Can more games mean more problems?
JONATHAN PIRRIE, SPORTS COLUMNIST
I love the National Football League. I’ve been a football fan since I was nine years old and I have followed the NFL for the last 13 years. Every Sunday during the NFL season, I wake up early to watch my favourite pre-game shows, then spend the entire day glued to the T.V. I know it might sound sacrilegious, but I love football more than hockey. Sometimes it feels like I just can’t get enough. But with that said, I am firmly against the NFL’s plan to add games to the regular season schedule.
Every year for the last decade, the NFL has talked about extending the season by two games. With the schedule already running into February by the time the Superbowl is played, the league doesn’t want to just tack on two more weeks. Instead, they want to eliminate two of the preseason games that occur in August and replace them with regular season games. This is where I take issue.
Yes, I know the preseason isn’t top quality football, but that’s not its purpose. Players in the NFL need the preseason to get their bodies ready for the rest of the year, and coaches need it to evaluate talent and decide who makes the team. For some players, the preseason is their chance to impress coaches and win jobs.
The NFL sees the opportunity to make more money by eliminating the less popular preseason games and adding two regular season contests, but I think doing that isn’t the right way to take care of the players. Not only does it hurt athletes who are trying to make teams, it increases the likelihood of players getting injured.
Injuries happen. It’s the nature of the beast. The athletes of this violent sport know what they are committing their bodies to, and they know that every time they put on their pads and step out on the field they could potentially get hurt. I don’t think they should be subjected to two more opportunities for injury.
I love football. More football would be awesome, but my humanity tells me that what we have now is enough. Adding two more games to an already gruelling schedule means two more rounds of punishment and potential injury. I view the preseason as a valuable part of the year, and both players and coaches need this time to prepare for the season. Here’s hoping the NFL can look past the greed and think about the players who make them money.
Jonathan Pirrie is a first-year Creative Communications student at Red River College.
He is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts in political studies.
Jonathan loves football, specifically the National Football League, and his fandom rests exclusively with the New Orleans Saints.
Follow him on Twitter @JonPirrie