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Goodell keeps making case for 18 games, fans keep saying they don’t want it

Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers a question about falling ice at Cowboys Stadium while taking part in a news conference to launch the Gen YOUth Foundation at the NFL football Super Bowl XLV Media Center in Dallas, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011. The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will face each other in Super Bowl XLV Sunday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


It’s Super Sunday, and while circling the dial here at the Motel 6 in Dallas we tripped across an interview of Commissioner Roger Goodell on FOX News Sunday.

Sitting with Chris Wallace (whom Goodell called “Mike” at least twice), Goodell addressed once again the question of whether fans truly want to see the regular season increase from 16 to 18 games.

Goodell continues to focus on the notion that the fans don’t want a four-game preseason. And there continues to be a disconnect between the discontent with a four-game preseason and a desire for an 18-game regular season.

As far as the folks who frequent this site are concerned, the hope for fewer preseason games doesn’t translate into a push for more regular-season games.

Though the process is hardly scientific, a one-word reader comment in response to the question of whether fans want an 18-game regular season -- “No” -- drew 1,145 thumb’s up and only 98 thumbs down.

A more pointed comment resulted in a similar landslide: “Please do not speak for me. I don’t need an 18 game season. I just don’t WANT to pay regular game prices for preseason.” Of the folks who hit one of the two thumbs, 1,050 chose the thumb’s up, and only 40 went with thumb’s down.

The fact that our Friday item about the issue, which came from Goodell’s annual pre-Super Bowl press conference, has generated 351 comments and counting.

The NFL has painted itself into a corner here. The league has admitted that the preseason must shrink. But plenty of players and plenty of fans don’t want it. Though the players may be posturing in the hopes of getting a better deal, the fans have no agenda when it comes to voicing their disagreement.

All things considered, we’d shrink the preseason to two games and increase the regular season to only 17 games, with the extra 16 games played in neutral sites, both in other countries and in the U.S. Even with only 19 total games, the sport will still continue to grow -- and everyone will continue to get richer.

Including all season-ticket holders, who won’t have to pay regular-season prices for tickets to one of two meaningless home preseason games.