For the past few years, the NFL has been talking about expanding the regular season to 18 games and cutting the preseason down to just two games. The expansion talk got shelved after the players and the NFL worked out the last collective bargaining agreement but there is still talk of adding a few games to the regular season at some point in the future.
However, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke about expanding another part of the NFL, the playoffs. According to NFL.com and Jason LaConfora of cbssports.com, Goodell threw out that possibility today at the owners’ meetings in Dallas:
“Right now we’re with 12 teams obviously. We’ll look at probably 14 or 16 teams.”
Goodell also intimated that the idea has been brought up before.
I have no idea if the vote is on the horizon or if it will pass anytime soon but I do not like the idea of adding teams into the playoffs. To me, the number twelve means something, and not just today because it’s 12-12-12; it represents the best the NFL has to offer. If you’re one of the twelve teams good enough to make the playoffs, it means you have gone through a grueling NFL season to reach the most important games of the year. I believe by adding two or four teams to the playoff mix, they are watering down the product.
Think about this: If 16 teams make the playoffs, that means half of the league is good enough to play in the post season and I do not believe in that at all. I believe twelve teams usually gives us the best the NFL has to offer and it makes it special to make the playoffs. Adding teams doesn’t make it a privilege to get into the playoffs; it just makes it easy and nothing in the NFL is easy.
The NFL continues to think adding games is what everyone wants because the game is so popular but I disagree. I like a limited amount of Thursday night games, and I like the 16 game schedule and I like a 12 team playoff.
Of course we all know what this is about–money. The owners want more of it and adding teams and games increases the amount of money the owners and the television networks can make. And of course, this also ignores player safety since playing more games adds more risk of injury, but I’m guessing that is secondary to everything else.
I don’t know about any of you but I’m perfectly content knowing that if my favorite team makes the playoffs, they were good enough to compete with the best teams in the league. Call me crazy, again, but I like a little tradition with my football.
you can follow or chat with Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi