June 13, 2024

Proliferation of standalone games requires two byes per team

Three weeks in the past, when Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged the inevitable push to 18 regular-season games, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow added a caveat: Two byes.

The time arguably has come for two byes, even with out one other recreation.

Prior to 1987, the NFL had three home windows every week. One o’clock Sunday, 4 o’clock Sunday, and 9 o’clock Monday evening. The lone exceptions had been Thanksgiving (two games) and a midseason shift of a Monday evening recreation to Thursday evening as a result of the NFL dared not compete with the World Series. Also, the NFL would sometimes play late-season games on a Saturday, after the faculty soccer season ended.

Now, now we have three Sunday home windows, Monday evening, Thursday evening, a number of early-morning Sundays in Europe, an early-season Friday evening, three games on Thanksgiving, late-season Saturdays, Wednesday games on Christmas.

As one coach lately noticed, the NFL’s effort so as to add extra standalone games creates disruptions to routines, forces gamers to carry out with out the profit of correct relaxation, and in any other case throws seasons (for some groups) into disarray.

So why not simply give everybody two byes?

The NFL tried two byes in 1993. The networks hated it, as a result of it diluted the weekly schedule at a time when there have been solely 26 groups. Now, the NFL has 32 franchises and a extra balanced expertise base amongst groups, because of free company and the wage cap. It can be simpler to placate the published companions by including a second bye — and it might give everybody one other weekend of soccer.

Would there be fewer games in some weeks? Yes. Would there nonetheless be sufficient games to fill the assorted home windows? Yes. Would we nonetheless watch? Yes.

But, hey, if dilution turns into a significant concern, why not simply add extra groups? That’s coming anyway. Why not go forward and do it now?

More games. More relaxation. More jobs. More cash.

More everything.

When it involves “more,” it could possibly’t simply be extra for the league. The sooner the league figures that out, the extra seemingly that the search for “more” will likely be sustainable.