Why Is The NFL Still Considering An 18-Game Season?
The National Football League wants its players to take part in an 18-game season. And one way or another, they’re probably going to get their wish sometime down the line. At some point, they’re going to talk the players into agreeing to it. The NFL is simply so powerful that they’ll eventually get their way. But right now, the NFL players’ union has all the leverage in the world and should not allow the NFL to talk them into playing an 18-game schedule every year. In fact, I’m not really even sure why the NFL is still reportedly talking about it and trying to figure out a way to do it. It’s not the right thing for them to do right now.
The first and most important reason that the NFL should not put an 18-game season into place involves the health of NFL players. Specifically, the fact that NFL players are suffering long-term health consequences as a result of playing football. From head injuries to neck and back aches to leg problems, NFL players have all sorts of health issues that they already have to look forward to down the line. And the league is seemingly making a push to make sure that players are as healthy as they can be 20, 30, 40, and 50 years after they’re done playing. But they can’t make health a priority and expand the season to 18 games. It just doesn’t work that way. It would be counterproductive.
The second reason that the NFL should not put an 18-game season into place involves the actual games themselves. At times, a 16-game schedule seems to be too long for some franchises. There are those that start off slow and limp to 2-14 records and there are those who come out hot and end up 14-2. In both scenarios, Weeks 16 and 17 are usually pretty meaningless. And while you could argue that an 18-game schedule would keep things competitive for longer stretches of time during the regular season, there’s also a chance that that doesn’t happen. Much like the NBA and MLB, you could end up with a bunch of meaningless football games at the backend of the season, which translates to empty stadiums. That would not be good for business.
The third and final reason that the NFL should not put an 18-game season into place involves the actual timing of the season. As it stands now, the NFL season ends in early February. It’s pretty perfect. We all celebrate the Super Bowl in early February and then move on to watching college basketball and the end of the NBA season. If the NFL expands to 18 games, the season won’t end until at least mid-February. That’s just too long.
For those reasons, the NFL needs to seriously consider everything before they expand their season to 18 games. We don’t think it will happen anytime soon anyway. But if the NFL does expand the season, they’ll be making a huge mistake. As much as I love watching football, I can do without two extra games. And I hope the NFL realizes that.