Selling an 18-game schedule

As you have no doubt heard, the NFL is pushing hard for an 18-game schedule once it meets with players in the off-season to decide the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement.

You also surely have heard about all the changes in rules the league has dealt with this season, most of which are meant to enhance the safety seen on football fields across America.

It’s no secret that football is a violent sport, and that it’s risen to the pinnacle of our nation’s entertainment because it pits tough men hitting other tough men.

“Football is a safe game” is the last idea that comes to a mother’s mind when her son tells her he thinks he could make for a good quarterback.

Now that that’s been established, the question remains: How does the NFL demand that its players battle twice more each season, especially when it claims to be concerned with the safety of those same players?

League commissioner Roger Goodell is trying to sell this idea to his players, but its not being helped by the fact that he’s preaching safety at all times.

If, under Goodell’s scenario, a team were to play a full season and make it to the Super Bowl, it could play as many as 22 games in a single season. 22 games! It doesn’t seem much more than the current 20, but in the NFL a lot can happen in a seemingly measly two extra games.

This all comes in the midst of his rule changes, and nobody is quite sure of how they work. Players are playing confused and referees are officiating confused.

It’s just more evidence to the fact that Goodell needs to sit down and reorganize his priorities. If he’s going to sell an 18-game schedule, he can’t stand lecture from a transparent pulpit.

He needs to evoke trust from the players who earn the attention and bring in the money. If they don’t trust him, they won’t buy from him.


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