So... As we head into the tunnel of the long dark time between the draft and preseason, I'd like to offer a couple of thoughts on Roger Goodell's proposed (infamous, I guess) 18-game season.
I get the concerns that the players have about the added wear-and-tear on their bodies. I get the concerns that some of the fans have about messing up a good thing. But I hate this stretch of the year SO much where the only alternatives are baseball [yawn... imagines organ music between innings] or basketball [just.... no...] that I wanted to daydream a bit about how to extend the season a bit.
Concerning the wear-and-tear on the players, what about any of the following mitigating alternatives?:
1) It's my understanding that if ratified, the two "new" games would be 1:1 swaps for preseason contests. I frankly would rather that they just "add" two games and leave the preseason intact for talent evaluation. It's not like those games are putting undue stress on the starters and they are invaluable for seeing the rookies compete against NFL-level competition.
2) Why not add two extra "bye" weeks?... and have everyone take them on the same week? So you could have bye weeks after weeks 6, 10, and 14 to give everyone a chance to heal up at the same time. You could also use these bye weeks to accommodate any international travel that teams might have to do for the stupid European games that the NFL cannot seem to get over.
With regard to fan concerns about messing up a good thing... I get that some folks are concerned that the wear-and-tear on the players over the extra two games is going to significantly change the dynamic of the season. But is adding two more games (especially with the added "bye weeks") going to change the game as much as all of the patty-cake hitting rules changes that have happened and are going to happen going forward?
The net result of these changes would be one less month in the calendar year where there was no currently contested or soon-to-be-contested NFL action and anything that keeps MLB and NBA highlights off of SportsCenter is a good thing to me.