The eighteen game season has gotten a lot of ink the past few months. “Ink” probably is a dying term, since we’re mostly talking about bytes in the internet age. But we’ll stick with ink for the moment.
With an eighteen game season, the pre-season would be shortened to only two games, instead of four. Essentially, then, we are getting two real games replacing two pseudo-games. It seems like an innocuous change, and maybe it is. Or maybe it isn’t.
If there are only two pre-season games, those games would have to emphasize the starters getting ready for the real season, rather than the rookies getting their feet wet and being evaluated. The chances of a draft class having any immediate value in its first season would be reduced considerably. Or the real games will have a lot more sloppy play involved in the first month of the season.
The “ten win” plateau, which has been the bar separating the good teams from the bad teams, would lose a lot of oomph. 11-7 would be the new standard of excellence. The 1,000 yard season would become more of an expectation than an achievement. The football record book would eventually get populated with guys who couldn’t hold the jocks of the old stars they would be replacing with their career totals. Baseball would cringe at this abomination, like it does about steroids. Football just shrugs. On both issues.
Injuries already have a great deal to do with which teams get to the playoffs and which teams succeed once they have gotten there. An eighteen game season would increase this skew factor and increase the value of team depth. At least, that’s the theory. But guys get tickets to the IR squad in Training Camp and pre-season games every year. Sometimes during OTAs doing nothing very vigorous at all. If the sum total of games remains the same, it’s hard to see injuries increasing a significant amount.
An eighteen game season would benefit dudsola teams the most. Or rather fans of these teams. Hope for crap team fans would get extended two more weeks each year. See: Parity, Increase. See: Dollars, Increase. See: Product, Diluted. The American Way of Life, all the way from the White House down to the cocaine dealers on the street.
This eighteen game push is not favored by the players. It’s owner driven. So is the Rookie Wage Scale cap which will wipe out the obscene contracts handed out at the top of the Draft. Rosters will probably be increased, along with practice squad limits. But these increases will involve petty cash players, compared to the mega bucks savings at the top of the Draft. Advantage: owners.
Personally, I don’t give a rabbit’s nose twitch who wins or loses in the battle between the owners and players. My only interest is that these idiots get the season started on time and without screwing up the entire off season, which would immediately favor all the teams that are good to go and punish the teams, like the 49ers, who are installing new coaches and play books.
In other news, Hue Jackson, in his second day on the job as new HC of the Oakland Black Hole, was reprimanded by the league for his involvement with a company which makes a product which is on the forbidden list of banned substances. This means Al Davis already has litigable evidence to stiff Jackson for the remaining years of his contract when Al fires him for cause in two years. In a world of change, there is Al. A rock of prehistoric rockness.