Published on August 12th, 2019 | by Jerry Doby0
The Proposed 18-Game NFL Season Assessed
The current 16-game season template that the NFL employs has been in place since 1978 and as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. That’s not to say the current system doesn’t have its faults, however. Thursday night football still isn’t very popular among players, for example, and the current inter-conference format means that teams only play one game every eight years in a stadium in the opposite conference to them. The proposed 18-game season has gone down like a lead balloon in some quarters, as reported by espn.com, but in any case, we’ve taken a look at how it could play out and, as objectively as we can, assess whether it’s a good idea or not.
The Proposed New System In a Nutshell
The NFL are reportedly working on the premise that although the new format consists of 18 games, the number of individual games that a player can play is 16. To put it simply, this would lead to a highly competitive, multi-billion-dollar competition where the most talented and marketable athletes miss 12% of the regular season. Those wanting to place a bet on someone to land the MVP award in the upcoming season, for example, wouldn’t know which games their pick would be sitting out. In theory, this would bring sites such as Sportsbettingcanada.org into play, as there are a number of free bets available whereby bettors don’t have to risk any of their own funds when venturing into the unknown. The idea of the 18- game season allegedly came straight from Roger Goodell, the league’s commissioner, who recently announced to the world that he expects the NFL’s revenue to surpass $25 billion by 2027. In retrospect, it seems that he was banking on the expansion of the league when he had this figure in mind.
NFLPA Pushback and Previous NFL Gaffes
Over the years, the NFLPA (the player’s association) has consistently pushed back against the idea of an expanded schedule. It would devalue the contracts of the players already in the league and would mean a lower percentage going to each player despite the increase in overall earnings. On paper, the idea itself looks misguided, but this isn’t the first time that the NFL has shown its ignorance on important football-related matters. As per forbes.com, this is a league played a quarter of the season with unqualified, high school referees rather than give its very own semi-professional referees a realistic, living salary? In addition to this, the league’s handling of the Ray Rice debacle reflected terribly on both the NFL and Goodell, which has undoubtedly made people anxious with regards to the 18-game proposal.
An Idea Based On Greed or a Masterstroke?
Whether you are in favor of an 18-game season or not, what it’s up for debate is that the quality of the league will undoubtedly be compromised. The new proposal is akin to Metallica embarking on a world tour and audiences in every city left wondering whether James Hetfield would be fronting the band on their chosen night or not. In an 18-game season, how often would supporters be seeing their team at full strength? Nobody really knows, and that is the problem. The proposed 18-game season is a foray into the unknown, and with players being forced to sit out of two games a season, you can’t help but feel the fans are being robbed as opposed to being treated to two extra fixtures a season.