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gopher 05 October 2017 01:57 PM

NFL Question - Short Season

With NFL back on TV can I ask why the season is so short?

GenYus234 05 October 2017 02:19 PM

Do you mean why they play only 16 regular season games? Because the 2017/2018 season is the same length they usually are.

The answer to why they play on 16 games in the regular season is that the rate of injury is pro football is pretty high, one site says a player has a 4% chance of being injured in each game. Probably this is part of the reason the NFL players union has resisted increasing the number of games played per season.

Also, I'm not sure that a season that goes from September to December (August to February if you count pre and post season) is really that short. The better question might be why other sports' seasons are so long*.

* Money.

KirkMcD 05 October 2017 03:08 PM


Originally Posted by GenYus234 (Post 1960785)
The better question might be why other sports' seasons are so long.

I'm looking at you HOCKEY!
October through finals in June.
June!! Really?!?!
There shouldn't even be any ice by then.

GenYus234 05 October 2017 03:49 PM

I was thinking Major League Baseball. 162 games from March to November.

E. Q. Taft 05 October 2017 04:41 PM

I always remember an old MAD magazine article on "You know it's really summer when...." "....the NBA finals are nearly over, and the NFL pre-season is about to start."

Darth Credence 05 October 2017 04:42 PM

Don't forget the NBA, which runs from October through June with 82 games over 240 days for the season and playoffs. Not as many games as baseball, but days longer than MLB (213, season and playoffs), and a bit shorter than NHL (240+, depending on finals date).
Of course, none of them compare to Major League Soccer. They run from March 3rd to December 9th, a whopping 281 days.
It does put the NFL's 150 days from season opener to Superbowl to shame.

GenYus234 05 October 2017 04:58 PM

My issue with baseball is partially the sheer number of games, but also that so many nicknames are now inaccurate. "Spring" training is during the winter and maybe a week of spring. The "Boys of Summer" play spring, summer, and fall. And a "Mr October" would be bad as he might let his team down during crucial games of the World Series*.

* If by "world" you mean the US and a bit of Canada.

Dr. Dave 05 October 2017 06:33 PM

Just to add to the answer, in case gopher does not know, it is only one game per team per week and each team also gets a bye week, so it is 17 weeks for the regular season, and a five week post-season.

The reason it is only one game a week is time needed to recover from a game and get ready for one. Baseball has 162, but they typically play 6 games a week, some weeks 7.

ETA: The WS going into November is very new I think.

dfresh 05 October 2017 07:36 PM

One reason for the short season is so that the Detroit Lions can't lose more than 16 games in a year, which helps them compare VERY well to the Tigers, who often lose that many in just a month.

smittykins 05 October 2017 08:53 PM

The first time the World Series ran into November was when the season was suspended for a week after 9/11.

Psihala 05 October 2017 09:07 PM

NASCAR runs from February to November.

Just sayin'.


UEL 05 October 2017 09:14 PM

Our football league, the CFL, runs from June to November/December. 20 weeks of regular season play (each team plays 18 games) and 3 weeks of playoffs.

The Grey Cup is usually in the last week of November, but is not unheard of going into December. And with the schedule next year providing 3 bye weeks for each team, the season will be 21 weeks long, creating a need to start earlier, or move permanently into December.

Dasla 06 October 2017 07:41 AM

You people are crazy. The football season ended last weekend (both codes) we watched the finales*. And hockey is played on grass or turf. :p

*The wrong teams won. :(

E. Q. Taft 06 October 2017 07:22 PM

Really, given the popularity of the NFL, it's not surprising that we've seen attempts to start new pro leagues that play in the off-season (e.g., the USFL and XFL). Not sure why they haven't been more successful. Maybe it's the fact that the pro season is relatively short and consists of a much more limited number of contests than competing pro sports that makes the games more of an "event." Maybe there just isn't the talent around to support another league that can play at the level fans demand.

If I were thinking about it now, I might consider trying to start a "lighter" league -- that is, one that was specifically designed with rules, equipment, etc., to attempt to reduce the number of injuries and, most particularly, concussions. I know a few football fans who have given up watching the sport since that problem became publicized. You might attract some players who would be willing to trade some of the money and prestige for reducing their risk. (You might even be able to get some retired NFL players, or those approaching retirement, to move over to play in a less physically strenuous game.)

But would anyone watch? I don't know. Probably not enough people to really compete with the NFL, though possible enough to still make it a money-making proposition.

Darth Credence 06 October 2017 08:09 PM

That sounds like the basis of the AFFL, or American Flag Football League. To truly reduce the injuries, that is pretty much the direction you have to go.
They have NFL players that are nearing retirement, have just retired, or couldn't quite remain in the league. They also have a number of rule changes to keep the game more exciting. They have only played one exhibition game so far, but the inaugural season is next summer.

jimmy101_again 07 October 2017 08:49 PM


Originally Posted by Darth Credence (Post 1960990)
That sounds like the basis of the AFFL, or American Flag Football League. To truly reduce the injuries, that is pretty much the direction you have to go.

Not really. You could significantly reduce injuries, particularly concussions, by limiting the size of players, playing on real turf, or by outlawing cleats. Basically anything that reduces the energy of collisions, either by reducing weight or by slowing the players down, will significantly reduce injures.

One of the real disappointments of the NFL's feeble attempt at studying concussions starting in the 1990's was that they didn't even really try to collect decent statistics on injuries. They never even looked at things like how many concussions were caused by players head's bouncing off artificial field surfaces (basically thin carpet on top of concrete), or how many were caused by being hit by things other than someone else's head. Thigh pads not only protect the wearer's thigh but also the heads of opponents. Many a defensive player has been knocked unconscious by the knee or thigh of an opposing 250-pounds-of-solid-muscle running back. There are a number of things that could significantly reduce injures without really changing the game all that much. The NFL loss a couple decades where those changes could have been made.

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