SBD/August 23, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Packers' Mark Murphy Says NFL Plan To Reduce Preseason Schedule Is "All But Dead"

Murphy said cutting two preseason games from the schedule does not seem viable
Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy this week said that plans to reduce the NFL preseason "by two games and increase the regular season to 18 games is all but dead," according to Mike Vandermause of the GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE. Murphy said, “I think with all the concerns about the health and safety of players, it’s hard to justify. To go from 16 to 18 regular-season (games) would be a lot more wear and tear. It would be additional games for your starters.” Murphy added that "cutting two preseason games from the schedule and keeping the regular season at 16 games also doesn’t seem like a viable option." Murphy: "You’ve got loss of revenue -- you don’t have much TV revenue from that, but you do have ticket revenue. And then the other big issue is being able to really evaluate and develop young players. Taking away those two game opportunities." Murphy said that "one idea that has been discussed at the league level is giving all teams a bye between the end of the preseason and start of the regular season" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 8/23).

TIME TO RE-THINK: In Las Vegas, Ed Graney wrote, "This just in (for the 10,000th time): The NFL’s preseason needs an overhaul the size of Texas." But the "good news is, it appears the league is on board with reducing the number of preseason games." The preseason schedule "should have been cut in half years ago," as fans pay "full price for two glorified exhibitions." It is "one of the greatest shakedowns in sports. It’s a total fraud." Graney: "Yet more than the NFL ripping off those who support and play the game remains the fact that four preseason games is damaging the product. It’s making our country’s most popular sport less than it should be" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/21).
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