Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why Expanding the NFL Season = Fuzzy Math

We all remember that moment in the 2000 Presidential Debates. George W. Bush slammed Al Gore's economic proposals as using "fuzzy math" and "fuzzy numbers." That may have been one of the first times we saw that patented Dubya smirk (y'know ... the one where he looks like he's just said the most clever thing in the course of human history).

Well, now I'm taking on the Dubya role, and am calling out Roger Goodell for using fuzzy math in his proposal to expand the NFL Regular season. Yes, as a fan of professional football, I would LOVE an extra week or two of meaningful football. But I am also a fan of quality football, not games where the star players are missing due to injuries. Unfortunately, Goodell's proposal would drastically increase the chance of injury for the players who consistently grind it out on the gridiron.
"Raj ... Re-Run and I think you're usin some fuzzy numbers"

The Commish wants to expand the regular season to either 17 or 18 games, while dropping the pre-season to 2-3 games, thereby keeping the total number of games at 20. The problem comes to play when we look at actual playing time of starters. Starters generally play anywhere from 0-5 quarters of football during the preaseason, and never more than two quarters per game. And starters, of course, play every down of a regular season game. So, by replacing even just one preseason game with one meaningful contest, the starters will be playing more downs in 20 games. And let's not forget that the players will also be playing harder in that one game than in the two quarters which it's replacing.

I may be in the minority, but if you want to increase the regular season by a game or two, you can't keep the total number of weeks at 20. Not if you want quality football to continue throughout all 17-18 regular season games. 18 + 2 does not equal 16 + 4. That's just fuzzy math.

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