I like pizza. You probably do too. However, if you gave me pizza every day, there would come a point when I'd start to hate it.
I love NFL football too. I just wonder if commissioner Roger Goodell's desire to never give fans a rest from it is a good thing.
The NFL moved the draft back to May this year, and I don't know about you, but I'm already tiring of hearing how this or that player's work ethic is terrible, and I think by the time the draft comes up on May 8 we'll hear that Teddy Bridgewater clubs seals when he's away from football. Hopefully this guy "Anonymous Source" has a good phone charger because he's been talking non-stop trash on draft prospects.
Now we might get another day of the draft in the future, and it might remain in May. And expanded playoffs might be coming this season, which dilute the product. How much is too much, Roger?
Goodell told NFL Media's Jeff Darlington that the league is considering extending the draft to four days, although it would remain at seven rounds. What's the point of that? Three days is too much for the draft. The two-day setup was better. Even if you like it over three days, why would anyone want to have a seven-round draft over four days? Overkill. But, it's another day for networks to pay the league for.
And Goodell has obviously been happy the NFL is getting extra attention by moving the draft from late April to early May, as he told the Boston Globe's Ben Volin:
Goodell yesterday on the May draft date: "From our standpoint, it’s another two weeks that people are talking about the Draft."— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) April 25, 2014
So while the league said that it hasn't set a date or location for next year's draft, it doesn't seem like they are upset at stretching out the publicity, even though most of the extra time hasn't been spent on anything particularly productive. But it's quantity, not quality.
The NFL has the same attitude toward the playoffs. Goodell said owners will discuss expanding the playoffs for the 2014 season at a May 20 meeting. I'm not sure why so many NFL fans are behind this idea. It's an incredibly transparent cash grab for the owners. More games equals more TV money, no matter that you're watering the product down. And it will be watered down. Adding a playoff team in each conference is almost always going to mean an average or barely above average team gets into the postseason. That does not make the game better. It makes the regular season less important. It makes the playoffs more of a crapshoot. But it does make billionaires some more money.
But it's clear that playoff expansion is happening, whether it's in 2014 or in another year or two. Notice Goodell's comment to ESPN that talks about not if, but when:
"What we're doing now is talking to partners, our networks and our players, and making sure that, whenwe do it, we do it right," Goodell told ESPN.
What's never brought up in all these ideas is that smaller supply increases demand. Watering down a strong product isn't always the best thing. The NFL has become the greatest and most popular sport in the United States. Trying to monetize every portion of the calendar isn't good in the long term. Less can be more. Just stick with what made you so popular in the first place.
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