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Wisconsin Death Trip
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History..... Exhibition games have been played in Professional Football since the beginning of the sport. In fact, until league play was formalized in 1920, one could consider virtually all of an independent professional football team's schedule to be exhibitions. In the early years of the sport, teams often "barnstormed", and played squads from leagues outside their own, or against local college teams or other amateur groups, charging fans whatever the traffic would bear. These games might be played before, during or after the teams' regular seasons. The quality of the sport during this period was such that there was not much to be seen different in an exhibition game or a regularly scheduled game. But the players were just as competitive, and the fans demanded their money's worth. The only restriction was a major one: all games played against league opponents were considered regular season games, meaning only games played against teams from outside the league could be considered true exhibitions (the Staley Swindle of 1921 was one notable implementation of this rule, which ended up impacting who won the championship that year). This rule was changed in 1924, which set a firm date for the end of the season and declared any games after that point to be exhibition games. By the 1950s, teams began playing exhibition games toward the end of training camp and before the regular season, to acclimate players to game conditions. These games were priced well below the cost for regular-season games. Team owners realized modest profits from these games, because the players were still being paid only training camp per diem, so any game proceeds went strictly to management. Because the games were profitable, teams often played a considerable number of them in relation to their regular season schedule. It was not unknown for a team to play six preseason games to prepare for a 12-game regular season schedule. In the 1960s, teams began playing 14 regular season games, and there was a corresponding decrease in the length of the preseason. Teams played four or five preseason games each year. (For example, in 1966 each of the nine American Football League teams each played precisely four preseason games.) By the end of the decade, however, there would be a rapid increase in the number of preseason games, quickly reaching 1950s levels. With the AFL-NFL merger of 1970, Professional Football was granted a Sherman Anti-Trust Act exemption, which emboldened some team owners to expand the exhibition schedule and to require season-ticket holders to pay for one, then two, then three home exhibition games if they wanted to keep their season tickets. The exhibition season then became, and remains, a large source of owner revenue that is not shared with the players. From 1970 through 1977, the NFL season consisted of 14 regular season games and six exhibition games, sometimes but not always three at home and three away (the 1973 Washington Redskins, for instance, played five out of six preseason games at home), with some played at neutral sites. Starting in 1978, the regular season was expanded to 16 games, and the exhibition season was cut from six to four games. From 1999 to 2001, when the league consisted of an uneven 31 teams, some additional exhibition games (usually 2 or 3) were played over Hall of Fame weekend. In order to account for the uneven number of teams, each team was required to have a bye week during the exhibition season. Most teams held their bye week in Hall of Fame weekend, while the others utilized them somewhere else during the exhibition season. This practice was abandoned after the Houston Texans were added to the league in 2002, giving it an even 32 teams. The exhibition games do not count toward any statistics, streaks, season standings or records whatsoever. For instance, the four wins incurred by the 2008 Detroit Lions in the exhibition season did not count "against them" when they went on to become the first team to lose all of their regular-season games since 1976, and the 1972 Dolphins, despite losing three exhibition games, are still considered to have played a perfect season. Similarly, Ola Kimrin's 65-yard field goal in an exhibition game is not considered the league record, despite being longer than the 63 yard mark set by Tom Dempsey and later by Jason Elam and Sebastian Janikowski in the regular season. --Courtesy of WIKI
August 11, 2013  11:51 AM ET

Just a posting about a subject some may have been curious about, but never looked up. No biggie.......ZZzzsst!

August 12, 2013  12:02 AM ET

So the idea of shortening the pre-season to accommodate an 18-game regular season wouldn't be setting a precedent. Still don't like the idea especially seeing the lack of conditioning most players show up with in camp. Fewer pre-season games = increased number of injuries.

August 13, 2013  01:55 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

So the idea of shortening the pre-season to accommodate an 18-game regular season wouldn't be setting a precedent. Still don't like the idea especially seeing the lack of conditioning most players show up with in camp. Fewer pre-season games = increased number of injuries.

AMAZING how these guys can get for the most part VERY WELL, and show at camp out of shape. It just goes to show ya....."Show me the MONEEEEEY!"

We'll how about team fines for players who show up OBVIOUSLY out of conditioning. I MEAN a team fine too ($$$)!!

August 13, 2013  10:40 PM ET

I read your above comment and looked to the right and saw a model in a tangerine-colored bikini lying propped on her left side with her right wrist resting on her right hip with her over-sized fake boobs defying gravity, and I wondered what would happen to her career if she stopped working out (binging/purging).

Seems to me when you earn your living with your body (model, athlete, pole-dancer) you keep that body in good working order. Sure, take a few weeks off for vacation, but don't let the 'equipment' go for so long that you have to start from scratch when you go back to work.

Of course this comment is coming from someone whose BMI is listed as heavy cream on the chart at the doctor's office. LOL

August 15, 2013  02:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I read your above comment and looked to the right and saw a model in a tangerine-colored bikini lying propped on her left side with her right wrist resting on her right hip with her over-sized fake boobs defying gravity, and I wondered what would happen to her career if she stopped working out (binging/purging). Seems to me when you earn your living with your body (model, athlete, pole-dancer) you keep that body in good working order. Sure, take a few weeks off for vacation, but don't let the 'equipment' go for so long that you have to start from scratch when you go back to work.Of course this comment is coming from someone whose BMI is listed as heavy cream on the chart at the doctor's office. LOL

I can't spell anymore.....the Army ruined my brain. Too many head injuries.

I just think that there should be no excuses for ANY athlete to show up out of shape. There needs to be accountability, and that if you fail this very basic requirement, then you should get paid less because of it. Put it right in the contract(s) for all players to sign.

Then again, the UNION won't allow it because we all know UNIONS don't like to have their junk not get paid. Hate to have a useless teacher, policeman, or star athlete not get the money there owed......

I hate cream, BUT I like jelly beans!

August 18, 2013  10:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

So the idea of shortening the pre-season to accommodate an 18-game regular season wouldn't be setting a precedent. Still don't like the idea especially seeing the lack of conditioning most players show up with in camp. Fewer pre-season games = increased number of injuries.

Totally agree. I think the 18 game schedule is a horrible idea. The NFL has the perect seaon timelne and the right amount of playoff teams and playoff timeframe. The NHL and NBA are totally messed up with playoff seasons that last for 10-12 weeks.

I wish they' stop trying to fix what isn't broke.

 
August 18, 2013  03:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Totally agree. I think the 18 game schedule is a horrible idea. The NFL has the perect seaon timelne and the right amount of playoff teams and playoff timeframe. The NHL and NBA are totally messed up with playoff seasons that last for 10-12 weeks.I wish they' stop trying to fix what isn't broke.

Ditto, but I want managers to have the flexibility to fine (MAJOR fines at that) players who show up at camp who can't pass a BASIC physical. Ridiculous man. Camp is not the time to start getting in better shape.

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