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 ProFootballTalk.com 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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Comments

Since: Jan 14, 2010
Posted on: June 6, 2011 11:52 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

Why bother?  Sit out the year and give me an excuse to find something else to spend my time and money on.




Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: June 6, 2011 11:41 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

are you kidding me?  i don't think fans would accept less than 12 and many will abandon the nfl if there are not 16.



Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 11:36 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

Better yet,  shorten the game to 30 minutes and play  back to back nights .      8 game season.....right.



Since: May 11, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 10:36 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

If these pinheads(cleaned up for the censors) plan on this stupid idea, I won`t be back.... I think I`ll do something more interesting on Sundays, like watch the grass grow, or better yet... watch the cars rust. And what the Hell is this "Time machine" crap??? That means zero you idiot media clown. The owners, and players think people can`t live without their product, but the fans should send a message loud and clear... that the truth is just the opposite, without the fans, there is no game.



Since: Feb 23, 2010
Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:59 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

I'm done spending money on the NFL.
Me too. That's why I watch the game on my antenna TV (no cable bill), refuse to by anything but illegal, knockoff jerseys, and never buy a ticket. I LOVE boycotting ****.

The players have turned me away from the game.
EXACTLY! If we could just get those dumbasses out of the way and watch the coaches play chess matches against each other every Sunday, we'd  have something. Instead, we have to watch this crap of a sport.


The picture of Plaxico Burress leaving prison for the NFL was the final straw.
But Vick wasn't? You just hate tall people, don't you?


I forgot they don't star out naughty words on blogs. And I didn't want you all to miss my dazzling insight when my posy got deleted.

You're welcome.



Since: Feb 23, 2010
Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:42 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

I'm done spending money on the NFL.
Me too. That's why I watch the game on my antenna TV (no cable bill), refuse to by anything but illegal, knockoff jerseys, and never buy a ticket. I LOVE boycotting shit.

The players have turned me away from the game.
EXACTLY! If we could just get those dumbasses out of the way and watch the coaches play chess matches against each other every Sunday, we'd  have something. Instead, we have to watch this crap of a sport.


The picture of Plaxico Burress leaving prison for the NFL was the final straw.
But Vick wasn't? You just hate tall people, don't you?






Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:39 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

Your absolutly right.  I won't watch one of their half ass games much less get Sunday ticket.  Three years ago I paid the penalty for breaking my contract thru Verizon to switch to Direct TV solely for the Ticket.  Guess what I'm paying for this year?  Thats right, no Sunday Ticket($340 about) this year for me and I'm switching back to Verizon because Direct TV sucks ass.  I won't spend a nickel on any NFL crap and we should all boycott them and let them feel the pain of being out of work 8 months like me and many others.  I have yet to see one player or owner stand up and say this is wrong to the NFL fans, stadium workers, public servents(police,fire, med) or anyone else.  Seems nobody in the NFL has a real set of balls.



Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:25 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

I'm done spending money on the NFL.  The players have turned me away from the game.  I've analyzed my spending habits and decided it is just too much.  I'm done.  The picture of Plaxico Burress leaving prison for the NFL was the final straw.




Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:18 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

All this does is it moves the negotiations to focus on getting ready for an 8 game season. They set a new cut-off date. With this in place, you can kiss the possibility for a full season goodbye. The new deadline has been set. Mark my word, this now becomes the best case scenario. I hope I'm wrong.



Since: Sep 3, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 7:37 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

I love the NFL, but I have to agree completely with the other posters that we have two groups of multi-billionaires fighting like rich desperate housewives over how daddys inheritance is split up, and Daddy's inheritance is made up of all the fans hard earned dollar. The average season ticket holder has a family income well under 75K and these playersand owners are making more than that per game. I would love to see them have no season for one year and see the impact on their fan base. Their $8B industry would shrink to $5B as many people would realize they CAN live without football and they would get interested in something else during those months. A year is a long time. I hope they get their act together but if not soon I'm opposed to some 8 game BS season thats only in place to get the fans another fix so my timeline issue doesnt occur


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