NFL Offseason Schedule's Proposed Changes Will Only Increase League's Popularity

John RozumCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2013

The NFL looks to get even more popular.
The NFL looks to get even more popular.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NFL will reportedly make changes to its offseason schedule, aiming to increase the league's already dominant popularity throughout America.

Per Adam Schefter of

Also from Schefter:

This is quite an interesting move on the league's part, because it already destroys the competition in popularity. Check out these statistics of Americans' favorite sports, as found just before Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers (2012 poll percentages courtesy of Harris Interactive via

Sport % Cited As Favorite
NFL 34
Baseball 16
College Football 11
Auto Racing 8

This virtually replicates the incredible gap between the NFL and every other sport shown the previous year (2011 poll percentages courtesy of Harris Interactive via SportsBusiness Daily).

Sport % Cited As Favorite
NFL 36
Baseball 13
College Football 13
Auto Racing 8

That is a sizable disparity in favor of pro football. As Schefter reported, more cash for the league will likely result from those potential offseason changes. Should they happen, these percentages can be expected to increase in the NFL's favor.

But there is one roadblock: the NFL Players Association.

According to Mike Garafolo of USA Today:

The NFL Players Association, which fought to shorten offseason workouts and limit spring practices, doesn't like the idea, according to a person informed of the thinking of the union's top executives.

The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the NFLPA has yet to speak publicly on the matter, said the players wouldn't want the offseason to linger any further into the summer than it already does.

Without question, pro football essentially has a popularity monopoly during the season. However, between the Super Bowl and training camps, pro football isn't nearly as present in the national consciousness.

Of course, every NFL draft garners much attention, as does the NFL Scouting Combine. However, take the current level of demand and stack an altered offseason schedule on top of that to increase year-round relevancy, and the league's popularity would reach astronomical levels.

We already have the NFL Network for constant TV coverage every day, but include a big event for each month of the offseason, and pro football becomes that commercial that never goes away.

If you're a football fan, this is obviously what you want—though people interested in other sports won't be nearly as happy.

Then again, those not fascinated by the intrigue of pro football are few and far between these days.