Adding More NFL Regular Season Games

It is already Week 13 in the NFL and it feels like we just got started!

The NFL season is already grueling enough for the 16 games over 17 weeks players play each season. There has been recent talk about expanding the season to 18 regular season games and only two pre-season games. I am not in favor of increasing the season to the proposed 18 regular season games by simply reducing the pre-season games. There needs to be more analysis on making this a rational decision for all affected parties: players, owners, and fans. 

Once the first regular season game is played, no contributing player ever returns to his physical health to100% for the balance of the regular season games. At best, each player may be at 80%. The game of football is very demanding on the body. I have conveyed to many people in discussions as an analogy, “Running into a wall every Sunday is not natural for the human body.” Players are paid a handsome salary as a result of  their sacrifice for entertaining fans week-in and week-out, but at what cost?  There is now the recent campaign for increased concussion studies, and a proposed policy in the table between the NFL Player’s Association (NFLPA) and the NFL owners to require a player who receives a concussion during a game not be allowed back into the game if he is experiencing concussion symptoms and also be required to sit out the following game next week.

With concussion studies and other injury issues being contemplated, it would be foolish and hypocritical for the NFL and NFLPA to agree with simple expansion of the regular season to 18 regular season games. If the NFL and NFLPA were to increase the number of regular season games to 18, a viable solution would be to reduce the pre-season games by one, add an extra bye-week to the regular season, and add an extra round to the playoffs. This would help with resting the players bodies, reduce the concussion rate, increase revenue dollars for the NFL (extra playoff round), and increase fan interest in the post season which increases revenues for the owners.

A win (players)-win (owners)-win (fans) for everyone!

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