The Instigator
Sgraf
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Mkurdson
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Should the NFL move to an 18 game schedule

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/20/2011 Category: Sports
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,287 times Debate No: 15497
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Sgraf

Con

I believe that the NFL owners should not be making attempts to change the schedule of the regular season from 16 to 18 games for several different reasons. My main argument is that lengthening the season will inevitably shorten the careers of these players and can be detrimental to their health. Everyone knows that the game of football is inherently a violent sport and injuries can happen at any second on the field; Players like Joe Theismann, Michael Irvin, Keith Everett, Mike Utley, and Reggie Brown, as well as many others all have suffered career ending, and potentially life threatening injuries on the field. This is something that has been around in football for as long as football has been around. The news that is just more recently coming into the light is the effect of a career worth of minor blows to the head or other parts of the body can have on the long term health of the players. The NFL this past season has just recently changed the rules and punishments put on players who launch at a defenseless receiver. This rule was changed in order to protect players when they cannot protect themselves and make the game as safe as possible for the people playing it; but now they want to lengthen the season and expose these players to more potential injuries? To me it is ironic that directly after the season in which the NFL changed its rules to protect the players health they are changing the season around and putting the players at more risk, simply to generate more revenue. The NFL is easily a 9 billion dollar business and while the economy over the last few years has had a negative impact on the profits of the owners, they should not be putting the players at more risk just to make there pockets a little fatter. I also believe that the season should not be extended because of the fact that the health care that the NFL provides is not sufficient for all of the players that would potentially need it. The average length of a players career in the NFL is about 3 seasons and most players are able to play between the ages of 21 to 25. Adding more games to the season not only increases the exposure to injuries for the players but it will also shorten the length of there careers as well.
Mkurdson

Pro

I would like to start by thanking my opponent for this argument. I believe that the NFL owners should be allowed to change the schedule to 18 games, as opposed to 16 games. The players are simply employees of the owners, they are compensated quite handsomely for the services that they provide and they are given health insurance and retirement benefit options from the NFL owners. The owners are the owners of the teams are the people who should be given the right to decide how to run the business known as the NFL. Looking at the proposed plan, the players would not actually be playing more games through out the season, just more games that actually count. The plan is to change the amount of preseason games from four to two and subsequently increase the amount of regular season games from 16 to 18. Like you mentioned in you're opening argument, these players are involved in a dangerous game and the risk of being injured is present whenever they are on the field, regardless of whether or not it is a regular season or preseason game. If the players are taking the risk of being injured on the field, why not have it count towards something? I cannot put myself in the shoes of these players but I can certainly say that I would much rather risk being injured during a game that will actually count towards making the playoffs than in a game that is simply a pre cursor to the season. Look at just this past preseason, When the Jets and Giants were playing and Eli Manning was hit by a Jets defender, his helmet flew off and he left the field bleeding. While this injury obviously wasn't season or career ending it certainly had the potential to be. It would seem like such a waste to see his career ended in a game that in the long run means absolutely nothing to the season. While this might not be easy, try and think about it from the point of view of the owners, these preseason games present a great deal of risk towards the investments that they have made and yet the benefits that they present are practically non existent. The players, coaches, owners, and staff prepare all year round, putting in countless hours preparing for the start of the season, and then they are asked to put everything at risk four separate times before it even counts for everything? To me it just doesn't make sense. Also as a huge fan of the game I always seem to find myself getting anxious for the start of the season in August and the potential that the games could be starting earlier just gets me excited for the start of the season , as well as many others i'm sure. Who wouldn't want to see two extra games played a year?
Debate Round No. 1
Sgraf

Con

The preseason games that are played actually do present many benefits to these teams in preparing for the start of the regular season. Preparing all year long with only your teammates is a great thing for these athletes, but it is not quite the same as going against an opponent that you do not see everyday at mini camp. The players and coaches are given an opportunity to try out different strategies and schemes that they would not want to risk trying during the regular season. It is also a good way to judge the potential of rookies or other inexperienced players in order to see how they react to certain situations. It's a way to coaches to work out the kinks in the system that they have installed. Another benefit of playing these preseason games is that it is a good way to warm up for the full speed, full contact mentality of the regular season. These athletes go through long and intense training sessions through out the spring and summer but the preseason games are an excellent way for them to get back into a rhythm as far as delivering and receiving hits is concerned. If you just throw these athletes out there starting the regular season without these preseason games the potential for injuries will increase drastically. While these games may not draw the media or crowd attention and generate the revenues that the NFL owners would like them too, I believe that they yield more benefits than one may think because of the increase in preparation that is provided by them. Any one who is involved in football will tell you that if you step out on to that field and you are not ready to go 100% both physically and mentally, you are a risk not only to yourself but also to the other players around you. Any fan of the game would probably love to see these players battling each other on the field all year long if it were possible but the concerns that i have, involved with the proposed plan of adding games, is whether or not adding more games to the season will diminish the quality of the games throughout the entire season. Even with the schedules that are in place now players are fatigued and worn out by the end of the season. Their bodies are put through enough punishment as it is throughout a 16 game schedule. I feel that changing to an 18 game schedule will shift the focus of the game from who is the more talented, skilled, and prepared team to which team can out last all the others and endure the wear and tear of the season. Personally, I would rather watch two less games per season and see these athletes perform at an optimal level that watch two more games in which the quality of play becomes somewhat sloppy and fatigued as it nears the end. Football is arguably the most popular sport in the United States today. The system that is in place is not broken and I cannot comprehend why the owners would want to risk ruining the game simply to make more money.
Mkurdson

Pro

The idea of playing preseason games of course does present some opportunities for the players and coaches of the NFL but playing four preseason games to me does not make much sense. Playing only two games will provide more than enough time that is needed to work out the kinks with their offensive and defensive game plans. As said before these players and coaches do spend a great deal of time preparing and by the time august does roll around there is not much more that these people can do to prepare themselves. They should just play one or two games to get back into the swing of the game, evaluate younger players reactions and mentality on the field and make some adjustments from their. Playing four preseason games is just too large of a risk in my eyes. I would be willing to be that had the players you mentioned earlier sustained those career ending injuries during preseason games people would feel quite different about the risks of playing those games. Adding two more games to the season, I believe, will actually improve the quality of the game. I feel that having the physical and mental endurance to make it through 18 regular season games, and then being able to go on and win the super bowl will only add to the credibility of the teams who win the super bowl. They will not only need to out perform the 31 other teams in the NFL on game day but they will also need the mental and physical toughness to do so over a longer schedule than any of the previous champions that came before them. In fact, under the collective bargaining agreement that has just expired the owners actually have the right to expand the season to 18 games and still go forward with the 4 preseason games that they play now. With that in mind it can be seen that the owners are not taking advantage of the players with the current proposal, they are simply trying to do what is best for themselves, the franchises that they own, and the league. The NFL as a whole will generate a larger amount of revenue from these additional games and this will benefit not only the owners but also the players, coaches, staff members, and the fans as well. If the teams are generating more money than they will be able to pay players and coaches more money and make other investments that can benefit the fans such as a new stadium or lower ticket prices per game. Fans, I believe, will become even more interest during an 18 game season because the change in the length of the season from 16 to 18 games could present opportunities to teams that might not have been there before. It's possible that teams who have had great success in the past such as the steelers or the patriots will not be able to maintain their high level of performance throughout the entire season which could potentially present an opportunity to the other teams in the league to overtake them as the dominant forces in the NFL. One thing is for certain, if the league does wind up expanding the schedule, a lot of interest will be generated, whether its good or bad i don't know, but people will definitely be talking.
Debate Round No. 2
Sgraf

Con

It seems to me that you are arguing that the preseason games are presenting a danger to these players and that playing four games is an unreasonable amount of risk for the league's owners to take, which may be true, but that does not justify replacing two preseason games with two regular season games. If that is the case and these preseason games present an unnecessary risk towards the players than I think that they should just not play as many games and possibly extend training camps for the players which could give coaches, trainers, and players that much more time to prepare for the start of the season. The NFL owners only have themselves in mind when they propose this idea of an 18 game season. Anyone who considers the impact that this decision could have on the players will understand that this decision benefits only the owners and not the players or coaches or staff members of these teams, the owners have not offered the players a larger portion of the revenue that is generated and have even proposed instating a salary cap for rookie players just entering into the league. They also have not offered a more all encompassing healthcare plan in which players will more readily receive thorough physicals and screenings in order to detect and possibly prevent potential health problems after they have stopped playing the game. I believe that the owners of these teams should be doing everything that they can to care for these players and coaches because without them than the owners would have absolutely nothing. The 18 game season is a direct contradiction to protection of the players health and safety. They put themselves through enough as it is and compared to the revenues that they generate they do not ask for much. This is a greedy move by the owners who are showing an interest in only the revenues that the players are generating for them. This is not what the game of football is all about and this is not why the people of the United States love the game. I feel that if the owners go through with this plan it will severely tarnish the game and make the owners appear to be tyrannical, money hungry businessmen who only care about themselves, which could potentially turn people off to the idea of watching the games. The league made a great decisions when they changed the rules about hitting defenseless receivers in order to protect the players, i don't see why they would want to counteract this added protection with increased danger.
Mkurdson

Pro

Whether in training camp, practice sessions, or preseason, or regular season games these players are assuming the risk that they may be potentially injured. Yes while in training camp the players are operating within a controlled environment but that does not remove the danger of them potentially being injured. The schedule should be extended to 18 gains, if for nothing else than for the benefit of the players themselves. By them spending two extra weeks per season on the field the will be given more of an opportunity to earn the money that they are being paid and put there talents on display; allowing them more of an opportunity to take advantage of their abilities. A change in the schedule will allow the NFL to take advantage of its status as one of (if not the) most watched sports in the United States. People will be excited about the opportunity to watch or attend more games every season. The people who are fans of this sport are not fans because of who the owners are or what they do, they watch this game because of what these players go out and do on the field every week. Regardless of how people feel about the men and women who sign the checks, people are going to be excited about watching these players for an extra two weeks every year. People will be tuning in to see what happens on the field, they will go to the stadiums and cheer for their teams, they will be out in restaurants and bars watching with friends. This is an opportunity not only for the NFL to become more prosperous but also for the accessory businesses, such as food and beverage industry organizations, that thrive during football season as well. When the NFL owners follow through with this plan to extend the season they are not only making improvements for people directly involved with the game but also for people whose businesses are related. While the safety of the players is a major concern, rule changes that were instated in previous years, such as the defenseless receiver rule mentioned earlier, and proposed rule changes that would come with this plan are making major advancements towards safety for the players. New rules combined with scientific advancement of the equipment that the players wear, as well as an ever increasing emphasis on the medical staff for each team allows for this game to be as safe as possible for the people who play it.
Debate Round No. 3
Sgraf

Con

When deciding whether or not to extend the season the NFL owners must consider more than just the financial implications of the decisions that they are making; even if the decision will financially benefit a great deal of people. The owners have to understand that if they do this they could be potentially destroying the lifestyle of these players after they are long out of the spotlight. The advancements in the helmets and other equipment that players wear and medical training for the staff can only go so far in protecting players; and does nothing to help with the effects that are felt after years and year of banging your head against people every sunday. More and more players are being found to have degenerative brain diseases long after they have stop playing the game, the many believe, are the result of repeated head trauma that these athletes are exposed to. This is the same kind of brain damage that many boxers, such as Muhammad Ali, become victims of. The only difference between the boxers brain damage and that found in the NFL players is that often times because the trauma the football players suffer is not as direct, the symptoms of this brain damage is harder to pick up on and detect, making it potentially much more dangerous. This is a problem that the NFL needs to look into heavily and do a vast amount of research on before it decides whether or not it has the right to extend the season to 18 games. It is irresponsible for the owners to ask these players put themselves at risk anymore than they already are, simply to generate a greater amount of profits. It would be irresponsible for the NFL to add these extra games to the season in order to stay on top of the sports market in the United States, mainly because as I've stated several times this could seriously harm the health of the players, but also because two more weeks of football every year will not make it that much more popular than it currently is now. The people who love and watch football are going to continue to do so whether or not the season is made longer. Fans of the NFL have not been begging and pleading for a longer season, in my opinion, fans seem happy with the game just the way it was; evidenced by the fact that it has become so popular. Advertising for the super bowl can cost a company millions of dollars for only 30 seconds of air time. This is a sport that is not going away any time soon and was in no danger of losing any fans because of a season that was too short. Like I said before, the game isn't broken so why bother trying to fix it?
Mkurdson

Pro

This decision is not a matter of trying to fix something that isn't broken, the owners see an opportunity to expand their business and improve the game and see no reason not too, and I cant blame them. The previous collective bargaining agreement that both sides accepted gives the owners the right to expand the season to four preseason games and eighteen regular season games plus the playoffs. If they are so greedy and cruel than why would they not present that as an option instead of the proposed offer of two preseason games and eighteen regular season games? They could be asking for more from the players but they are not because of the fact that they believe the offering they are proposing is the best offer for all of the involved parties. As far as what you said about the potential brain damage that players face, there is simply not enough evidence to convincingly say that playing football is the direct cause of this brain damage, and if there was such a study that identified the game of football as the cause, how would scientists and medical professionals be able to determine how many seasons or games of football a person can play before they are putting themselves at risk. Much like on the field injuries, players must make themselves aware of the potential risks that they are facing and be honest with themselves when seeing any possible symptoms of some kind of brain trauma. This combined with increased medical attention given to players are the best ways to ensure the safety of the players. Maybe with the institution of two extra games per season the NFL could also input some sort of mandate in which players must go for a physical and examinations once or twice a year to ensure that they are healthy enough to continue playing the game. Other than helping to provide these types of medical services, offering health insurance and retirement benefits, and investing in the research and development of more safe and advanced equipment, there is not much that the NFL owners can do to protect the players from the dangers of the game. If all of that is still not enough for the players to feel safe playing the game than it is important to remember that no one is forcing them to go out on the field every week. Yes it is a lucrative career and the players have invested years of there life making it to the professional level but if they feel that playing the game is so dangerous to their health than I don't see how two extra games a year is going to have that much of an impact in the long run.
Debate Round No. 4
Sgraf

Con

Without the players who have dedicated their lives to training and preparation the sport of football would be nothing. The NFL and its owners need to stop treating the players who put themselves at risk like investments and start treating them like valued, respected, and honored members of the business because if it weren't for them, everything about the game of football as we know it today would be very different. The NFLPA has firmly stated that it is unacceptable to them that the owners have requested changed the length of the schedule and feel that this move puts the players at a much greater risk for both long and short term injury. While one can understand why the owners might be tempted to make such a move, when given some real thought, discounting the financial incentives, it just doesn't make any sense to change what already is. The average NFL careers of these playoffs are already very short and by adding more games the NFL owners are just adding to the damage that will be done to these people during there days in the League. I believe that with the highly publicized lock out of the players by the owners and the on going "negotiation", the NFL as a whole is losing a great deal of credit with it's fans. The longer this process is dragged out for the more upset and frustrated fans will become. This is a multi billion dollar business and the NFL owners, in my opinion, will lose much more through this process than they stand to gain by adding two extra games to the season. Personally, I have already lost some of my faith in the NFL and am honestly disappointed that they have not come to some form of an agreement yet. Luckily, there is still a lot of time before august rolls around. I just hope that the league does not turn to and 18 game schedule in order to preserve the safety of the players, the likability of the owners, and the enjoyment of the fans
Mkurdson

Pro

If the NFL wants to do what is best for all of the interested parties than i believe that they absolutely should change the length of the season from 16 to 18 games. Fans would love the opportunity to attend or watch two more games through out the year, teams would make more money from ticket and concession sales, and players could potentially receive an increase in salary for the extension of the schedule. This situation is a clear win-win for everyone involved. For those who are concerned about the effects that this will have on the health of the players, remember that these 2 new games added too the schedule are actually just replacing 2 of the preseason games that teams would have been participating in. These preseason games present the same level of danger to the players but yield none of the benefits of regular season games. If these players are going to be putting themselves at risk in games, they might as well be games that count towards making the playoffs. People like to say that this change is a greedy and selfish move by the owners but if you examine the facts from an objective perspective the owners are simply trying to provide the best possible product that they can to the public. The league has put in place new rules and plans to change others in order to best protect the players from injuries and as long as they continue to do so, and support the players who do get hurt, they should be allowed to change up the schedule however they see fit.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Sgraf 6 years ago
Sgraf
Whats obvious to you might not be so obvious to everyone else though.
Posted by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
Wow, as if this isn't obvious.
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