Posted: 9:38 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26, 2013
By Josh Kirkendall
Gregg Doyel with CBSSports.com emphatically wants preseason games eliminated. Like, right now.
The core of his enthusiastic posting was generated after New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez suffered a shoulder injury against the Giants over the weekend, using money, money, and mo' money as the primary sticking points outside obvious injuries that happen in the preseason.
The NFL preseason is so farcical that Jets coach Rex Ryan is under attack for having the nerve to play starting quarterback Mark Sanchez in the fourth quarter of a four-point game against the New York Giants. If ever there was a preseason game that a team should want to win, this was it. Only, there isn't such thing as a preseason game a team should want to win. Not even when you're the Jets and they're the Giants and you share a city and even a stadium, all of which means losing is unacceptable. Because losing isn't unacceptable -- not in August. Who cares what happens in August? Who even remembers?
So what's his solution?
The math works for me: Eliminate all four exhibition games (two at home), add two regular-season games (one at home). Instead of playing 20 games total -- 16, plus four exhibitions -- teams would be slated to play 18. That would drop their tally of home dates from 10 to nine, but owners could recoup their losses by parlaying the longer regular season into a better TV deal during the next round of negotiations.
The league may one day decide to move in this direction, and I believe Doyel is more correct on that. However, I don't see the players supporting an 18-game season and if coaches have a say, there's no chance in hell they'd support ditching the preseason.
And why would they?
If you want a declining product, eliminate those preseason games so that early regular season games are even more sloppy and disorganized. If you want younger players losing opportunities to make a career in the NFL, eliminate the preseason. And if you don't think that these factors aren't persuasive, then call up any NFL coach and ask.
"The Emmanuel Lamurs, guys like that, who took a little longer to emerge, wouldn't get those shots," Lewis told USA TODAY Sports earlier this month. "There's probably a guy on everybody's club like that who'd be swept out the door."
Even fans are fine with the status quo. According to a poll that we ran two weeks ago, 42 percent of Cincy Jungle readers preferred the 16-game regular season and four-game preseason. Only 14 percent, the lowest of the four options, picked an 18-game regular season.