Like It Or Not, Here Comes The 18-Game NFL Season

Injured NFL player Titans

Photo: AP

Forget about the rumours of the NFL expanding its regular season to 18 games. According to Indianapolis Colts owner Bill Polian, the proposal has already gone beyond rumours to become a “fait accompli.” Shoving it down the players’ throats will merely be a formality.Despite grumblings from fans that they have to pay full price for tickets to four exhibition games each year, most agree that an 18-game regular season is stretching the limits of their attention spans and their wallets. Players certainly don’t want to add to the already crushing toll of their day job and such an expansion would seem to counteract the league’s recent “commitment” to reducing concussions and other injuries. However, Polian told listeners on his radio show yesterday that the NFL owners and commissioner Roger Goodell love the idea, “so the debate, such as it was, is over.” Sorry about your headaches!

NFL officials were scheduled to meet with the player’s union today to discuss the 18-game proposal, along with other matters related to their negotiations for the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. (The current deal expires in March.) It could merely be a bargaining ploy by the league, but like the looming 2011 lockout, the extended season seems like one more inevitability that union will be helpless to avoid.

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