more TV money.

"I might get in trouble, I might get a call, but it's all about money," Clark said. "If you want guys to play 18 games, there is some ways guys are going to have to be compensated for that."

Colts president Bill Polian said Monday he believes an 18-game season is a "fait accompli." He backtracked two days later and said such a schedule would require lengthy discussion with the players union.

Steelers player representative Charlie Batch is adamantly opposed to such an expansion because of the increased chance for injury, but concedes it might happen if the owners offer players considerably more compensation during current labor talks. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu's suggestion: Guarantee all contracts, as baseball owners do.

"Obviously, our contract situation now and how we're not guaranteed is probably the worst in professional sports," said Polamalu, one of the league's top defensive players. "So it wouldn't be a problem if they started guaranteeing contracts."

Currently, numerous players sign multiyear contracts at inflated salaries they will never earn so owners can spread signing bonuses, for salary cap purposes, over more seasons. In most cases, only the signing bonuses are guaranteed.

"If the owners aren't worried about players' health or anything like that, then of course they would guarantee our contracts," said Polamalu, who missed 11 full games and parts of two others with injuries last season. "Adding more games, there's more risk, so I doubt they would do anything like that."

The league and the players union are negotiating a labor agreement that would replace the current deal that ends in March. If no agreement is reached by then, the players association believes owners will lock out the players, putting the 2011 season in jeopardy. Major League Baseball lost parts of its 1994 and 1995 seasons to a labor impasse, and the NHL shut down for the 2004-05 season because owners and players could not reach an agreement.
Eighteen games is a joke and way too much......what they should do is have only two preseason games and stick with 16. But as everything else greed will destroy the NFL and it is already well on it's way
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Hines Ward worried about 18-game toll

Just another idiot idea by goodell- add it to his legacy list.
It IS all about the money for this guy- he is already in charge of the best sport in the world- don't over manage it
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