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Mark Murphy supports 17 games, a regular season compromise.

July 14, 2019 07:59AM
[profootballtalk.nbcsports.com]

Mark Murphy supports 17 games a regular-season compromise

Given the conflicting quotes attributed to Packers CEO Mark Murphy on Friday, I opted to pretend to be an actual reporter and do some actual reporting.

Short story shorter, I got Murphy on the phone to clarify his thoughts on a potentially expanded regular season.

Murphy said that he remains opposed to 18 games, a position he has taken on multiple occasions in the past. He acknowledges, however, that 17 games could work as an obvious compromise between 16 and 18. Murphy supports 17 regular-season games primarily as a way to continue to grow the game internationally, ensuring that every team would have, every year, eight true home games, eight true road games, and one neutral-site game, with most of those 16 neutral-site games played in other countries. However, Murphy was adamant that the preseason would have to drop to three games, and maybe to only two (despite the loss of revenue that would come from reducing the total number of preseason and regular-season games from 20 to 19).

We interpreted Murphy as being in favor of 18 games based on this quote attributed to him by Darren Rovell of TheActionNetwork.com, in an earlier one-on-one conversation with Murphy: “Maybe another way to do this is to add one neutral site game and one international one for every team, so we can use this to grow the game.” Murphy said that he said (or at least meant to say) “or” not “and,” and that he supports 17 games (with a reduced preseason), not 18 games.

Murphy had opposed expansion of the regular season in the past due to player health and safety, and I specifically asked him whether he believes that advances in player health and safety justify increased regular-season exposure. He said that, even though the “numbers are down” from 2018 as to injuries like concussions, the numbers could go up in any given year, and he acknowledged based on his own experience as a player that there’s a “wear and tear” component that builds throughout a football season. Extending the season only adds to that.

Murphy also didn’t rule out during our conversation the possibility of 17 regular-season games and two byes, which would nudge the Super Bowl to President’s Day weekend, something the league quietly has coveted for years. There’s a concern, however, that the networks wouldn’t want each team to have two byes. (The NFL had one season with two byes, in 1993. Then, the league had only 28 teams, four fewer than the current composition of the standings.)

As to the idea of an 18-game season with a maximum player participation of 16, Murphy made it clear that he’s not in favor of that approach, primarily because he believes that fans would not like it. He agreed with my assessment of such an approach as “gimmicky,” and he expressed concern for fans who, for example, have always wanted to see Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers play not getting to see him play because those fans have the misfortune of holding tickets to one of the two games in which Rodgers won’t play.

Personally, I like the 17-game regular season, for many reasons. I don’t like 8-8 records; 9-8 or 8-9 would clearly make a team a loser or a winner for the year. (And, yes, I realize that someone could end up 8-8-1.) I also like the idea of 16 neutral-site games, especially since it could mean a game at Ann Arbor or a game at Notre Dame or a game at Happy Valley or a game at Ohio Stadium or a game at some other large, iconic venue, which of course could be wired for real-time video communication with the league office.
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

  Report: Owners pitch 18-game season that would limit players to 16 games

RamBill423July 12, 2019 12:31PM

  Can't really wrap my brain around that...

JamesJM71July 12, 2019 01:01PM

  Re: Report: Owners pitch 18-game season that would limit players to 16 games

cool_hand_luke62July 12, 2019 01:54PM

  Re figure it out

Speed_Kills66July 12, 2019 02:01PM

  Can you pick any 2 games to rest particular starters?

promomasterj59July 12, 2019 02:19PM

  Re: Can you pick any 2 games to rest particular starters?

cool_hand_luke30July 12, 2019 03:10PM

  kicker/punter/long snapper

headslapper36July 13, 2019 03:58PM

  don't like it

zn71July 12, 2019 02:28PM

  Re: Report: Owners pitch 18-game season that would limit players to 16 games

Ramboni36July 12, 2019 02:46PM

  Re: Report: Owners pitch 18-game season that would limit players to 16 games

Classicalwit31July 12, 2019 03:05PM

  Re: Report: Owners pitch 18-game season that would limit players to 16 games

cool_hand_luke35July 12, 2019 03:12PM

  maybe with a handful of exemptions?

AlbaNY_Ram49July 12, 2019 04:52PM

  It's beginning to sound...

JamesJM56July 12, 2019 04:54PM

  me? no

zn53July 12, 2019 05:18PM

  Re: me? no........... Yup

Florida_Ram49July 12, 2019 05:35PM

  Re: me? no

AlbaNY_Ram37July 13, 2019 12:57AM

  your blunt opinion....

21Dog41July 13, 2019 09:10AM

  8-game: LOVE IT--->starting QB sits 2 games--depth

Steve94July 13, 2019 01:26AM

  Re: 8-game: LOVE IT--->starting QB sits 2 games--depth

zn59July 13, 2019 04:48AM

  Re: 8-game: LOVE IT--->starting QB sits 2 games--depth

Steve87July 13, 2019 08:58AM

  A couple of things come to mind: first, there are not enough decent QBs

RockRam89July 13, 2019 04:59AM

  Re: A couple of things come to mind: first, there are not enough decent QBs

AlbaNY_Ram44July 13, 2019 05:23AM

  This isn’t complicated, so why overthink it?

Rams43131July 13, 2019 05:51AM

  Re: This isn’t complicated, so why overthink it?

AlbaNY_Ram79July 13, 2019 07:20AM

  Re: This isn’t complicated, so why overthink it?

Rams4347July 13, 2019 03:27PM

  Re: This isn’t complicated, so why overthink it?

AlbaNY_Ram43July 13, 2019 06:35PM

  Re: This isn’t complicated, so why overthink it?

zn45July 13, 2019 06:47PM

  Re: This isn’t complicated, so why overthink it?

Rams4348July 13, 2019 08:10PM

  I agree with this completely, 43...great post!!

SunTzu_vs_Camus45July 14, 2019 02:41AM

  Re: I agree with this completely, 43...great post!!

AlbaNY_Ram44July 14, 2019 06:55AM

  Re: I agree with this completely, 43...great post!!

Rams4349July 14, 2019 07:24AM

  Re: I agree with this completely, 43...great post!!

zn47July 14, 2019 07:57AM

  Re: I agree with this completely, 43...great post!!

Rams4335July 14, 2019 08:08AM

  Re: I agree with this completely, 43...great post!!

zn38July 14, 2019 08:20AM

  Re: I agree with this completely, 43...great post!!

Rams4339July 14, 2019 08:31AM

  Re: I agree with this completely, 43...great post!!

zn45July 14, 2019 03:55PM

  Re: I agree with this completely, 43...great post!!

AlbaNY_Ram35July 14, 2019 08:59AM

  I like it

stlramz59July 13, 2019 01:28PM

  That 'record' thing..

JamesJM49July 13, 2019 01:49PM

  Players might go for a 18 week schedule with 16 games played

ramzilla45July 13, 2019 03:46PM

  Re: Players might go for a 18 week schedule with 16 games played

zn48July 13, 2019 04:39PM

  Mark Murphy supports 17 games, a regular season compromise.

Rams4382July 14, 2019 07:59AM

  I like the 17 game idea

Rampage2K-82July 14, 2019 09:28AM

  Re: Report: Owners pitch 18-game season that would limit players to 16 games

zn52July 14, 2019 01:44PM

  I want 17 games and one additional bye week

PeoriaRa31July 15, 2019 08:52AM

  Re: I want 17 games and one additional bye week

Rampage2K-35July 15, 2019 09:25AM

  Re: Report: Owners pitch 18-game season that would limit players to 16 games

zn42July 15, 2019 06:12PM