Excited for the opportunity at an expanded playoff field from 12 to 14 teams for the upcoming 2014 Season? Football fans may have to wait....
In the latest edition of owner vs. player, news came down late Monday that the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) may block the impending playoff expansion that has been pushed by Commissioner Roger Goodell and other league executives.
Playoff expansion to 14 teams has been expected to be voted on by the owners and passed as early as Tuesday at the NFL's annual spring meetings being held in Atlanta.
According to sources the main complaint from the players association stems from an issue with the fight for the workers compensation law currently in Louisiana. The New Orleans Saints players would directly be affected.
"The players have not seen a press release from the NFL indicating that they were going to take up the issue of better workers compensation benefits or increased injury protection benefits in light of their desire for extra playoff games," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told USA TODAY Sports on Monday.
The expanded playoff field would result in a change of working conditions under workers compensation law which has been a heated debate within the Louisiana legislature. The problem with the current bill as constructed would calculate workers compensation benefits for injured athletes based on earnings at the time of injury not for future earnings as the players want, including star Saints' quarterback Drew Brees.
This issue has a tremendous amount of moving parts that the simple football fan may even not begin to understand, however the NFL must abide like any other working union, etc.
Some fans might say "Why should we care about millionaires and their benefits?"
But, let's remember not every player on an NFL roster is making Drew Brees' type money. The NFL has taken hits for the treatment of its retired/injured recently including the concussion lawsuit settlement in 2013.
How the NFL still has yet to fully guarantee contracts like the MLB, NHL, and NBA is completely incomprehensible but it will never change. (That's a whole other issue altogether).
With so many moving parts to this issue it will pass right over the average football fans' head. Ultimately Goodell and Co. will force the expansion of playoffs despite legislation issues.
Now, some might say a 14 team playoff expansion is an absolute homerun for the NFL. More competition in the final weeks of the season, expanded revenue in what seems to be a bottomless pit for the country's most popular sport, and more football for the fans. What could be wrong with all that?
In the NFL, the best teams find themselves at the cream of the crop. It's just the way it is. Could an expanded playoff actually mean less exciting playoff games?
We all root for an underdog, but I don't want to watch two 8-8 teams battle it out for a chance to probably lose horribly the next week. The current playoff format worked perfectly.
I am of the belief of why change what works?
The NFL is more popular than ever and although an expanded playoff probably won't turn fans off to the product, everything reaches a saturation point in time.
The NFL continues to meddle with a product that seemingly is flawless.
Each week of the NFL season is almost an event in it's own right. From the hours leading up to kickoff checking your respective fantasy lineups to the "I've been waiting' all day for Sunday night" NBC theme song, fans, including myself just can't get enough football.
But when is too much enough of a good thing?
Have you seen the new television schedule for the NFL this year? Good luck figuring that out.
NFC games broadcast on CBS, AFC games broadcast on FOX, Thursday Night Football simulcast on CBS. DirecTV's deal with NFL Sunday Ticket and the ramifications of the announced buyout from AT&T today. Times are a'changin.
There will come a time when the public will become over-saturated by the NFL game that ratings will fall. It's inevitable, as mentioned by Dallas Mavericks owner and multi-billionaire Mark Cuban. Talk of football games being played on each night of the week also has arose within talking heads of the sport in recent years....
Look Goodell will make a statement regarding this issue in the coming days. He will get his long desired wish and fans around the country will rejoice in the extra possibility of making the playoffs in 2014.
At the end of the day the NFL thrives on what we love most and that's football pure and simple. Anyone else agree?
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