Was it always a false alarm, or was it a real possibility? When the NFL floated the idea of an 18 game season, it was a trial balloon that we all thought would get shot down as soon as reality was met.
But then something happened in 2010. The idea got entrenched. And the next thing you knew, Roger Goodell was putting his name behind it, backing it up very seriously. The owners lined up in support. The idea of an 18 game season became a matter of when, not if. Francesa of WFAN was out there talking about how the roster was going to get expanded when this change was adopted. Some of us were hoping this momentum was posturing, a bargaining ploy by the owners to force more player concessions.
Now, as word of an imminent agreement between players and owners comes to light, we hear that any idea of an 18 game season is going to die on the vine.
If we get (1) a labor agreement (2) the rookie wage scale is firm and (3) the 18 game season idea fades into the sunset, then this labor impasse will have (dare we say it?!) strengthened the sport. Nobody likes to count their chickens before they hatch, but this could be a good week.
One more moment to close this epilogue. Assuming the idea of lengthening the regular season is dropped, what does it say about Goodell’s stump for this 18 game insanity? A loss of credibility? Yes. Is it too harsh to call the commissioner a hack? No. You see, ~78% of the people here on this blog, diehard football fans, voted NO for an 18 game season. Almost every single former and current player came out against it. That is a common sense statement. It did nothing less than shock us that the League could push for this, yet they did. And the Commissioner whored himself out for it, despite the fact that he is the guardian and steward for this sport. Remember, this same guardian has been pushing for player safety, yet here he was pushing for a few extra dollars at the expense of every player’s health. What is the takeaway? (1) We’re glad that Football is not going to become Survivor (2) We know that Roger Goodell is a man for sale who lacks the integrity to support the best interests of the game when the chips are down.