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5 Reasons NFL's Regular Season Isn't Too Short, and Is Actually Just Right

Zach Law@zach_lawContributor IFebruary 15, 2012

The confetti flies as another season ends. We have to go back to harsh reality of the offseason.
The confetti flies as another season ends. We have to go back to harsh reality of the offseason.Al Bello/Getty Images

When it comes to the first couple of weeks post Super Bowl, most football fans mope.

What used to be glorious football on Sundays is replaced by college basketball, skiing, and—gasp!—golf. It's enough to drive a man to drink as much as he would on a usual Sunday from noon until bedtime.

I, for one, prefer this extended time off, and I'm sure that you want to know why.

That Which We Get The Least, We Covet Most

We have preseason and postseason, but for every National League Football franchise, there are 16 key weeks a season.

You get 16 regular season games, and while they are spaced out once a week, that's 16 days out of the 365 you get most years. Baseball gets 162. Basketball (usually) goes 82. Hockey, who really knows, but a lot more than 16.

It's because we get so few of these games that each one has monumental importance. With the exception of a few clunkers in late December and early January, each game matters.

Tell that to the Kansas City Royals and Sacramento Kings fans...

We Only Have So Much Time to Dedicate to this Nonsense

Let's just say for sake of argument that we extend football season to 21 weeks including the playoffs. That's approximately 31 weeks of non football. A lot of us are in mixed relationships, and by that I mean one football fundamentalist and one football nonbeliever.

In this case, we usually have to sacrifice a Friday night poker game or allow the occasional chick flick to cross our glorious HD TVs that should be reserved exclusively for football and Chuck Norris movies.

A short season reminds our families that they will get us back soon, and for a longer period than we are lost. Then there's the offseason...

Find Something to Do in the Offseason

Last year was a disaster for anyone who covers the NFL, be it casual blogger to Peter King.

The lockout denied us our usual offseason buffet of goodness. It was as fun as having your eyeballs pried open Clockwork Orange style as the third round of the Northern Trust Open plays (that's a golf tournament).

The offseason is carefully laid out so there is always something to look forward to. There are college All-Star games starting the week before the Super Bowl. The Combine will be held in the same location as the Super Bowl, and just a couple of weeks later. Colleges hold their annual meat market Pro Days over the next couple of months. Free agency begins in March, allowing dozens of players to change teams.

Even though we know who our teams play in the fall almost a year in advance, the day that the actual schedule is announced is practically a holiday, and the NFL Network will have a six-hour show on it. The draft's in April, followed by minicamps, a very short summer vacation, and then it's training camp time...

Players Get a Bye Week, Fans Need Bye Months

Last fall I covered the Tennessee Titans for a now defunct blog. It was hard enough being there in person as Jake Locker brought them five yards away from a victory over the New Orleans Saints, only to inexplicably take the sack on the final play. I had to re-live that feeling while watching NFL Game Rewind—crack for football fans.

I don't want to do that more than 16 times a year.

As much as I try to justify making the lows not as low as the highs, my heart thinks otherwise. That walk up the Woodland Street Bridge feels like I am ascending Mount Everest after a loss. The offseason is my time to relax and recover, and dream of the future...

Research, Research, Research

To be a proper obsessive fan, you have to know your team. And while you're at it, all 31 other teams. An offseason that stretches from February to August should do the trick.

Be prepared to talk smack to that Ravens fan come opening day. Learn the name of every cheerleader, not because you are stalking them but to warn them, by name, when a stalker approaches. Figure out where Bill Belichick gets his hoodies altered. Use Twitter to find other fans of your team and commiserate, but never meet in person.

That would be creepy.

In your copious offseason time, you can learn who the third-string waterboy is all the way to the tattoo that your middle linebacker has on the small of his back. The Chinese characters don't say what he thinks they say...

The National Football League's regular season is so very short. I wouldn't have it any other way.