The title of the blog says it all - will a longer regular season in the NFL really be best for the league? I'll be the first to admit that four pre-season games is a bit much but decreasing those games and expanding the regular season isn't the total answer.
While owners will love the increased revenue from a couple of extra games, the ramifications of the increased games will take it's toll on the people that supply the heart and soul of the league. The pounding the players will take over the course of a longer regular season will be increased and quite possibly reduce the quality of games in the late regular season and the playoffs. This will be a watered down version of the game and the league that I enjoy so much, as does must of the nation. With the possibility of injuries increasing there has to be an increase in the amount of insurance teams would have to pay for the injuries. There could be an increase in team doctors and trainers to help deal with the increase in player injuries. I think teams would have to look at having more players on the active roster and practice roster to make it easier to fill a void of an injured player.
The game already runs over seven months from the start of training camp in late July, early August to the Super Bowl in February. The NFL should examine what Nascar has done. They extended their season to 36 race events throughout a 52 week year. They go from February to November each year with just a few weekends off through their season. Nascar did this at the peak of their popularity in the late 90's and early part of this decade. Nascar has lost some fans and their popularity has decreased some. Nascar did this because they thought by increasing the number of races, they would continue to see an increase in fans. It worked for awhile but the sport has become a little stagnant. While they still boast that they draw fans from all over the country to view a race in person and millions more on TV, they are losing race teams. Some established teams in Nascar are finding it hard to attract sponsors and sponsors is what supplies the teams with the money to function and continue to be a part of the sport.
While we're on the subject of Nascar and football, some Nascar fans are concerned that if the NFL has a later season, the Super Bowl could conflict with Nascar's biggest event - the Daytona 500. You see, the 500 usually is run the week after the Super Bowl. Fans of both sports may have to decide to watch the Super Bowl or the big race. Some fans on Real Nascar Fans group here on FN, feel that Nascar would bow down to the NFL. While that's probably true, Nascar could still host their premier event on the same weekend as the NFL. I proposed that if this comes to be, that Nascar run their qualifying races on Thursday (as they have done so for several years) and run their Camping World Truck race the same day. Bill it as "Big Thursday" and give fans more racing for a little bit more money in ticket prices. Run the Nationwide Race on Friday night and put the 500 on Saturday afternoon. This would give sports fans one of the biggest sporting weekends of the year. Nascar wouldn't have to change the complexion of their schedule to much and the NFL would still be the main sporting event on Sunday evening.
I would hope that my favorite sport, the NFL, would seriously reconsider increasing the number of games in their regular season. Sometimes more isn't always better.