Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, would like the regular season to be longer than 16 games. He would cut 1 or 2 preseason games and add 1-2 regular season ones.
Okay wonderful, let’s try to sneak this by a player’s union (in the next collective bargaining agreement, of course) that is already pretty stressed about the fact that half of all players retire because of injuries and yet only 2.4% are paid disability, and two extra full-intensity games are likely to shorten a player’s shelf life and increase the risk of injury as the body wears down over a season.
Will 17 or 18 games make a significant difference? The only benefits I can foresee are to owners who will make more $$, and to players who will shatter single-season records.
I almost forgot the most interesting part … 17 games would let them do silly things like have everyone play one game overseas, every year. If teams going from the west to the east coast for 1pm games were 1-10 in 2008, imagine teams going from Cali to London. Plus, the sport doesn’t have the global appeal of basketball; see the crash-and-burn of NFL Europe, and the presence of equivalents like Rugby and Aussie Rules in other countries.