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The ups and downs of an 18-game NFL regular season

What's more fun than a SpaghettiOs recall? How about an 18 game NFL season?

Talk of an extended regular season has been a side conversation for a long time, but now the notion is finally gaining some momentum. The primary drivers seem to be league owners, who know that a regular season game can fetch a good bit more money from TV and ticket sales than the 60 minute tryout sessions now labeled preseason games.

League Commissioner Roger Goodell gave the idea his full endorsement, saying:

It's clear the fans don't want four preseason games. It's clear the players don't want four preseason games. They tell me that all the time. You ask them that question and they'll tell you. And we really don't need it to make the game better. So we have to evolve just as we did a couple of decades ago when we went from six preseason games to four.

Basically, the move would cut the preseason down to two games and add two regular season games, leaving it at a total of 20 games. The extended regular season was on the table at negotiations between the players union and the league this week.

All 20 game seasons are not created equal, and players are concerned about the increased injury risk of two extra regular season games. I can't say that I blame them. An extra two weeks of football sounds nice until your favorite players go down with a big injury, shortening seasons and even careers.

This proposal has ramifications at the bargaining table, to state the obvious. Of course, one of the demands the players would likely have is more pay, which is not unreasonable given the risk of two more regular season games. Another crummy aspect is that the teams with their playoff spots locked up will just play their second team, see the 2009 Colts.

The offseason would change too, since those 4 preseason games cover prep time for teams. Goodell said the league would have to review how the offseason would look in such an arrangement.

Maybe I'm too resistant to change, but I don't like the idea of 18 regular season games mostly because I don't want to see the careers of my favorite player shortened.

How about you?