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View Full Version : Football 18 Weeks, not 18 games


Cave Johnson
03-01-2011, 10:30 AM
Would be a bitch for fantasy football, though.

http://deadspin.com/#!5770208/the-smart-way-to-expand-the-nfl-season-18-weeks-not-18-games

One of the key points of contention in NFL's collective-bargaining talks has been the issue of an extended, 18-game season. While owners would like to see the increased revenue of two extra weeks, players worry about the increased risk of injury in an already-dangerous sport. Owners correctly argue that there is no actual increase in number of games played per season, as two of the four preseason games would simply be eliminated. The NFLPA responds that the risk of injury is higher in two regular-season games than in two preseason games, which is also probably true.

What if there were a way to make both parties happy: more revenue and less risk of injury? I believe there is, which is why I propose a 16-game season played over 18 weeks, with each team receiving two bye weeks, instead of one. The league would get an extra week of national media revenue, and the players would get an extra week off while playing the same number of games.

Now, wait a minute. Didn't the NFL try the two-bye system for a year when I was three years old? (Thank you, Bill Simmons, for reminding me.) They did, and after ratings underperformed, the NFL changed it back the following year. But the NFL on television is a different game now than it was in 1993. NFL television ratings are as strong as ever. The league earns roughly $4 billion a year in television revenue, more than 140 percent increase from the early '90s (taking inflation into account). While most NFL franchises are privately owned and thus do not release financials, a safe guess can be that national media contracts account for roughly 40 percent of a team's revenue (this is based on the financials for the Green Bay Packers, who ranked 14th out of 32nd in revenue). The current TV contracts bring in $1.75 billion for nationally televised games (Monday night ESPN and Sunday night NBC games). FOX and CBS contracts for Sunday afternoon games are worth $1.2 billion. In the best-case scenario, an extra week of football would result in an increase of $170 million in revenue.

Whoa, you say. With fewer teams playing per week, wouldn't the weekly value of television contracts go down? For primetime games on ESPN and NBC, the answer should be no. For regular network games, the answer is a little tricky. For CBS and FOX, the added televised game would come in the form of an out-of-region game, which would occur when the local team has their additional bye. Because of this, the additional Sunday afternoon game would not be worth the same as a locally broadcasted game. In most circumstances, local games would yield higher ratings, which could slightly discount the value of the additional week for FOX and CBS. The only television contract that might not increase in value would be DirectTV's Sunday Ticket, worth $1 billion, which would offer fewer games per week. However, the added week of games presumably would cover at least the loss of value in the decrease in number of games per week for DirecTV.

What about the quality of games? Wouldn't they suffer with fewer teams per week? That's what happened in 1993, according to Simmons. But there are now 32 teams in the NFL, compared to 28 in 1993. Also, with each team receiving two bye weeks, the NFL could start bye weeks earlier in the season and stretch them later without worrying about giving teams an advantageously placed off week (i.e. Week three through Week 16). Under this system, 10 of the bye weeks would have four teams resting, which is the same as the current system, and four of the weeks would have six teams resting.

[graph removed, formatting sucked]

From the players' perspective, two bye weeks should provide a valuable time to rest in a league where one in three players shows up in an injury report at some point during the season. (It'd also offer them an additional week of pay — a potential bargaining chip at the negotiating table.) One could argue that two bye weeks would disrupt the flow of a team, but think of it another way: The extra bye week would reward better coaching and team cohesion. Arguably the fans would suffer most, having to spend an extra week per season without cheering on their team. But we know from the popularity of fantasy football and related games that fans don't just watch their favorite teams; they watch their favorite players, football in general, or the point spreads. Besides, with a lockout looming, people will accept missing one week of watching the local boys over missing an entire season. This solution won't fix the current CBA negotiations, but it's one painless way of growing the pie that both sides could live with.

Frazod
03-01-2011, 10:31 AM
I wouldn't have a problem with that.

BigMeatballDave
03-01-2011, 10:36 AM
They tried 2 bye weeks before. 93 season. It sucked.

blaise
03-01-2011, 10:37 AM
That's how I thought they should do it all along.

milkman
03-01-2011, 10:37 AM
They tried 2 bye weeks before. 93 season. It sucked.

You might want to, you know, read the article, before you post and look like a dumbass.

Rain Man
03-01-2011, 12:04 PM
I suggested something in a previous thread that I thought was absolute brilliance.

You have an 18-game season, but no individual is allowed to play more than 16 games.

The advantages of this are enormous:

1. Allows veteran players to sit occasionally if they're questionable rather than feeling pressure to play hurt.

2. Develops young players and perhaps lets new stars emerge.

3. Keeps games more competitive because you'll have Curtis Painter starting against the weakest teams rather than Peyton Manning.

4. Produce no higher likelihood of individual injury than does a 16-game season.

5. Produces lots of strategy as coaches have to game-plan out their personnel availability over the course of the season.

The only disadvantages I see would be some whiny people who go to see Peyton Manning and Curtis Painter starts, but who cares? He could've been hurt in warmups anyway. Also, it would destroy fantasy football, and while I don't necessarily view that as a negative, others might.

Cave Johnson
03-01-2011, 12:10 PM
I suggested something in a previous thread that I thought was absolute brilliance.

You have an 18-game season, but no individual is allowed to play more than 16 games.

The advantages of this are enormous:

1. Allows veteran players to sit occasionally if they're questionable rather than feeling pressure to play hurt.

2. Develops young players and perhaps lets new stars emerge.

3. Keeps games more competitive because you'll have Curtis Painter starting against the weakest teams rather than Peyton Manning.

4. Produce no higher likelihood of individual injury than does a 16-game season.

5. Produces lots of strategy as coaches have to game-plan out their personnel availability over the course of the season.

The only disadvantages I see would be some whiny people who go to see Peyton Manning and Curtis Painter starts, but who cares? He could've been hurt in warmups anyway. Also, it would destroy fantasy football, and while I don't necessarily view that as a negative, others might.

My 2 word counterpoint.

Brodie. Croyle.

milkman
03-01-2011, 12:16 PM
I suggested something in a previous thread that I thought was absolute brilliance.

You have an 18-game season, but no individual is allowed to play more than 16 games.

The advantages of this are enormous:

1. Allows veteran players to sit occasionally if they're questionable rather than feeling pressure to play hurt.

2. Develops young players and perhaps lets new stars emerge.

3. Keeps games more competitive because you'll have Curtis Painter starting against the weakest teams rather than Peyton Manning.

4. Produce no higher likelihood of individual injury than does a 16-game season.

5. Produces lots of strategy as coaches have to game-plan out their personnel availability over the course of the season.

The only disadvantages I see would be some whiny people who go to see Peyton Manning and Curtis Painter starts, but who cares? He could've been hurt in warmups anyway. Also, it would destroy fantasy football, and while I don't necessarily view that as a negative, others might.

I think.......

No...No.... I know......

I hate that plan.

Rain Man
03-01-2011, 12:23 PM
I think.......

No...No.... I know......

I hate that plan.


Tell me more. What is it about this brilliance that you don't like? Is it the shiny glare of the brilliance that forces you to wear sunglasses?

BigMeatballDave
03-01-2011, 12:25 PM
You might want to, you know, read the article, before you post and look like a dumbass.Me being a dumbass is subjective. I don't need to read the entire article to know I don't like multiple byes in a season.

Okie_Apparition
03-01-2011, 12:26 PM
It seems to me, players tend to end up getting in trouble on their bye weeks. Young, rich, hyper and on the prowl.

-King-
03-01-2011, 12:33 PM
I suggested something in a previous thread that I thought was absolute brilliance.

You have an 18-game season, but no individual is allowed to play more than 16 games.

The advantages of this are enormous:

1. Allows veteran players to sit occasionally if they're questionable rather than feeling pressure to play hurt.

2. Develops young players and perhaps lets new stars emerge.

3. Keeps games more competitive because you'll have Curtis Painter starting against the weakest teams rather than Peyton Manning.

4. Produce no higher likelihood of individual injury than does a 16-game season.

5. Produces lots of strategy as coaches have to game-plan out their personnel availability over the course of the season.

The only disadvantages I see would be some whiny people who go to see Peyton Manning and Curtis Painter starts, but who cares? He could've been hurt in warmups anyway. Also, it would destroy fantasy football, and while I don't necessarily view that as a negative, others might.
Yeah. That's a bad idea. I would not want to go to a game relying on Croyle at qb, Jones at RB or Verran Tucker at WR.
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milkman
03-01-2011, 12:34 PM
Tell me more. What is it about this brilliance that you don't like? Is it the shiny glare of the brilliance that forces you to wear sunglasses?

Because you can't make a plan to sit players out for certain games because as the season progresses, the team that you planned to sit players out for turn out to be far better than expected.

I wouldn't want the Chiefs to miss the playoffs, for instance, because the Ravens wound up resting players against the Donkeys, who turn out better than expected, late in the season, because that game means less to them than the division games to end the season.

milkman
03-01-2011, 12:35 PM
Me being a dumbass is subjective. I don't need to read the entire article to know I don't like multiple byes in a season.

The reason you're a dumbass is because of the fact he addresses those two bye weeks in '93.

Rain Man
03-01-2011, 12:36 PM
Yeah. That's a bad idea. I would not want to go to a game relying on Croyle at qb, Jones at RB or Verran Tucker at WR.
Posted via Mobile Device

But they're on the roster. Shouldn't the championship be won by the best team? I think it'd be great to see all these guys get a turn in the rotation. For that matter, now that I think about it, it's no different than a pitching rotation in baseball. In the case, 1 of every 9 starts goes to the guy who's not the ace on your staff.

-King-
03-01-2011, 12:39 PM
But they're on the roster. Shouldn't the championship be won by the best team? I think it'd be great to see all these guys get a turn in the rotation. For that matter, now that I think about it, it's no different than a pitching rotation in baseball. In the case, 1 of every 9 starts goes to the guy who's not the ace on your staff.
Just because they're on the team doesn't mean they should start. They're there for one reason. And that reason is for depth.

That's like asking the janitor at your company to serve as president for 2 weeks just because hey, he's apart of the company too.
Posted via Mobile Device

BigMeatballDave
03-01-2011, 01:00 PM
The reason you're a dumbass is because of the fact he addresses those two bye weeks in '93.I don't care.

milkman
03-01-2011, 01:01 PM
I don't care.

Because you're a dumbass.

BigMeatballDave
03-01-2011, 01:11 PM
Because you're a dumbass.LMAO

bowener
03-01-2011, 01:28 PM
I suggested something in a previous thread that I thought was absolute brilliance.

You have an 18-game season, but no individual is allowed to play more than 16 games.

The advantages of this are enormous:

1. Allows veteran players to sit occasionally if they're questionable rather than feeling pressure to play hurt.

2. Develops young players and perhaps lets new stars emerge.

3. Keeps games more competitive because you'll have Curtis Painter starting against the weakest teams rather than Peyton Manning.

4. Produce no higher likelihood of individual injury than does a 16-game season.

5. Produces lots of strategy as coaches have to game-plan out their personnel availability over the course of the season.

The only disadvantages I see would be some whiny people who go to see Peyton Manning and Curtis Painter starts, but who cares? He could've been hurt in warmups anyway. Also, it would destroy fantasy football, and while I don't necessarily view that as a negative, others might.

So, essentially this would come down to being 2 pre-season games that count. I know I would love to pay a ton of money to park, sit in a stadium and cheer on Kevin Curtis, Verran Tucker, and the cadaver of Brodie Croyle.

bevischief
03-01-2011, 03:02 PM
Also would need to add to the roster and game day actives.

Rain Man
03-01-2011, 03:09 PM
So, essentially this would come down to being 2 pre-season games that count. I know I would love to pay a ton of money to park, sit in a stadium and cheer on Kevin Curtis, Verran Tucker, and the cadaver of Brodie Croyle.

How do you know you won't do that anyway? Guys get hurt, guys get suspended, guys get benched, it happens all the time.

Brock
03-01-2011, 03:12 PM
The roster would have to be much larger to do that. Not to mention the quality of the play would go down in general.

Hoover
03-01-2011, 03:40 PM
Go to a 17 game season with only two preseason games and give them 2 bye weeks.

No byes in the first two or last two weeks of the season. Byes must be seperated by at least four games.

Chocolate Hog
03-01-2011, 03:41 PM
Would this mean the Chiefs would quit playing like its a bye week everytime they go to San Diego?

BigMeatballDave
03-01-2011, 03:56 PM
Go to a 17 game season with only two preseason games and give them 2 bye weeks.

That wouldnt work. Uneven schedule. Some teams would have more road games than others.

-King-
03-01-2011, 04:10 PM
How do you know you won't do that anyway? Guys get hurt, guys get suspended, guys get benched, it happens all the time.

Yeah, but that doesn't mean I want Croyle to play just because.

DaFace
03-01-2011, 04:14 PM
So, for us young'uns, why did the two-bye-week system suck? Seems like it'd be fine to me.

BigMeatballDave
03-01-2011, 04:17 PM
So, for us young'uns, why did the two-bye-week system suck? Seems like it'd be fine to me.Hell, I dont like any byes. I know its good for the players, but I just dont like a pause in the season.

Brock
03-01-2011, 04:18 PM
So, for us young'uns, why did the two-bye-week system suck? Seems like it'd be fine to me.

I had forgotten it even happened.

-King-
03-01-2011, 04:28 PM
So, for us young'uns, why did the two-bye-week system suck? Seems like it'd be fine to me.Q: What happened when they expanded to two bye weeks in 1993?

A: One word: disaster. CBS and NBC freaked out because their ratings plummeted thanks to a continually depleted Sunday slate; teams complained that they couldn't maintain momentum when they weren't playing enough games in a row; everyone hated losing the week off between the conference title games and the Super Bowl; and most importantly, fantasy owners couldn't figure out who to bench/waive/pick up since we didn't have the Internet yet.

(Follow-up to that point: This continues to amaze me. How did we do fantasy football without the Internet? I keep wanting to ask my friends, "How did you guys have a league back then?" then I remember that I was in their league, too. Looking back, I can only remember one thing: Our commish, Camp, mailing out stats after he added them up from the Monday/Tuesday USA Today, then me excitedly getting my mail on Thursdays to see if I won. Not my e-mail, my mail. Was this the 1990s or the 1890s? I can't remember.)

The real problem: With only 28 teams and a top-heavy league, that left eight or nine Sunday afternoon games per bye week and only two or three of those games were good. We didn't have DirecTV's season package back then, or the Red Zone Channel, so if you were stuck with a crappy local game (or even worse, a crappy local team that wiped out the quality national game you could have been watching), your whole day was ruined. Trust me, my Patriots overachieved that season by going 5-11. (Double bye weeks) + (no DirecTV) X (crummy local team) = bitter. And that's why double bye weeks went the way of New Coke, "Cop Rock," Planet Hollywood, Rick Mirer and "The Pat Sajak Show."

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmonsnfl2010/byeweek&sportCat=nfl