RCS Sidelines

November 19, 2009 12:40 PM

Five Reasons Ross Tucker's Wrong About Extending NFL Regular Season

ronnie_brown_injured.jpgThis past offseason there was talk about the possibility of expanding the NFL regular season by one or two games. The talks will continue this spring with the possibility of a lockout when the current collective bargaining agreement expires after next season. Ross Tucker of Sports Illustrated chose to bring up the topic again on Wednesday because of the amount of major injuries that occurred this past week. He thinks adding a couple more games is a great idea and lists five reasons why:

1. New Stars Emerge - His big example is Matt Cassel emerging after Tom Brady went down last year. But how about the players that replaced Carson Palmer, Kellen Winslow, and Aaron Schobel, other big-names who were sidelined? More often than not, injured Pro Bowlers are not replaced with "emerging stars." Besides, if a player is destined to be a star in the league, he won't need an injury to get his big chance.
  1. Injuries add intrigue - "If nobody ever got hurt, a certain amount of the drama and unknown would be removed." Oh, I'm sure the audience would've been clamoring to watch Jim Sorgi battle it out against Brian Hoyer. And in case you don't know those are the back-up QBs to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, respectively. Stars are what sell the league, and if all stars remained healthy, the league would be better off. There's a reason the NFL has tried so hard to protect QBs.
  2. More games likely means more jobs and opportunities - Is this part of the stimulus package or something? This isn't a reason for why it would work but instead just a reason for why it could happen. Practice players and fringe players would like a longer season to help their odds of a roster spot, either through injuries or an increase in roster size.
  3. It may not be the Armageddon that people are making it out to be - "How do we really know the injury situation would be that bad if an extra game or two were added? I'm sure the NFL will examine some cold, hard data on the subject before any determination is made, but my perception is the injury situation wouldn't be nearly the catastrophe that some predict." The problem is he doesn't have any actual data to back this up. Why don't you ask those players that are aching and can barely get out of bed come Monday morning? There is a reason this is a serious concern many players have. How about all of the concussion talk recently? You don't think that with two more games there won't be a few players lying motionless on the field?
  4. Who doesn't want more football? "According to the L.A. Times, through the first nine weeks of the 2009 season, ratings for NFL games are up 15% from 2008, with an average of 17.2 million viewers per game -- the most in 20 years, according to the league." So, what's the problem? Ever heard the expression, 'Too much of a good thing'? Fans should always be wanting more rather than feeling pushed away.

The first three reasons Tucker gives still happen in a 16-game season. I guess they could happen MORE often, but clearly the NFL doesn't need much help in getting people interested.

It might seem like I'm against expanding the regular season, but I'm not. I just think the NFL players and owners know what is best for the sport and will come to a conclusion they think is best. If that means a longer regular season, that will be great. That's two more Sundays of guaranteed entertainment.

But I don't think the decision is going to be based on any of the reasons Tucker lists except for his last point, because in the end this decision will be based mainly on money. What is in the best interest financially for the players and owners? That is the question that will determine if they expand the regular season.

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