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Eighteen-game schedule could be the answer to NFL's labor dispute

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by DenverBolt67, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/john_lopez/07/13/schedule/index.html

    The NFL Players Association and owners are beginning to cast warning shots in what could become a bitter labor feud by next March. Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the league's recent rookie symposium that he'd like to see more tangible progress in the labor negotiations. Translation: The NFLPA is dragging its feet.

    The NFLPA, meanwhile, filed a complaint with labor authorities, questioning whether the league built a type of unfair "lockout insurance" in its most recent TV deal. In other words, if there is a lockout, owners still would get paid, but players would not. The league's response was to call the complaint, "simply a distraction [that does] nothing to get us any closer to a new CBA."

    Yet amid this growing strain, it's becoming equally obvious that one thing could solve the labor dispute before it gets too ugly and protracted: an 18-game regular season schedule.

    Both sides see possibilities and potential in the recently proposed 18-game format, which would include reducing the preseason to two games instead of its current four. For players, it could mean more money -- if owners are willing to back away from their stated position to the contrary. For owners, it would mean more money. That's always a good place to start. More money for everybody can solve just about any labor impasse.

    And as much as fans will be a mere afterthought when it comes to hammering out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, even Joe Six Pack benefits from an 18-game schedule. There would be more meaningful games on the big-screen and more bang for the buck for season ticket-holders. As it is now, season ticket-holders pay the same price for two meaningless home preseason games as they do for the eight home regular-season games.

    So what's the problem? Why isn't everyone hopping onboard, celebrating an easy agreement and counting up the billions of reasons the NFL is the best sports league on the planet? Three issues, of course, continue to simmer as stumbling blocks.

    • The potential for more injuries.

    • A watered down product.

    • Less time to develop young talent -- specifically quarterbacks.

    But if the league takes just two more small steps, all three issues could be resolved.

    Step one: Instead of eliminating just two preseason games, eliminate all of them. Play 18 games in 19 weeks, beginning on Labor Day weekend.

    Step two: Replace Organized Team Activities with a short-season, eight-team developmental league for young players and backups, similar to the NBA's Developmental League.

    In today's NFL, the preseason is a joke. In this era of year-round football training and inter-squad scrimmaging during camp, it's frankly meaningless. The NFL said as much in proposing the 18-game schedule. So if everyone agrees the entire preseason is insignificant and boring, why keep half of it? Why keep any preseason games at all?

    Obviously, it's because owners want the extra gate revenue and local TV deals that come with the preseason schedule. But a spring-league TV deal would more than make up for lost preseason revenue. Young players would make a little extra scratch. Coaches could better evaluate players. And it would be more interesting, too, particularly if the eight teams' rosters are divided by divisions.

    That is, over a four- or five-week spring season, the AFC East would play the AFC West, AFC South and AFC North D-league teams. Likewise, in the NFC. The season would be capped by a one- or two-week playoff among some of the young NFL hopefuls and developing quarterbacks. Combining the rosters by division would offer immediate familiarity and rooting interest for fans (to say nothing of marketing possibilities) and make for good TV. Play the games in domed stadiums, end the short season by the second week of June and, bam, coaches are happy, fans are happy and owners and the NFLPA make their money.

    The regular-season would get a jolt, too, with opening weekend truly becoming the unveiling of the new season. Teams still would hold inter-squad practices and scrimmages during training camp, as they do already to get a taste of game action and intensity. But the anticipation and hype for opening weekend would grow to otherworldly levels.

    And as for the NFLPA's concerns about a potential increase in the number of injuries, that argument would not have much of a leg to stand on, either. As it is now, including the preseason, front-line guys play the equivalent of about 17 ½- to 18-games of football every year. Starters usually play a quarter of football in the first preseason game, about a quarter and a half in the second, three- or four-quarters in the third preseason game and then the 16-game regular-season schedule.

    An 18-game schedule with no preseason would offer virtually the same amount of pressure on the average player's body, and perhaps even less if the league adds a second bye week, which is another option. A second bye week would further protect the product and still have the Super Bowl played in mid-February. Expanding rosters from 45 active to 50 active players on Sundays also reduces the pounding and gets more players into the league and paid every week.

    The closer we get to next March and a potential lockout, we can count on more posturing and strain between owners and the NFLPA. The key to avoiding a lockout and keeping everyone swimming in money clearly is finding a way to make an 18-game regular season viable. There's one way to do exactly that. Don't just stick a toe in the water. Dive in. Dump the preseason. Give fans the spring league they deserve. It's just two small steps.
     
  2. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    Bigger rosters, more guys get paychecks. Fix the injured list so guys can come off it after 8 weeks or whatever instead of once you go on IR you're done.
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    16 games works very well for the current number of teams. Unless the NFL is going to welcome in more franchises, I see absolutely no good reason for altering a perfectly good formula.

    Unless you count unmitigated greed as a good reason. :icon_evil:
     
  4. paddyirishman

    paddyirishman BoltTalker

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    It could mean more regular season games in Europe. Nevertheless personally I think the 16 game current format is fine
     
  5. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I am anti 18 game season, it absolutely waters down the product, players are going to be completely burnt out by the time the season ends, and its going to skew stats and record books more than ever.

    Hate it, 100% against it, but if it comes down too 18 games or no football at all....I'll take 18 games.
     
  6. Scott the Rock

    Scott the Rock BoltTalker

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    When are you allowed to cut down to a final roster in this format? Opening weekend when there is no preseason? We all despise the preseason but I'm pretty sure it is neccessary on some levels..
     
  7. DenverBolt67

    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    I agree, but I do think an 18 game schedule is inevitable. And the less pre-season tickets that season ticket holder are forced to pay for, the better
     
  8. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    step two seems a lot like what I suggested a couple of months ago :tup:

    I'l take the 18 game season, more meaningful football, with bigger rosters no problem (don't care much about record books)
     
  9. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    I'll take the 18 game schedule if we CAN those 2 of the 4 preseason games......
     
  10. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    The pre-season games are neccessary though. If they go 18 games they're going to have to expand the rosters, and if coaches want any chance to look at boarderline roster players those pre-season games are going to make a difference. If you don't like pre-season you don't have to watch it. I would vote we keep all 4 pre-season games, but cut the prices in half.


    Maybe we'll see an NFL D-League like the NBA has.
     
  11. turbo_turtle

    turbo_turtle In Disguise

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    The thing I do not like is Players are going to want more money because in their contracts.

    It will eventually force us Ticket purchasers to spend more for tickets as well.

    I just do not like going to an 18 game schedule.
     
  12. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I think individual single game ticket prices stay the same, but the # of games will increase the total season ticket holders pay.

    So you pay more money, but you get more games. I don't think many teams could get away with raising ticket prices with the economy the way it is.
     
  13. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

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    Three additional weeks of television money will trump all arguments.

    Hopefully with a new CBA we'll have a 18 game season starting in '11.
     
  14. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    nail. head.
     
  15. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    So, your against a pay raise? :icon_shrug:
     
  16. turbo_turtle

    turbo_turtle In Disguise

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    Yes I am. We all need to cinch up our belts due to the economy and that goes for Players as well.

    I would say that Players need not get pay raises until the economy gets better then a Pay raise would be in order.

    Just my opinion on that.

    I know I am the Scum of the Earth now but it is my opinion.
     
  17. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    :icon_tease::icon_tease: Yes, you are! :icon_tease::icon_tease:

    Was that enough tease smileys to let you know I'm just kidding?

    FWIW.......I'd just settle for a job, right now.
    I don't blame a player that wants what he's worth. I'd rather the player get paid over the owner making a bigger profit. :yes:
     
  18. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    I agree with that. Those Pre-Season games aren't real "games" (just exhibition) so they shouldn't charge as much for them.
     
  19. turbo_turtle

    turbo_turtle In Disguise

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    I am just going to have to disagree because of this as my opinion.

    The Owner needs to be able to make a Huge Profit so that the Owner can pay the Players what they are worth.

    If the Players got to dictate what their Salary will be then the Owner would either have to make a much Bigger Profit to pay for that Salary or go Bankrupt paying the Players what they want.

    This 18 Games would be bad all around in my opinion. But like sdbound has said is that the Television market will make a killing in Profit. That is only thing what will be good for the 18 game seasons.
     
  20. LV Bolt Fan

    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    How much is profit and how much is too much profit? Where will it end? :icon_huh:

    As much as I like football.........I think 18 games will ruin the game. :yes:
     
  21. turbo_turtle

    turbo_turtle In Disguise

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    I guess this is where we will have to majorly disagree because to me as my opinion an Owner must be able to make as much Profit as they want to, to be able to live and yes thrive on. I do want a new CBA and have Teams like the Lions Win a Championship through a new CBA. I just want realistic contract offers from the Players Agents to be real with those contracts and not have them get what in my opinion is unrealistic like the Brandon Marshall's and D'Brickishaw Ferguson's out there that make it harder for some teams to sign their premium Players due to the unrealistic contracts made. It make Player like Our Own Buster Davis and Jeromy Clary think they can make the money of the Marshall's and Ferguson's. Here is an example using Cars, if someone wanted to make a Profit on a Corvette and the going price is $50,000 but that person is able to get $75,000 able to purchase another Corvette for $67,000, I think the person should be able to thrive on the buying and selling of Corvettes. I do not think they should only make $50,000 on selling the Car and that is because of the going price for Corvettes. They should be able to make as much as possible for the Cars. I don't know.
     
  22. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    TT, I suggest you do a little research on the real numbers in the D'Brick contract. It isn't what it seems at first blush.

    As for 18 games ....

    So they expand the roster. Does that mean that roster expansion will guarantee that more quality players hit the field or that the expanded roster will keep your stars fresh enough to perform at a high level for 18 games? Certainly not a given, IMO, which will lead to a watered-down version of the product. Sounds to me like it's quite possible that we could get something equivalent to a pre-season product masked as a regular-season game.

    I stick with no on this but, as sdb said, money will rule the roost. It nearly always does - why would this issue be any different?
     
  23. turbo_turtle

    turbo_turtle In Disguise

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    On this I am thinking and I have no proof on this just speculation on my part is that MM is wanting a similar or Greater Contract as D'Brickishaw leaning more on the Greater Years than the 6 years of DF's Contract for MM's contract and More Guaranteed money.

    For the 18 Games, I do not like it what so ever because like you Buck I think it is going to Water Down the League and just be an Advertisers Wet Dream. It is all about the $$$$$$$$$$. The USFL or CFL as the potential for the NFL to turn out like.
     
  24. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    It would all depend on how the extra two games are incorporated into the season. What if they just add the last two preseason games into the win loss column, allowing larger roster for those two games and come up with a bigger practice/reserve squad. There are many ways to do this, make the games count and keep those guy's you hate to have to cut from getting away.

    Money talks BS walks, it's the name of the game.
     
  25. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

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    I'd guess they said the same when going from 12 to 14 games, 14 to 16, et.

    I'd take 2 more games a year anytime
     
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  26. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    At some number you reach a point of diminishing returns, perhaps not in revenue but certainly in the quality of the games.

    I don't pretend to know what that number is but I know that I'm quite satisfied with things just as they are. From what I've read, the majority of players would agree. Entertainment is great, but these guys are flesh & blood, not machines.

    Perhaps more gaming consoles & Madden football games need to be sold to appease the masses. :icon_evil:
     
  27. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I still think they'll just turn the last to preseason games into league games with expanded rosters for those games only. They count, so your team will have to play to win then back to the former format with extra player's available in case of injury. Just a hunch.
     

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