More is not always a good thing. As a nation of groveling consumers, this isn’t a simple statement to wrap our heads around. Everyone wants some, everyone wants more of what they don’t have, and those that have it want more of it as well. Chewing, scrolling, swallowing, and watching...yes, that is what we do best, and there is no limit to how much we can take in. There’s always another ad. There’s always another episode. There’s always something else that leaves us unsatisfied.
Scarcity is what makes things special and meaningful. Adding more to something that is already good and beautiful and overindulging only makes it worse. Call it marginal utility, call it moderation, call it what you will, but more is not better.
These are virtues that have been taught to man from the very beginning. From Ecclesiastes to Epicurus, moderation is an important component to a happy and healthy life:
Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
The NFL, as a business operation, does not understand this. They don’t exist solely for the game itself. They are a business, a money devouring machine, that craves and lusts more and more. Purchasing seats for the right to purchase tickets. Bigger television contracts. More games to sell more commercials and more seats. That’s the reason for every decision the league makes. NFL schedule expansion isn’t about the fans or the players. It’s all about feeding the beast. And the beast just got another meal in the form of a 17th regular season game.
NFL is expected to expand the regular season schedule this week to 17 games. The league had played a 16-game regular season schedule since 1978, by far the longest stretch without a change in NFL history.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 28, 2021
The thing about the beast is that the beast is never satiated. It always craves more. It always needs more. It will start at 17 games. Then it will become 18. Then there will be 8 Wild Card round games as the NFL Playoffs expand to 16 teams. The cage will be expanded. The pants will be tailored. New mops will be bought to soak up the drool and ooze.
There isn’t a need for more football. We currently have the perfect amount of football. Really, there is probably already too much football—you ain’t watching Week 16 Bears-Jaguars. The schedule is neat and square. The same divisional opponents twice, another division in the same conference, three more teams that finished in the same divisional spot the year before, and a rotating divisional conference. This feels right.
17 is an odd number. It’s gross and hideous. The new animal on this carousel is the cockroach, some faux rival, so people in Miami and Tampa Bay can act like they care about something they don’t care about. We know what a twelve win, an eight win, and a four win team look like. With 17 games, all of that disappears.
We don’t need to add another Jets or Bengals game to the calendar. The expanded postseason was a tragedy. Time wasted and a bye week lost so the Bears could drop a reverse touchdown pass and the Colts could get in, never facing the punishment they should have for losing to the 1-15 Jacksonville Jaguars, and forcing Jay Gruden and Gardner Minshew II into one incompletion. Both of those teams should have been at home. Nothing was gained by their inclusion in the playoffs. The sanctity of making the NFL postseason was diminished.
The game is already violent enough as it is. It’s hard enough for players to make it through 16 games, let alone 17, with the addition of the expanding playoff. The NFL doesn’t care about player safety. It cares only about the beast itself.
A thing means less with there is more of it. The regular season, the Wild Card round, all of it, is too much. We don’t need another Sunday to stare at our phones and call it watching football. We don’t need another week of fantasy football matchups, or Nick Martin skidded snaps, or third string quarterback starts. We have all that we need. All that we have is more than enough.
17 games is dumb.