NFL Noodling Guarantee 49er Play in January

Imagine the Raiders and 49ers playing January football every single season. It may happen as early as 2011, but not because they're both going to be perpetual playoff teams. The NFL regular season may be extended by two games, creating an 18-game schedule.

The league is kicking around a plan under which two regular season games would be eliminated, and two additional regular season games would get tacked on in January.  Under this plan, the regular season would last until mid- to late-January and the Super Bowl would be played on President's Day weekend. Owners may vote on this plan as early as this coming May.

The intended effect, of course, is to create more league revenue. The unintended effect is that millions of Americans who annually call in sick the day after the Super Bowl will save one of their sick days, because they've already got President's Day off. Hey, it's a win-win!

Extending the season to 18 games would surely create additional millions for the league and the owners, but it's not necessarily a move that would screw the fans.

After all, fans already pay full price to watch retreads and third-stringers play exhibition games -- this plan would remove two of those snooze-fest games and replace them with meaningful games. It enables the league to play those stupid international games they insist upon, without depriving teams of their eighth home game. And it would minimize the chances of a labor dispute in pro football, as owners and players adjust to what may be a years-long period of financial difficulty.

There is a reasonable concern that extra January games would favor cold weather teams, but you gotta admit that those blizzard games are a lot of fun to watch. There is also a concern that this could saturate the audience, that an abundance of games would dampen fans' desire to watch football.

That one is not a reasonable concern. Admit it -- you'll turn your head into a mahogany desk before you cut down on the amount of football you watch.

 Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who hasn't made it in to work the day after the Super Bowl since he was a sophomore in high school.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us