What the NFL Should Consider Before Expanding to an 18-Game Season

Jay WarnerContributor IApril 18, 2009

IRVING, TX - OCTOBER 14:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots drops back to pass against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium on October 14, 2007 in Irving, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Thanksgiving.

That one time of year where families and communities put aside their differences and enjoy the smaller things. Among them are the hundreds of High School and College Football Games that occur all across the country. Chances are that one instance of such isn't far from anyone, whether physically or spiritually.

On the other hand, the NFL is in active pursuit of international expansion.  Which may explain the proposal of having additional regular season games to accommodate games in London, Mexico City, Toronto, Beijing, or Berlin.  I do not mind global expansion to increase the international fan base (not to mention the NFL's bottom line).

A lot of football fans, I have discussions with, would like to see more AFC-NFC games should an 18-game season come to fruition. 

First, that seems to be the case with the games in the International Series as noted in the 2007 game between the Giants and Dolphins and the 2008 game between the Chargers and Saints.

Secondly, it seems as though a lot of fans crave regional inter-conference games which do not happen that often, and which I believe should happen once a year. Needless to mention that Thanksgiving Day (or at least within that weekend) would be absolutely perfect for games like the following:

  • Giants vs Jets
  • Steelers vs Eagles
  • Redskins vs Ravens
  • Dolphins vs Buccaneers
  • Panthers vs Titans
  • Texans vs Saints
  • Rams vs Chiefs
  • Colts vs Bears
  • Lions vs Browns
  • Bengals vs Packers
  • Vikings vs Broncos
  • Raiders vs Niners
  • Seahawks vs Bills
  • Chargers vs Cardinals
  • Falcons vs Jaguars

Top it all off with a new Thanksgiving Day rivalry, which will undoubtedly supersede all Thanksgiving Day games from many years past. 

Patriots vs Cowboys. Because lets face it, the Cowboys and Lions on Thanksgiving ran its course, I do not know many people who would watch that game when better games are on.

Should the NFL incorporate this into the 18-game schedule, then it is proof that they will continue to have a pulse on the community for many years to come.  The rest of us, it will supplement all the High School and College football games we have been accustomed to watching on Thanksgiving for a long time.

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