Doofus Returns (Right on Schedule)

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This week in MMQB, King wrote: So what do you think of a 17-game season now? Anyone for 18? It can’t happen, folks. It shouldn’t happen. I’m not so naïve as to think if there’s a few more pieces of gold under some TV network rock that the NFL won’t find it.

Obviously King has the right to have an opinion, but last year he wrote an entire MMBQ about the scheduling and what he predicted would happen, and did not seem to have any strong feelings about the issue either way. Here are his words, regarding the addition of a 17th game: But the league’s going to do something. I feel sure of that. And this 17th-game concept, if the players union gets the same-percentage cut of the pie as it has for the existing 16, is the most logical way of doing it.

He concludes that, despite the increased risk of injury, the NFL will eventually increase the schedule to 17 or 18 games in the future.

He wrote in MMQB this week: I maintain the only way to go is to slash the preseason to two exhibition games (one, even), plus two scrimmages, with the bottom 40 or 45 on each roster meeting at neutral sites.

There’s a pretty good quote floating around that counters King’s argument that reducing the games in the preseason will prevent injuries. It’s from Bill Polian, the president of the Indianapolis Colts:

“In order to play football, you have to condition your body for contact. And you have to get that contact, I believe, in a game-type atmosphere, where you adjust mentally to an opponent and what he’s going to do. I think you also have to adjust to the cycle of playing games, the weekly cycle of preparing and playing and recovering. Then there’s the test of seeing how players perform when the lights are on in the crucible of competition. It’s why I love this fourth preseason game coming up. We’ll play all the bubble guys and it’ll be the big Petri-dish game for them. It will decide whether we keep five or four tight ends, six or five wide receivers.

Where did I find that great quote, blasting the notion of reducing the number of games in the preseason? I got it from Peter King, in that same article from last year.

King is a huge Patriots fan and a huge Brady fan. He probably likes Brady only slightly less than he likes Favre (his affection for Favre has reached a “Madden-like” level). I do not buy the logic that a player getting hurt in Week One is an indicator that the season is too long. Brady didn’t even play in the preseason, so you cannot argue that he took punishment during those four games. If he got hurt near the end of the season, like Jeremy Shockey did last year, that is a more valid argument. Players get hurt every week (during all 17 weeks of the season), but it took Brady’s injury to convince King that the NFL should not expand the number of games. Brady could have been injured at the beginning of a 16 game season, a four game season, or a 100 game season! Any way that you look at it, he was knocked out for the year in the first game; it doesn’t matter how long the season is, he got hurt on a fluke play in the first game and no scheduling fix can prevent that type of situation from occurring.

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