Blog Entry

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

Posted on: August 18, 2011 5:33 pm
BisciottiPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you thought the owners were just going to forget about a proposed 18-game schedule simply because the players successfully tabled that discussion from the recently-signed CBA, that doesn’t mean the issue still isn’t on at least one owner’s mind (and probably on the mind of every owner and commissioner Roger Goodell).

"I think it became such a flashpoint, that our negotiating team figured that it wasn't worth pushing," said Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, via the Carroll County Times. "What we did as a show of faith was to go from what we had as a unilateral opportunity to impose 18 games in the old CBA, we agreed to let it become a negotiating point with the union going forward. Nobody likes things being forced on them, and the fact that the old CBA made it clear that we could impose it on them, I think that it kind of made them angrier that they didn't feel like they were getting heard.

"We felt that it was in our players' best interests to leave it out of this fight and open it up for negotiation a year or two from now and see what the additional revenue would be so that they're making a decision with eyes wide open."

As’s Clark Judge pointed out last month, an 18-game schedule could begin by 2013 if the players agreed to it. Even if it seems like hardly anybody, but the NFL, is interested in pursuing it or watching it.

Obviously, this is an issue that has been hovering over the labor negotiations for the past few years, and the players were adamant about not getting a new schedule included in the latest CBA. Here was my interview with Bengals T Andrew Whitworth way back in June 2010 about this very subject: Lots of talk today and yesterday about the 18-game schedule. What are your thoughts?

Andrew Whitworth: We want to do anything to make the game better for the fans. If an 18-game schedule will do that, that would be great. But there’s also some things player-wise and health-wise that might be an issue. We feel like if we’re going to have to do that, there has to be some things that change as far as the offseason and training camp.

CBS: Are you talking about just the offseason stuff, or are you also talking about increased health care?

AW: You have to do one of two things; you have to improve the situation now with improving the OTAs or during the season where there’s less contact or you’ve got to attack the health-care issue and give the guys better health care when they’re done. Right now, with most players, even if they play 15 years, they only have -- at the most -- five year of health care. That’s kind of ridiculous what guys go through.

CBS: Do you think the 18-game schedule will happen?

AW: I think the owners definitely want it. I know they’ve prepared for it in their future schedules from what I’ve seen. It’s something they’ll go forward with. But there has to be other things that improve for that to happen.

In the new CBA, the owners gave the players health care for life, and they’ve lessened the offseason workout schedule as well, all in the name of player health. So, it’s not like the players can say the owners don’t care about the well-being of their employees (they even changed the kickoff rules!).

But at some point, it seems inevitable that an 18-game schedule will be part of the NFL season. Remember, Colts president Bill Polian called an 18-game season “fait accompli.” But, like Judge points out, we still can’t figure out how the league can claim to care so much about player safety and then add two more games to the schedule. It doesn’t make sense.

Unless, we’re discussing what the NFL really cares about: money. Then, it makes all the sense in the world.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 4:08 am

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2012 11:45 am
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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 1:13 pm
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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 8:05 am
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Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 8:28 am

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

The player argument is that those preseason games are mostly played by the backups and practice players, and guys trying to make the team.  So it's two more games played for the regular roster players (although it's equally valid to argue that it's two less games for those guys just trying to make the squad).

The trouble with the season tickets is this:

Everyone hates paying full-game price for crappy preseason games.  If they were to change two of them to regular games and LEAVE THE PRICE THE SAME, the season ticket holders would be happy.  But you, they, I, the players, and everyone else under the sun know damn well that that's not how it's going to happen.  They would make the change, and then raise season ticket prices, using the "increased value due to the added games" as their excuse.  And the two remaining preseason games would continue to be charged at the (now increased) regular game prices.

The players would get paid more (though they don't think it'd be worth it, as has been discussed ad nauseum during the lockout), the owners would make money, the season ticket holders would pay more and get more (break even), and the TV-watchers would get 2 more weeks of meaningful games, which would benefit the TV stations.

Since: Mar 16, 2011
Posted on: August 19, 2011 12:34 am

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

season ticket holders keep crying that they are forced to pay full price for meaningless (pre-season) games, yet when the NFL tries to do something about it i.e. swap two meaningless games for two proper games, they (the fans) are against it. What gives? 

You are confusing two entirely different groups of fans.  The paying fans (season ticket holders) are tired of the NFL's preseason game rip-off and favor the 18/2 format. The arm chair QB "purists" argue "dilution of product", "player safety",  and other such NFLPA nonsense in support of standing pat at 16/4 format.

The NFL, and its employees, will ultimately follow the Golden Rule here.  There are billions extra to be made from TV contracts by adding three weeks revenue (2 games, 2nd bye)

Since: Aug 3, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:40 pm

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

are you kidding me? oh boo hoo. the players get tons of money for what they do...we the fans pay a ton of money for games i want more entertainment  lots fo football players in the USA

Since: Aug 3, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:39 pm

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

yes we the fans want more games!!!

Since: Aug 3, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:38 pm

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

I agree with you bud...i say go to 18 games  give the fans more football!!!

Since: Aug 3, 2010
Posted on: August 18, 2011 11:37 pm

Owners haven't forgotten about 18-game schedule

I personnaly hope that the NFL goes to 18 regular season games. Cut the preseason games to 2 or hell get rid of them all together as I think they have run their course as far as being revelant. These players today are year round atheletes and are in great shape for the season unlike years ago when players often worked at other jobs during the offseason. Now people will say that "hey are u kidding me the players will get hurt"  well i say meh who cares...i work in a dangerous job where i could die at any time and I don't bitch. I do my job and get paid big bucks for it  mind you not as much as an NFL they can save their money and invest so they will be prepared just in case their career gets cut short...where does it say that these NFL players need $25000 ear rings to show off?  

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