March 7, 2011


It's great that we have some reason for optimism that a new CBA will be reached this week (or at least they might get close enough to a deal for another extension). The alternative is decertification, litigation, and Armageddon. From my perspective, there is too much uncertainty and too much risk involved in settling this conflict in court, so both sides have a massive incentive to reach an agreement before things get to that point.

Where does that leave us huddled masses, though? Squarely in limbo/purgatory. I had to psyche myself into writing today, because there's a big part of me that feels like writing about the NFL is fairly pointless until a new CBA is reached. Right now, we have no idea when free agency will start, or what the rules of free agency might be. We have no idea if the NFL will move to an 18-game regular season, or if there will be a rookie wage scale, etc. Even more than usual, nobody knows anything. Here are some random thoughts, though-

-The NFL has such a neat, sensible scheduling formula right now- Moving to an 18-game slate will TOTALLY fuck that up. Will the two extra games be interconference? That's the only option that really makes any sense to me- then you play 6 games against your division, 6 against the rest of your conference, then 6 against the other conference. But what would be the formula used to create the 12 games of your non-divisional schedule? Creating the 18-game slate would put us back into the pre-realignment days when no one had a clue how the NFL schedule was created. No sale.

However, it looks like the 18-game schedule is inevitable, and I'd guess that it'll be a 20-week schedule with two bye weeks per team. Assuming the NFL starts the season a week or two earlier, you have the very real possibility that the Super Bowl will fall on the 3-day President's Day weekend, which is about the only good thing that would come out of an 18-game schedule.

Seriously, isn't there some other way to create this additional revenue? I'd much rather see the playoffs expanded to 14 or 16 teams than an 18-game regular season. I'm no accountant, but wouldn't 2 or 4 extra playoff games also create a shitload of new revenue for the league?

An 18-game schedule is so self-evidently a terrible idea/naked money grab that I'm somewhat shocked that the notion has gotten this far- But it appears the union will agree to it if they get their cut of the additional revenue, and if the owners perhaps throw in expanded rosters and a 2nd bye week. Plus, what the fuck am I going to do? Not watch the extra two weeks of the season? Fuck no.

-I'd love to have Matt Hasselbeck back on the Seahawks next season, but I certainly don't want the front office to massively overpay for a "bridge guy." I can't say that I have a number in mind, but if Beck wants so much that his deal might hinder our ability to bring in FAs at other critical positions, I say have fun in Arizona, Matthew (and hello... um... jeez... Kyle Orton? Carson Palmer? It'd be really nice if we could keep Matt, and draft his successor, wouldn't it?).

-Hopefully this will be a moot point by the end of this week, but I'm curious to know if Paul Allen supports locking out the players. Allen smartly voted against the relocation of the Sonics as owner of the Trail Blazers, which was not just the right thing to do but brilliant PR. If he actually supported a lockout, my glowing opinion of the guy would take a big hit- But like I said, this hopefully will be a dead letter by Friday.

-In home news, I've shaved off my beard, which evidently makes me look about 10 years younger (pic below) Nothing wrong with that... I also have a job interview coming up next week in, of all places, Orlando. I assume they are mostly Bucs fans there? Any of my readers in that part of the country?

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