Archive for the ‘18 game season’ Category

Jerry Reese comments

June 29, 2009

Jerry Reese did Q&A with Giants fans. Bob Papa moderated.

Re expanding the season to 18 games: “Still in the early stages.. a lot of red tape.. Players Union will have to sign off on a lot of stuff. If you go to a longer season you will have to expand your roster a little bit.”

“Mario (Manningham) has really come on.. He really looked fast during the minicamps and OTA’s. Just talking to Eli, after a couple of practices, you really have to get the ball out quick to get it to Manningham, he comes out of his routes so fast.. We are really excited about him.. We expect him to have a breakout season for us.”

First, note how Reese mentions how the roster gets expanded as soon as they go to more games. So now teams would have a ~57 man roster instead of a 53 man roster, so the extra ~4 players you add would be the weakest players the coaches would select, the ones on the fringe. And these guys are going to play LATER in the season when the first 53 can no longer field a team. This is precisely the dilution of the quality of the game we talk about. This is tangible evidence that the game suffers when you increase the length of the season.

Second, strong words from our GM on Manningham. Positive sign.

Number of regular season games NOT to be expanded

May 13, 2009

Early report from Ft. Lauderdale, where the NFL was supposed to take up the issue of putting in more games into the regular season schedule, is that the plan will not be brought up this year.


Perhaps it had less to do with “smarts” than politics. This idea was half-baked, and had ZERO support from the players. So as a matter of reality, it was not going to work. Maybe this is another matter of reality- Goodell, you are fast becoming a joke! How professional is it to propose a plan that has zero support from your players? How professional is it to usher it in as a done deal when there obviously has been so little work in preparation and analysis? How could it be that 200 fans from one little corner of the football world here in the Ultimatenyg NY Giants blog vote this down by a margin of 3 to 1 (almost 4 to 1)? Rabid fans, the ones who you would think would be craving football 24/7/365? The ones talking football in the middle of the offseason? This was your power base and it still got voted down. We scheduled the poll to end when the meetings began. Perhaps the first hundred votes were placed with the lobbying of this blog against expanding the regular season. But the next 100 votes were made long after we quit lobbying, and those votes mirrored the conclusions of the first 100, almost exactly. Sure, if you go to the site there probably was a poll and it was overwhelmingly in favor. But the people over there are voting with their hearts, not their heads. We read their comments, and it was the simple logic that more was better, anything to get rid of the preseason games. In fact, the only logical (and highly ironic!) argument we heard was that those “poor” seasons tickets holders wanted it because they were already forced to pay for those garbage preseason games, so they would rather get one extra real game. True, but the linkage ends there, because for players (especially the ones we care about, the ones we want to see and watch) it simply means TWO EXTRA GAMES.

We have been through all the arguments before. The proposal had no answer for how to protect the quality of play and the health of the people we want to see healthy. Here and in other places, we even offered a solution- if it is that valuable to you to expand the season, pay the players overtime, maybe (just maybe?) they would listen to that. All of a sudden the math of diminishing marginal returns kicks in and the NFL begins to understand how woefully inadequate their planning was for this. The battle lines become clear: players are not going to want to voluntarily do anything like this without getting far greater incremental compensation than the league could ever hope to gain from its advertisers (and broadcasters). It died. As a matter of logistical practicality, without the players it died. Goodell, what were you thinking, and when were you thinking it? How could ~200 votes here be so much more in touch with the best interests of the sport than you?

Do you think Roger Goodell is doing a good job?

April 12, 2009

The NFL has more than few things wrong right now that need fixing:

1) The CBA.

2) The rookie pay structure.

3) Poor officiating.

4) The Brady Rule and most attempts to protect QBs at the expense of playing the game.

5) The misguided notion of expanding to 18 games.

6) Expensive stadiums, debt loads and PSLs that change the fan base at games.

7) Flex game scheduling that punishes the premium NFL viewer- the fan who purchases a ticket to the game.

Goodell may think he is doing a good job, but his lack of leadership is hurting the NFL. What do all of these things mentioned here have in common? MONEY. This is the same road MLB went down a long time ago. Money won and MLB lost. Death by a thousand cuts. When owners make decisions for more money at the expense of quality, the game suffers.

The rookie pay structure may not be the NFL’s fault (unlike the other 6 items mentioned), but they need to correct it, or else it will continue to foster a weakened underclass of teams that pay too much for the elite draft choice, unnecessarily and adversely killing their cap and longer range competitiveness.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE COMMISSIONER? Is it to be the unified voice of the owners, or is it also the unified voice of a successful league? The combination of strong owners bullying a weak commissioner is a recipe for disaster. Owners are selfish, and in capitalism that is always there. But this is yet another manifestation of the prisoner’s dilemma, where the commissioner has to weigh the interests of some owners advocating for money versus the interests of the competitiveness and quality of the league. The commissioner is uniquely situated to make sure that 32 teams do not undercut one another and assure that collectively they seek a stronger solution to protect the longer term issues of their brand.

Roselle would be turning in his grave. Wake up Goodell and start protecting the game. Suggestion- visit the Masters and see how they protect and build value in their brand.

The price of an 18 game season? There is no free lunch.

April 8, 2009

Some constructive observations on an 18 game season…

1. NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, on Sirius NFL Radio, asked his opinion of the prospect of the NFL going from a 16- to an 18-game regular-season schedule: “What’s in it for us? If we’re going to give you two more games, two more games of wear and tear on our bodies, two more games of potential career-ending injuries, two more games of concussions, blown-out knees, elbows, whatever you want to call it, then what’s the price you’re willing to pay for us to give that to you?”

2. Adalius Thomas about the owners advocating a 17 or 18 game schedule: “Why would you want an 18 game season? Why? … It’s the money thing. Stop. Just stop. If [NFL owners] want to cry about money, then open your books up to an independent audit to really show how much money you’re making. If you really want to cry about money, open your books up, put what you really make in the paper, like you put our salary in the paper every year so that the fans can say, ‘Well, they’re making this much money, why don’t they do this?’ If that’s the case, I’m sick of people talking about, crying about, ‘Well, we need to make cuts here’ …

“I’m just trying to figure out, what’s the purpose for an 18-game season? At the end of the year, when players go to the playoffs, it’s been a long season, so now you’re going to say it’s a longer season? Are you just going to stretch out the payments over 18 weeks now? No. We’re not doing that. You can mark me down on the injured list for two weeks. You can put that in your books. You’ve lost your mind.”

3. Peter King: “I still find it very, very hard to believe in this economy that the owners are going to get the TV networks to pay them any more than the current deals, never mind an increase for the increased inventory.”

Finally some reality injected into this NFL victory proclamation about an 18 game season. Fans automatically equate more games to more NFL. I wish everything in life were that simple. We have argued that this dilutes the product. Incrementally you are not asking for 2 more games for 1 and 2, you are asking for two more games numbered 17 and 18, so you are going to have to pay players for something they have absolutely ZERO interest in. NONE. 2 more regular season games to prove what? To get to the end of the season and determine what already is being determined very well? Players are not going to ask for, and they will not get a 12.5% pay increase. It is not worth it to them. Did you ever hear of “overtime?” It is called TIME AND A HALF. So are NFL owners willing to give players a 19% pay increase for 2 more games? And what about the question posed by Peter King, on whether TV is going to offer ANY increase in the value of the contract, let alone a 19% increase? This is why we called it the Law of Diminishing Returns. TOO MANY QUESTIONS. NOT ENOUGH ANSWERS.