While the concept of an 18-game NFL season is nothing new, with players objecting to the wear and tear of an added two games, the Wall Street Journal on Friday reported a potential compromise
In early negotiations regarding the league’s collective bargaining agreement, which expires after the 2020 season, an addition to the schedule reportedly has been discussed with the owners proposing that the players remain limited to 16 games in an 18-game schedule.
Teams would have to stagger two games off for each of their players on the roster.
NFL Players’ Association (NFLPA) executive director DeMaurice Smith confirmed to ESPN that the possibility has been raised, but added that the players do not have any incentive to support it.
“I don’t see an 18-game schedule — under any circumstance — being in the best interest of our players,” Smith said. “If somebody wants to make an 18-game proposal, we’ll look at it. I haven’t seen anything that makes me think that it would be good for the players.”
The idea of an 18-game schedule goes back to at least 2011, and even though the added work would add tens of millions to the payroll of each team, the players have held strong that more regular-season games are not their preference.
The longer season would require a shortening of the pre-season schedule, which is typically four games for teams.
The report cited an NFLPA analysis that an added two regular-season games for each team could increase revenue by US$2.5 billion league-wide.
“No players are banging down my door asking me to think about this,” NFLPA president Eric Winston said, according to the Journal.
“Why is it our job to figure out how to make 18 games work as players? You tell someone you’re going to work longer and you figure out how to make it work? That doesn’t work,” Smith told ESPN. “It’s not our job to put that square peg in the round hole.”
Instead, the players seem keen on non-schedule increasing proposals, such as a quicker route to free agency, changes in the minimum salary guidelines, increased benefits and bonuses.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there