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NFL Preseason


TBGKon

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Last night, my friends and I were debating whether or not we like the NFL preseason. We came up with many alternative ways the NFL could make preseason more like the other leagues preseason games. Here are some of the ideas:

- Cutting the formal preseason to 2 games and making it optional for teams to schedule up to an extra 2 scrimmages (like what the Ravens-Redskins did last week).

- Relocating all preseason games to non-NFL stadiums (ie. college stadiums). For example, the Dolphins and Buccaneers could play in Orlando at the Citrus Bowl, or Dallas and Houston could play in San Antonio at the Alamodome.

- Make geographically-based divisions for preseason, similar to MLB spring training, i which teams would play 3 preseason games against the other 3 teams in their so-called division. These games could be played as double-headers in 8 non-NFL stadiums around the nation.

What are your thoughts?

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- Cutting the formal preseason to 2 games and making it optional for teams to schedule up to an extra 2 scrimmages (like what the Ravens-Redskins did last week).

- Relocating all preseason games to non-NFL stadiums (ie. college stadiums). For example, the Dolphins and Buccaneers could play in Orlando at the Citrus Bowl, or Dallas and Houston could play in San Antonio at the Alamodome.

- Make geographically-based divisions for preseason, similar to MLB spring training, i which teams would play 3 preseason games against the other 3 teams in their so-called division. These games could be played as double-headers in 8 non-NFL stadiums around the nation.

What are your thoughts?

1. The NFL won't cut the number of preseason games anytime soon because each game, even during the preseason, is a way for the NFL to gain cash through sponsorships, advertising, etc. The only way this would occur is if the Players Union, which IMO is one of the weakest, if not THE weakest in all of professional sports, would stand by a 3 or 2 game preseason schedule.

2. I agree - the NFL should look to play these games at non-NFL venues. I'd love to see the Patriots play at, say, Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, or...dare I say it...

FENWAY PARK!!! How cool would THAT be???

3. I think the idea of geographically based divisions doesn't work as well for NFL preseason as it does for MLB. Baseball plays like 25-odd spring training games, whereas the NFL only plays 4 (or 5 if you include the teams that play in the HOF Game).

Nice ideas AstroBull!

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I agree. As excited as I am for the NFL season to start, I get almost instantly bored the second I turn NFL preseason games on. There's nothing compelling except for the risk of season-ending injury (and it happens EVERY year) and that's not even worth rooting for.

Two minutes of last night's Pats/Falcons game was all I needed and I put a movie on instead. There is just nothing compelling about watching second-stringers compete for jobs. Nothing at all.

The alternate venue idea is nice, but wouldn't got through for the same reason that the NFL has damned many preseason games: they earn revenue. Money spent at stadiums owned by the owners (which covers many, but not all NFL stadiums) stays with those owners.

It would be cool to see the Bills, for example, play at Carrier Dome. Or the Bengals at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Or the Cardinals at Sun Devil Sta-oh, never mind.

But really, you're just talking about gimmicks. The quality of the actual game will always be the same -- terrible. How about expanding rosters twice-fold and not playing any starters in game 2 onward? And then playing it as a real game? I don't know -- they just puts us in XFL territory, really, but at least we'd have people playing hard throughout.

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- Cutting the formal preseason to 2 games and making it optional for teams to schedule up to an extra 2 scrimmages (like what the Ravens-Redskins did last week).

- Relocating all preseason games to non-NFL stadiums (ie. college stadiums).  For example, the Dolphins and Buccaneers could play in Orlando at the Citrus Bowl, or Dallas and Houston could play in San Antonio at the Alamodome.

- Make geographically-based divisions for preseason, similar to MLB spring training, i which teams would play 3 preseason games against the other 3 teams in their so-called division.  These games could be played as double-headers in 8 non-NFL stadiums around the nation.

What are your thoughts?

1. The NFL won't cut the number of preseason games anytime soon because each game, even during the preseason, is a way for the NFL to gain cash through sponsorships, advertising, etc. The only way this would occur is if the Players Union, which IMO is one of the weakest, if not THE weakest in all of professional sports, would stand by a 3 or 2 game preseason schedule.

2. I agree - the NFL should look to play these games at non-NFL venues. I'd love to see the Patriots play at, say, Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, or...dare I say it...

FENWAY PARK!!! How cool would THAT be???

3. I think the idea of geographically based divisions doesn't work as well for NFL preseason as it does for MLB. Baseball plays like 25-odd spring training games, whereas the NFL only plays 4 (or 5 if you include the teams that play in the HOF Game).

Nice ideas AstroBull!

Since the league divisions are relatively based on geography, having the preseason based on that isn't anything special.

I do agree that the preseason should be reduced to two games and add two games to the regular season. However, the preseason is a way for the teams to make money without big payouts to players. I doubt they'd go for it without somehow getting the money back in other ways.

Relocating to non-NFL stadiums works only if under normal conditions the home stadiums are not generating money. There is no way a team like the Packers would surrender profits generated from Lambeau during preseason.

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Here are some potential geographic-based divisions. I know some are a stretch, but it's the best possible way. I also tried to keep division foes to a maximum of 2 per division, if needed:

Denver

Minnesota

Seattle

St. Louis

Arizona

Oakland

San Diego

San Francisco

Dallas

Houston

Kansas City

New Orleans

Chicago

Cincinnati

Green Bay

Indianapolis

Buffalo

Cleveland

Detroit

Pittsburgh

Atlanta

Jacksonville

Miami

Tampa Bay

Baltimore

Carolina

Tennessee

Washington

New England

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia

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The simple answer is that the pre-season is not neaded, but until they change the policy that pre-season games are included in season ticket packages (i.e. two more game$ the owners get to pocket the revenue from), they won't change the current set-up.

Unless, that is, they move to an 18 game regular season with expanded play-offs. Then I could see a decreased pre-season. Until then, the owners are making too much money off the ticket sales...

Moose

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And I kinda like to see some of those late round rookies and whatnot play. I watched the falcons game and got to see DJ Shockley play, which was cool. Plus it lets the coaches see how a player actually plays in a game, which I am sure helps in the cutting process.

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No other league plays an extra 25% of its schedule as exhibition, so I agree that cutting the number of games back should be an option. I say 3 is fine. The first game is almost exclusively used for backups, the 2nd game is a mix of 1st and 2nd stringers, and the final game is a 1st team tune-up. That's really all you need.

I don't agree with exhibitions being limited to geographical rivals. You'd never seen any good players in games involving teams in the same division. No coach wants to give his rival an idea of any trick plays or different schemes before the season starts.

I do think the locations of games should be mixed up a bit, but the stadiums should hold at least 50,000, because you know they'd get filled. There's no point of the Patriots playing at BC's Alumni Stadium, for example; it's less than 30 miles away and only seats 45,000. Playing a game at Rentschler Field in Hartford would be an option; I think it seats at least 50K, plus it's far enough away to still be in Patriots territory but can bring in more New England fans from W. Mass and Vermont.

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You need 4 preseason games and Ill tell.

Week 1 just to get the rust off get used to get hit again, and getting the legs going again.

Week 2 to start learning who is good and who is bad and whjo should be cut now.

Week 3 MOST IMPORTANT WEEK you need to play this one to win and like a regular season game (most rival games are this week ie Jets vs Giants) It shows what need to be worked on for the regular season and what some holes could be.

Week 4 one last run through starters play little to stay healthy, but you use this week to try to find out who can fill these holes and what rookies can play now, and who makes the team and who does not. Its for the last 20 spots on the roster and the best week for someone who is trying to make the team to make his best case to be there all year.

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Yeah, these games are a chore for the players who know they'll be starting on Week 1, but four games is exactly the amount you need to determine those starting spots up for grabs, who will be on the second string, and which players will be making the team or not. There are some players look so-so in practice, then look great in game action, and vice-versa.

Playing in non-NFL stadia...sounds like a great idea from a fan standpoint, but owners can make more money if fans are buying the owners' concessions, the owners' parking lots, the owners' seats, and such.

One idea I'd like to see played out is playing your natural non-conference rivals twice in the preseason (or once in a season if they're playing again during the regular season). By my count, there are 11 definite pairings, 2 plausible pairings, and 3 pairings that just fill out the docket.

Tampa Bay - Miami

Atlanta - Jacksonville (JAX & MIA can rotate between ATL & TB)

Carolina - Tennessee

NY Giants - NY Jets

Philadelphia - Pittsburgh

Dallas - Houston

Washington - Baltimore

St. Louis - Kansas City

San Francisco - Oakland

Arizona - San Diego

Seattle - Denver

Chicago - Indianapolis

Detroit - Buffalo

New Orleans - Cincinnati

Green Bay - Cleveland

Minnesota - New England

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Yeah that would be a good idea, play games in Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska. A Seahawk game in Oregon. That would be a great idea. You know the NFl used to do that to build intrest in other areas like Jacksnville that now has a team.

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You need 4 preseason games and Ill tell.

Week 1 just to get the rust off get used to get hit again, and getting the legs going again.

Week 2 to start learning who is good and who is bad and whjo should be cut now.

Week 3 MOST IMPORTANT WEEK you need to play this one to win and like a regular season game (most rival games are this week ie Jets vs Giants) It shows what need to be worked on for the regular season and what some holes could be.

Week 4 one last run through starters play little to stay healthy, but you use this week to try to find out who can fill these holes and what rookies can play now, and who makes the team and who does not. Its for the last 20 spots on the roster and the best week for someone who is trying to make the team to make his best case to be there all year.

But this could really be done with two actual pre-season games. Especially when most teams have two-a-days early on. If you can't weed out the scrubs by the time your first pre-season game is over with, you probably aren't paying close enough attention.

Use Week 1 of the pre-season to get the rust off. Cut rosters to 60, maybe 65 afterward.

Use Week 2 as a full-blown scrimmage, using your starters and determining who gets what spots in the depth chart. Cut rosters to 53 afterward.

Then, play an 18-game regular season, USFL style, and in the process expanding the non-divisional conference play and interconference play, adding one game to each.

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Add the Preseason games to the regular season schedule:

-Longer season

-Geographical rivalry games like Raiders vs 49ers have more meaning and happen more often

-Lets coaches know who can handle real games

-Makes finding out winning percentage at the end of the year much more easier (.05 per win)

Good idea? Bad idea?

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You know, they would make the tickets cheaper..........if the games wouldn't be sold out...there's no reason for them to make them cheaper if they see that fans are willing to pay x amount of dollars for the pre-season games. Obviously as a fan, I'd love to see prices go down, but in the business side, if they're already getting maximum profit, there's no way they'd decrease the price.

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