As we all are probably aware by now, the league is seriously considering adding two more games to the regular season.
If you're anything like me, then you'll probably be very pleased to know they'll be more football. I don't tend to really watch the pre- season nearly as intensely as I watch the regular season (if I watch them at all), so the idea of turning two of those games into games that count is good news for me. But what does this mean for the sport?
Well there has been a lot of chat that this would help the labor dispute.
This is a great thing seeing that there has been real talk of a lockout next year (in fact letters from the union were seen in the Patriot's locker room stating that players should begin making financial plans to make up for their lack of income next year).
None of us want a lockout, not to mention how history has shown that such moves only hurt their sports and not help them.
The labor dispute aside though, I see adding two more games as a great move.
But only two games.
I, like many of the other fans I know, would love to have football year round. Football season always seems to fly by and baseball never seems to end. However, one of the elements that makes football such a thrilling sport is just that - the short season.
Every single game matters in football.
Of course I believe Belichick's words that the season really starts after Thanksgiving, but you have to get through November with a winning record to have a hope of a playoff berth (unless of course you're in the NFC West!).
Expanding the season by two games will add even more competition to the season; it will increase the chances of seeing more great head to head games where the season may be on the line (the games we all love to watch!); it will allow teams that start off the season rough to still have a chance at a run if they find their groove a little later on (ie: the Chargers - maybe they would have made the playoffs this season); and lastly it will be more football which is never a bad thing.
On the other side of the ball, the players are against having an 18 game season.
Their reasoning is that more games means more injuries.
In fact it's a serious sticking point in the battle that could potentially lead to a lockout for the 2011 season.
In truth I just don't see the reasoning behind the players mind frame.
What is the difference if they play 18 regular season games and only two pre-season games instead of four? The only side that I can agree with is the coaches opinion of an 18 game season. Coaches (and staff) use the pre-season to judge players who are on the fence and who will make the final cut.
That's an area that I can't argue with. As with anything in life, preparation is everything.
So all in all an 18 game season isn't a bad thing in my opinion.
The league just has to be sure that they don't continue to expand the season every few years or we could end up with games that really serve no purpose at all, which would hurt the sport more than help it.
Having said that, I highly doubt the league has any intention of doing that at all.