As an outside observer, it seems that hardly anybody wants the NFL to move to an 18-game schedule. With the exception of 33 people – the 32 owners, plus commissioner Roger Goodell – it comes across to me that people are cool with the 16 games.
Yet Goodell, according to the (Nashville) Tennessean, continues to use the line that fans just can’t stop shivering in anticipation of two extra games.
“We do think it is attractive to season-ticket holders. I hear that all of the time from our season-ticket holders,” Goodell said on a conference call with Titans season ticket holders. "We have not abandoned our position on that. We do think it is the right thing for the game. It improves the quality of what we do, and it improves the value for you as season-ticket holders. … We do think it is a benefit for everybody, but we want to do it the right way, and we want to do it responsibly. That includes the players’ perspective.”
Hardly anybody likes the preseason schedule and yeah, I can see why Goodell thinks it’s in the fans' best interests to give them more real games for the money they’re spending on season ticket packages.
But I just don’t get the sense the fans are all that keen on the idea (and we KNOW that the players don’t want it), mostly due to injury concerns.
Yet, Goodell just won’t stop, and it's getting laughable.
But here’s the thing, and Yahoo! Sports’ Doug Farrar points it out: Goodell has participated in 19 conference calls like this, and after reading transcripts of the talks, hardly any fan has mentioned wanting what Goodell says the fans want.
And here’s what I don’t understand. The 18-game schedule is off the table for these labor negotiations, so why is Goodell STILL talking about it? Especially when it seems somewhat clear that the fans aren’t all that interested in the idea.
Here are a few of their responses:
From @L7Panda: “NO to an 18 game season, just like the previous polls had said, 80% of fans do NOT want an 18 game season. NO NO NO NO NO.”
From @CJ_Camisa: "Yes!!!! As a Packer fan I want even more of my players to miss time to injuries!!! They don't take enough hits!" #sissies
From @Preine_PtR: "As a Browns fan, I'm usually begging for the season to be over with by week 5."
From @manicsocratic: "18 game schedule is fine. Make it fair to the players and change regulation to 48 minutes though."
So, that seems pretty clear to me. Fans don’t want it, and season ticket-holders don’t want it. I just wish Goodell would stop pronouncing it like it’s some kind of fact.
By the way, you can check out the labor timeline and the labor issues of the day. You know, in case you need a refresher.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.