Blog Entry

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

Posted on: May 27, 2011 9:38 am
Edited on: May 27, 2011 10:41 am
GoodellPosted by Josh Katzowitz

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.

Labor News
I took an unscientific Twitter poll this morning to gauge the fans’ reaction to the idea of adding two more games, and here are my results: 83.9 percent of the respondents said they like the 16-game format fine, thanks very much (psst, I guess they must not be season ticket holders, right?).

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.

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Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: May 27, 2011 10:16 am

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

what a load. goodell and the owners want an 18 game season. fans just want football period. 16 games is plenty. how about just adding another wildcard round instead.

Since: Apr 24, 2007
Posted on: May 27, 2011 10:16 am

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

One of the best parts of the NFL versus, say, the NBA or MLB is that every game matters.  This rewards teams who perform the best as opposed to which team has the most talent.  Baseball spends 162 freaking games to make sure any exceptional performances are canceled out and only the best teams remain.  Other sports have playoff series to make sure the best team wins.  NFL is more about "you have one chance to prove yourself".  This makes the games exciting.  Adding games dilutes this effect.

Since: Jan 19, 2011
Posted on: May 27, 2011 10:14 am

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

Your poll is not really valid, you have a high level of sampling bias, IE the people on the conference call and the people who follow a sports writer's twitter are, by definition, informed.  Before I started reading this blog halfway through the season I thought "yeah, more games, great!" and it never occurred to me that the game quality would deteriorate.  I think most fans just watch a football game usually every week and 18 weeks sounds great to them. 

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: May 27, 2011 10:07 am

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

NO WE DONT WANT ONE , we just tired of paying full price for those preseasons ;-)

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: May 27, 2011 9:58 am

Goodell STILL says fans want 18 games

The 18 game schedule won't work, and I know it'll be for the same reasons people said the 16 game schedule wouldn't work.  It'll take away from all the records, it'll decrease MORE the value of a 1000 yard rushing season (which has always been the staple point for a running back's value to a team and good contract), and most of all it'll kill the players with injuries and just getting outright worn down towards the end of the season.  SUre the owners want it, until the players HAVE to renegotiate their contracts to get paid for these games, and Goodell wants it for both the revenue and it'll be his "remember me and what I did for the game" retireing point.  I don't think it'll come to be, the players union won't let it, the owners eventually won't let it when they see amount of money it'll cost and what few people will watch the last two games with no one but scrubs playing them.

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