I just read a report that the NFL Players Association and the league just had a meeting involving the likelihood of adapting an 18-game schedule. If this new schedule goes down, it’s going to change a couple of things about the way your NFL team prepares on and off the field.
7) Games at neutral sites
For the last few seasons, the Bills have always gloated about being able to sell over 53,000 season tickets. However, one of factors involved with selling so many season tickets is that buyers only have to purchase seven home games, while the 8th home game takes place in Toronto. That sort of international experiment that the Bills have used, makes me think that the NFL is going to adopt a similar philosophy. Look for multiple regular season games to take place in venues from China to Mexico. The NFL is all about making as much money as possible. I assure you, that money can come in the form of pesos or euros.
6) Running back by committee will be a given
As of right now, just over half the NFL teams have a running back by committee philosophy. Most teams have made the case that by having two different types of running backs, gives the offense more options. Of course, it also prolongs a running backs shelf life. If the NFL goes to an 18-game schedule, there’s no way in hell you can have a running back carry the ball 20-25 times a game. I mean, you could, but that running back is going to be dead by the age of 25.
5) Expanding rosters
Remember all those injuries that the Bills suffered last year? Well, if you throw in two extra regular season games, then you probably are going to have open tryouts by November. I’m sure Al Bundy or the dude from the movie Invincible will be loving that sort of idea. In other words, they are going to have to expand the 53-man roster for NFL teams. Injuries are a part of the game and since the games are going to be expanding, so should the roster size.
4) Stats will become water downed
Remember when 2,000 yards rushing and 4,000 yards passing were milestones for an NFL player? Well, what’s going to happen when you add two games to the equation? Obvious answer: those stats are going to be much easier to accomplish. I guess having a 2,500 yard rushing season would warrant some sort of acclaim. Say goodbye to Dan Marino’s regular season passing yard record and the same goes for Eric Dickerson’s rushing record. Ugh, I can only imagine the sort of analysis that will come into play by comparing today to yester years: “Well, this guy had an extra game to play, so his season shouldn’t be regarded as the greatest in league history.”
3) Salaries will be going up
Well, if you are playing two extra games per season, by my math, an NFL player is going to get a 10-15% raise. That’s all I got for you on this one.
2) Not as many preseason games
Hooray!!! How many times over the years have you said that preseason games suck? Well, from the looks of it, we are all going to get our wish and preseason games are going to be cut down to just two. Thank god! You want to know what the worst part about preseason football is? Well, it’s NOT having to watch back-up players, who will be bagging groceries by September 1st play in meaningless games; it’s having fans and media members jump to ridiculous conclusions after watching the first team offense or defense play in an exhibition game. Preseason football is a complete joke, a farce, a mirage…it just doesn’t exist. Coaches and players use remedial game planning in order to not get star players hurt. Plus, they don’t want to tip the opposition on what kind of plays they plan on running during the regular season.
1) New match-ups
OK, this happens to be my idea. I think if the NFL goes to an 18-game schedule, they should implement a rivalry weekend for games. The same sort of match-ups that Major League Baseball has for Interleague Play. The NFL would make so much money off yearly match-ups, like the Giants vs Jets, 49ers vs Raiders, Texans vs Cowboys and Steelers vs Eagles. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I assure you, there is nothing like going to a game between interstate/city rivals. I’ve been to a few Yankees vs Mets match-ups and it’s really an electric atmosphere. I can only assume that if the NFL adopted this sort of format, the Bills would probably play against the Toronto Argonauts. Just kidding…I guess the Browns will have to do. Ugh…I’ve seen too many of those classic match-ups. Maybe we should just stick with the Argos.