View Full Version : Football Gretz : Commissioner wants 18 games a season

06-22-2009, 12:28 AM
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to expand the NFL’s regular-season schedule.

Goodell wants 17 or 18 games, rather than the current 16 that has been the league’s schedule since the 1978 season.

Chiefs veteran RG Mike Goff answered a question with his own question when asked about the expanded schedule.

“Has the Commissioner ever played 16 games in a season?” the 12-year veteran asked.

When told Goodell had never played pro football, Goff scratched his beard and shook his head.

“I don’t know what the answer is, but at some point it’s too much,” Goff said.

That reflected many of the comments from other veteran players in the Chiefs locker room who were asked about the possibility of a longer regular season. At the NFL meetings back in March, Goodell floated the idea of expanding the regular-season schedule to either 17 or even possibly 18 games. The Commissioner has said the time-frame would remain the same as today’s 21 weeks for four pre-season games, 16 regular season games and a bye week.

The NFL went to 12 games in 1947, bumped it to 14 games in 1961 and then 16 games in 1978. The American Football League began play in 1960 with 14 games.

Most of the veteran Chiefs had only heard sketchy reports of the idea over the lasts couple months. But most do not like the idea.

“I don’t know enough about the situation right now to say much about it,” said WR Bobby Engram, the oldest player on the Chiefs roster at 36 years of age and in his 14th season in the league.

“Two extra weeks is pretty tough. I say cut two pre-season games and keep it the way it is.”

Another soon to be 36-year old, 14-year veteran agreed with Engram.

“There is a point where it’s too much,” said LB Zach Thomas. “I don’t know what that point is. I don’t know if it’s 17 or 18 games, or if we’ve already found it at 16 games. I love the game of football, but there’s only so much the body can take and there’s only so much that the mind can overcome with the body.

“I’m not sure I understand why we would need more games.”

The idea is money, pure and simple. More regular season games would provide more programming that the league can sell to the TV networks. It’s the only reason for the move. If pre-season games were eliminated, teams would not make any more money at the gate, since they generally charge the same for a pre-season game as they do a regular-season contest. There’s no great inequity that more games would settle in the standings.

“If they are going to pay us to play those extra games, then I’m sure some players would be for the idea,” said S Jon McGraw, an eight-year veteran. “But if they just want to keep the money what it is today and divide it by 1/17th or 1/18th instead of what they do now, then I don’t think you are going to find many players supporting the idea.”

C Rudy Niswanger is one of the team’s assistant player representatives, sharing those duties with McGraw. Brian Waters serves as the team’s player rep. He says as long as the extended season is negotiated with the NFL Players Association, he doesn’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea.

“If they determine they want to play more games and pay us accordingly, then good,” said Niswanger. “I’m still a young guy and I don’t have all the aches and pains that more veteran players have. Talk to me in about six years and I would have a different answer for you.”

Ten-year veteran OT Damion McIntosh thinks the expanded season would hurt a lot of young players if there were fewer pre-season games for them to show their stuff.

“To me, I think 16 feels like plenty, unless you are adding more teams into the league,” McIntosh said. “I know pre-season is a necessary evil because you have so many young players trying to make a squad and you only have so much time to evaluate them. In my opinion I think we have enough. All it does is make the season longer; there’s nothing that needs to be corrected as far as the way the league is arranged or the season and making the playoffs.”

Goff did the math in his head, with 18 regular season games and then potential for the Super Bowl teams to play 22 games that count.

“The furthest I’ve made it during a season was the AFC Championship Game, and from a physical standpoint, I know how my body felt then,” Goff said of going to the conference title game after the 2007 season with the Chargers.

“It hurt. It’s one of those things that were at that point you are operating strictly on adrenalin. Your body is beat up; everybody’s body is beat up. We had a quarterback playing on one knee (Phillip Rivers) and a running back without a groin (LaDainian Tomlinson) and a tight end who didn’t have a toe (Antonio Gates). From a physical standpoint, it’s going to be tougher.”


I really think it's time to draw a line on expanding the season. There's only so much pounding the player's bodies can take, and there is only so much money to be sucked out of the American sports fans...Give it a rest...

Tribal Warfare
06-22-2009, 12:33 AM


Chief Chief
06-22-2009, 07:57 AM
...and a running back without a groin (LaDainian Tomlinson)...

OWCH!! That just had to have left a mark!