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: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: May 28, 2011 3:01 pm

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

Of course fans want more games that count vs preseason. That doesn't make it right for the players.

I love the game. Yet understand how brutal it is on players. How short most careers are. For every player who lasts 10 years there are 100's who last a few years.

We have to be reasonable as they already face incredilble risk to their life and future playing 16 games a year.

Football is doing great leave it alone. If owners where not lying about financial state of teams/NFL they already have produced all the audited financial statements to prove it. If they wanted billions more do that and players might agree to it. Saying trust me to players we need this is total BS.

This CBA dispute is 100% on owners. The players will renew same CBA as last one. If the reason owners want to change is not making enough money prove it. They haven't done that. In fact all the new TV deals etc show otherwise. Until then there should be no changes to last CBA. It worked out very well for players and onwers as NFL is making more than ever under that agreement.

I side with players they don't get guaranteed contracts. Owners agreed to last CBA terms and no reason they have shown it doesn't work fine for both sides. 

Owners want players to give back then when they sign a contract you cannot just cut them and void it. Either they make more while they play or if less guarantee the contract.

People don't seem to get only reason players make what they do is because owners drove prices up. When a free agent or number 1 pic k asks for more then others say no. Why did they pay number 1 pick 50 million? Why pay big signing bonuses? That just takes 1 owner willing to for wages to increase. They cannot control each other so they want players to.

Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2011 2:39 pm

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

This man is apparently dumber than his is given credit for.

Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: May 28, 2011 12:22 pm

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

If the NFL was really interested in improving the quality of the game, they would be spending more time asking if the season should be shortened. My Sunday afternoons used to be devoted to watching the NFL, but 16 games is too much. By the time the playoffs come around, every team is usually just decimated from injuries. The only thing two extra games will do is water down the playoffs even more. The NFL is so full of itself that they feel infallible. They constantly feel the need the adjust rules, labor agreements, and scheduling when there is clearly no need to make a change. If a sport is as popular as the NFL, then why in the hell are they always so eager to try and fix something that clearly isn't broken? I do know one thing, I sure as hell don't need Goodell to tell me what I want. 

Since: May 28, 2011
Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:52 am

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

Not to quibble about the 32 owner statement but this past fall Dan Rooney was back from Ireland and he was asked about the 18 game season.  He said it was a bad idea and was against it and said, incredibly, "I don't want the money."  When I heard that I could almost hear Goodell, Jones, and Richardson gag.  They must have dropped the hammer on Rooney in the interest of 'owner unity' because it was the last I heard of it.  But it's a pretty good indication why the Rooney ownership group is held in such high regard by just about everybody and especially the players.

Since: May 28, 2011
Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:44 am

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

I am completely unimpressed with these "twitter" polls to all fans.  They can be easily impacted by the same person logging numerous "votes".  I am also not influenced by a poll that includes all NFL fans when the comment is specific to season ticket holders.  There are definitely two categories of fans -the general fan and the fan that is purchasing season tickets and PSL's.  From a strictly economic sense, these do not appear to be groups with an equal incentive in how the number of games in a season decision is made.  I do agree there is a certain level of unfairness to the season ticket holders to pay the same price for pre-season games as for regular season games.  I am not even certain as to why there needs to be any pre-season games but that is another discussion.  Assuming that we will have some number of pre-season games, there appears to be several ways to remedy the "unfairness" to the season ticket holders as follows:
1)Eliminate the pre-season games totally or reduce the number without replacing them with regular season games--this is very unlikely to happen and would have some strong negative impacts on local tax base, and local economies especially those who work the games.
2) Reduce the price of the pre-season games to be less than regular season games--again this is unlikely to happen based on most "for profit" concerns look to grow rather than reduce revenue.  I guess the pre-season game price could be reduced but the clubs would most likely then increase the price of the regular season games.  If you are of the belief that the clubs are simply out to make exorbitant profits and will gouge the season ticket holder then nothing will probably shake you from that position.  On the whole, I find that my season tickets are reasonably priced in relation to other entertainment events.
3)Swap out all or part of the pre-season games for regular season games (18 game schedule)-this is attractive to me since it retains the total number of games and probably enhances the local economic impact because the pre-season games are not as well attended.  It also reduces number of full price pre-season games that many season ticket holders object to purchasing.  The main downsides are players’ objections for injuries.  I think there is also an aspect of compensation that is in the players minds.  I full support the players being compensated for the addition games. I would also support an increase in roster size.  As far as injuries, what Goodell said for those who have cared to hear the total remark was that there would need to be adjustments in OTA's, Training Camp and other rule aspects of the game before an 18 game schedule is implemented. It is interesting to hear the players' concern about injuries when we are also hearing the strong reaction to the new "safety" rules being imposed. 
Based on the above, count me as one season ticket holder who would like to see the 18 game schedule and believe that there are many like me. If your objection is that you live in a cold climate and do not want to see more January games then either lobby for the season to start earlier, sell your tickets to those games or you or the team should move or build indoor stadium.

Since: Oct 5, 2008
Posted on: May 28, 2011 11:14 am

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

A brief message to Rodger Godell.  Rodger, the fans don't really care about an 18 game season, it's the season ticket holders.  Even the season ticket holders don't really care about an 18 game season they just don't want to have to pay the big bucks for tickets, parking, food and drinks for pre season games.  The problem isn't that the fans want more games the problem is that you want to charge them for ten home games but are only providing eight. If you want to give the fans what they want stop making them pay the same price for a pre-season game as they pay for a regular season game.

Since: Oct 13, 2010
Posted on: May 28, 2011 10:55 am

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

I just want football. Screw the two extra games.

Since: Oct 13, 2010
Posted on: May 28, 2011 10:54 am

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

i could care less, i just want a fuckin season

Since: Feb 25, 2011
Posted on: May 28, 2011 10:38 am

Commish Is Right/Fans Too Stupid To Realize It

Two more games in the middle of deep winter is a great idea. Most fans are too stupid to relaize this major boost. Tell me again how doing NOTHING in February is packed with joy? p.s. Any fan concerned about the players and 2 more games should wake up and know the whole sport is evil. Look at the concussion long until the game is outlawed? 

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: May 28, 2011 10:34 am

Goodell still says fans want 18 games

I started a poll to on the Green Bay Packers message board to settle this thing for once and for all by vote. I am asking you folks to participate and give your reasons why you voted. A vote does this way more justice than a blog where you never really know the results. Won't tell you how I voted just come and give your two cents.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or