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NFL Execs Reportedly Surprised By Timing Of Goodell's Playoff-Expansion Talk
Published December 17, 2012
NUMBERS GAME: In Boston, Greg Bedard wrote going to “16 teams -- two more in each conference -- seems like too much.” That number means “you’re talking about either no byes in either league, which would deemphasize the end of the season for conference leaders, or adding another weekend to the playoffs, which could only happen with the elimination of two preseason games.” Going to 14 teams is “much more viable” (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/16). In Minneapolis, Mark Craig noted expanding the playoffs “appears to be the NFL's Plan B for not being able to force-feed the players an 18-game regular season.” Craig: “And, yes, more money will be raked in. But one has to wonder if there's a point -- years from now perhaps -- when this Golden Goose could suffocate with the hands of 32 owners and one commissioner squeezing so tightly around its neck” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/16).
MULLING IT OVER: In N.Y., Gary Myers wrote the idea of playoff expansion is “not a new idea,” but it “should stay an old idea.” Myers: “Why add more teams just to give the networks additional inventory and make 7-7 teams having disappointing seasons even more relevant than they already are in the wild-card races?” Giants President & CEO and Competition Committee member John Mara said, “I’ll listen to discussion about it. At this point in time, I’m not ready to support that. The system we have now works pretty well. I would be hesitant to water it down. It’s hard to get in. It means something when you get it.” Myers noted Goodell’s intention to “make the game safer and his concern for players is genuine, but there are some inherent inconsistencies with the way he’s gone about it” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/16). In Seattle, Danny O’Neil wrote Goodell “does not necessarily see the players as a product.” He sees them as “a workforce to be molded so they play the game the way he wants it played.” Goodell is “trying to change the league,” and it is how he is “trying to do it that is problematic, something that Tagliabue not-so-subtly pointed out in his ruling regarding the Saints' bounty program.” Goodell's approach “could use a few more carrots and less use of the stick” (SEATTLE TIMES, 12/16).