Blog Entry

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

Posted on: June 6, 2011 2:27 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 2:40 pm
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Last week, for the first time, we saw real progress in this NFL labor mess. There's still a long way to go but it's something. With the possibility of losing games -- or worse, canceling the season -- we'll take it.

A lot can happen between now and an eventual resolution, which means the league needs contingency plans. According to SportsBusiness Journal's Daniel Kaplan, that includes planning for a shortened NFL season, even one that includes as few as eight games.

Mike Florio of writes that "An eight-game season would begin in late November, with a whopping five weeks allowed for free agency, training camps, and maybe a single preseason game. This would require a deal to be reached in October."

One of the concerns about players and owners finding common ground and ending the lockout is that the timing could throw free agency and training camp schedules out of whack. Five weeks isn't much time to cram it all in, but this sounds like an End of Days, worst-case scenario where the only other alternative is forget about the 2011 season altogether and start over in 2012.

As Florio points out, the 1982 strike-shortened season was nine games and 16 of the then-28 teams made the playoffs. That it has happened before is hardly a reason for the two sides to drag their feet on getting a deal done tout suite.

For fun, we took a look back to Week 9 of the previous five NFL seasons. Not every team had played eight games up to that point, but it serves as a proxy for our purposes here. Namely: to see how many teams were atop the standings at the midway point of the season and ended up in the playoffs. Because one argument against the shortened season (other than it takes away from the entirety of the NFL experience that stretches from September to February) is that teams can get on a two-month hot streak and win a Super Bowl. It's the cousin to Billy Beane's theory for why the Moneyball approach to winning baseball games goes out the window in the posteason.

Anyway, to the time machine:

2006, Week 9 ('*' means team made playoffs)

7-0: Bears*, Colts*
6-1: Patriots*
5-2: Giants*, Chargers*, Broncos, Falcons, Ravens*, Saints*
4-3: Bengals, Cowboys*, Jaguars, Seahawks*, Chiefs*

Colts defeated Bears in Super Bowl

2007, Week 9

8-0: Patriots*
7-0: Colts*
6-1: Cowboys*, Packers*
6-2: Giants*
5-2: Steelers*, Jaguars*, Titans*, Lions
4-3: Chargers*, Chiefs, Seahawks*, Browns, Ravens, Redskins*, Panthers

Giants defeated Patriots in Super Bowl

2008, Week 9
7-0: Titans*
6-1: Giants*
6-2: Panthers*, Redskins
5-2: Steelers*, Bills, Patriots
5-3: Cowboys, Bucs
4-3: Eagles*, Packers, Bears, Cards*, Ravens, Broncos, Falcons*, Jets

Steelers defeated Cards in Super Bowl

2009, Week 9
7-0: Saints*, Colts*
7-1: Vikings*
6-1: Broncos
5-2: Patriots*, Bengals*, Steelers, Cowboys*, Eagles*
5-3: Texans, Giants
4-3: Ravens*, Falcons, Packers*, Cards*, Chargers*, Bears,

Saints defeated Colts in Super Bowl

2010, Week 9
6-1: Patriots*
5-2: Ravens*, Steelers*, Jets*, Colts*, Falcons*, Giants, Chiefs*, Bucs
5-3: Packers*, Titans, Saints*
4-3: Eagles*, Texans, Dolphins, Bears*, Seahawks*

Packers defeated Steelers in Super Bowl

The takeaway? For the most part, clubs playing well midway through the season usually end up in the playoffs. Specifically, since 2006, 62 percent of teams above .500 through Week 9 qualified for the postseason, and that includes every Super Bowl participant over that period.

So while nobody wants an eight-game NFL season, recent history suggests it won't have much of an impact on the eventual champion. But that's no reason to drag things out. The sooner the lockout ends, the better for everybody.

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Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: June 7, 2011 9:33 am

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

They know the majority of fans will not boycott the season, so they are in control.  If fans did wake up and decide a REAL boycott, and did not attend any games, watch any TV related to NFL, or buy any merchandise it really would bankrupt them. They are fighting about how to split 11 billion(with a B) dollars and it's insane.  Both sides make a killing while the people paying their salaries are wishing they had a fraction of their salaries. 

Since: Mar 28, 2008
Posted on: June 7, 2011 9:10 am

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

Your EXACTLY right...I've had it too...lets all get on the same page and just quit buying tickets and watching on TV and then they won't have to worry about having all of these BILLIONS of dollars to fight over!!!  

Since: Mar 28, 2008
Posted on: June 7, 2011 9:10 am

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

Your EXACTLY right...I've had it too...lets all get on the same page and just quit buying tickets and watching on TV and then they won't have to worry about having all of these BILLIONS of dollars to fight over!!!  

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: June 7, 2011 6:07 am

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

How about a 4 game season, 1 week Playoff, & a not so superbowl.

Since: Jun 28, 2008
Posted on: June 7, 2011 2:28 am

NFL FANS on Strike!

The NFL has lost all my respect.  The Players, the Owners, the Coaches, all of them.   I'm sick and tired of hearing about how the owners aren't making enough profits, and the players aren't making enough in their pay checks.  Professional Football (all Pro Sports to be honest) is a joke.  They are fighting over 11 BILLION dollars, and where do You think that is coming from?  YOUR POCKET!  As a fan, what do we get for our hard earned dollars that we spend on these games?  Players who act as though they are above us, coaches who sometimes act as though they don't have a clue, and owners who are never satisfied with how much money goes in their pockets no matter what kind of product they put on the field.
Let's look at the Players and owners one at a time.....

The Players-- First off, they are being paid to play a Children's Game.  Please don't lecture me about how rough and complicated it is, I know that already.  But the fact is that it is a GAME, and no one is going to tell me that these people deserve the saleries they get.  If they don't want to get hurt, then let them use the college education they suppossedly have to earn a living.  The majority of the people  in this country work ten times harder and a hundred times longer then they do and only get a pitence of the money they do.  Honestly, who works harder the men who play in the Stadiums or the men and women who built it?  What's harder catching a ball or cleaning floors?  Even the physical part, would You rather get hit for 12 minutes a week (Yes, that is all the average time play is in motion (from the snap of the ball to the tackle) during an actual football game) or do manual labor for anywhere from 40 to 60 hours a week.  Add in the constant law breaking that goes on among NFL players and it's a joke to think these guys deserve what they are getting. 

The Owners-- Much of what I said above aplies here to.  They are staging children's games and making a huge profit from it.  These greedy bastards are getting so much money thrown at them from ever direction it's not funny.  They make money from TV rights, ticket sales, concessions at the games, merchandising, and things I can't even think of.  With all the money these people are making from TV, Concessions, Mechendising, etc the tickets should cost pennies.  These people are bleeding us dry and have the guts to say they aren't making enough.  They go on TV and talk about how they live and die with the team, but the fact is that wins and losses mean nothing to them.  They only care about the bottom line and that is how much they are making. 

As a fan (or I guess i should say Former Fan because I am through with them) I think it would only be fair that WE go on strike.  We refuse to buy another ticket, tee shirt, coffe mug, etc until we see the following things happen.....

1. 20% cut in ticket prices, and for all You Season ticket holders, an end to licencing fees.

2. 20% cut in concessions at the stadium (INCLUDING Parking Fees)

3. 30% cut in all Merchandising

Will we get these things, absolutely not.  There is no way anyone involved with the NFL will ever give up that much Profit.   Can we make a statement to not just them, but the other Pro Leagues as well, Absolutely.  Do NOT buy tickets, do NOT watch them on TV or listen on the radio, do NOT buy their merchandies.  Let's show them that athey are argueing for nothing because it is OUR money not theirs and unless things drastically change they won't get a penny of it ever again.

P.S...Please forgive me for my spelling errors, it's really late and my spelling sucks to begin with....Haha

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: June 7, 2011 1:32 am

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

My plan is not to boycott the games, but boycott all sponsers and let them know it.    More to follow once the lock out goes further.

Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: June 7, 2011 1:03 am

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season


Since: Sep 28, 2009
Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:55 am

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

I AGREE 100% AND IF WE ALL ( THAT HAVE DIRECTV) SWITCH TO CABLE DIRECTV WILL LOSE A BOAT LOAD OF $ $$$$$$$$$ not only sunday ticket but regular customers who like you and me who got directv for sunday ticket( DONT THINK DIRECTV HASN'T THOUGHT OF THAT )

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:33 am

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

The faster the owners and players realize the world will be perfectly fine without a season and life goes on, the faster both sides will realize just how good life is for both. We the fans buy the tickets, buy the jerseys and create the football game ratings, we the fans control the NFL! Without us they have nothing at all!

Fans may lose some NFL games, but what you've really gained is power.

Since: Oct 21, 2007
Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:05 am

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

If all you idiots who say they won't follow a shortened season and that the would be "done with the NFL" really meant any of it you would not be following close enough to be posting here.  Be honest:  the league and the players are going to bend you over and you are going to take it!!!!

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