NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gave his state of the league address yesterday. Amongst the things he talked about was the proposed 18 game regular season:
“Repeatedly, the fans have said the quality of the preseason doesn’t meet NFL standards. That is … the basis on which we started to look at the 18-and-two concept, by taking two of those low-quality, non-competitive games and turn those into quality, competitive games that the fans want to see.”
He’s got a point about the preseason. But I’ll say that he might be surprised (as I was) by the number of fans who would rather just see those two games eliminated.
I, personally, think the more football the better. But many fans I know disagree with me because they are worried that the quality of the game will be diluted. That seems to be supported by the results of this poll from the Associated Press:
“Of everyone surveyed, 27 percent strongly favor or somewhat favor adding two regular-season games and dropping two preseason games. When the group is narrowed to those identifying themselves as NFL fans, support for the change rises to a total of 45 percent — yet only 18 percent who strongly favor it.”
There seems to be little doubt that fan support for an extension of the season is weak. And, of course, anyone who has been paying attention knows that the players as a group hate the idea. But I think everyone is asking the wrong question. It seems clear that the owners aren’t going to easily agree to anything that doesn’t include the two extra games. So let’s try this one:
Which would you rather have? Eighteen games in 2012 or a lockout where there are less than 16 games 2011?
Bears safety Chris Harriswrites a piece for the Chicago Sun-Times about the key to the Super Bowl matchup.
Jensen points out that the Bears need to get younger and deeper. When he asks where the Bears have ailed to put themselves in this situation, its no surprise where he puts the emphasis:
“Kevin Colbert, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ director of football operations, noted that nearly three-quarters of Pro Bowl players were selected in the first three rounds.
‘‘’So it’s very important that you get those players right,’ Colbert said, ‘and we really emphasize making sure we don’t make mistakes on the 1’s, 2’s and 3’s. If you get lucky on the later rounds, great. But the 1’s, 2’s and 3’s, if you miss on them, they can set you back for some years.’’’
Seifert also points out the one thing that bugs me about picking the Packers. The many times they’ve failed to finish in close games. I don’t think there’s much doubt that the Steelers know how to do that. I don’t know who is going to win but I’d be surprised if this game was a blow out.
This little tidbit from CNET.com (via BenMaller.com) is interesting. Pete Walsh, head of technology for the Cowboys, said his team and at least a “couple” of others are currently considering abandoning their playbooks in favor of iPads. The iPad is more secure because it can be remotely wiped.
The FBI finally arrested the Arizona man who is allegedly responsible for using a computer to interrupt a local telecast of the 2009 Super Bowl with a 37-second pornography clip. You can take down those road blocks now.
In what has to be one of the dumbest ideas I’ve heard yet, the NFLPA has discussed getting potential draft picks to boycott the NFL Combine later this month with agents. The union is hopeful such a boycott would disrupt teams’ scouting of college players, but it’s unlikely to get widespread support from the agents whose first duty is helping their clients get selected high in the draft.
Most of the bets aren’t in yet. But MGM Resorts International, which operates 10 sports books on the Las Vegas Strip, said about 70 percent of the money bet so far in its casinos is for a Packers victory. Bookies aren’t in the business of losing money.