One of the key issues facing the NFL and its players in the collective bargaining process is the idea of an 18-game season. My thinking is that many fans don’t want it, especially Bengals fans. (Do we really need to subject ourselves to more punishment?). Plus, considering the apparent increase in concussions, 18 games is overkill.
Instead, I support an idea pushed by ProFootballTalk, that argues for a 17-game season that would require each team to play a neutral site game every year. The neutral site game could help the league to expand its efforts abroad and could also create greater revenues.
Imagine if the Bengals played the Browns at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. There’s a good chance the teams could sell out all 100,000 plus seats, giving both teams revenue somewhat similar to a home game. The same could happen if the Pittsburgh Steelers played the Philadelphia Eagles at Penn State.
Not only would the neutral site game, give each team extra revenue (you hear that Mike Brown?), but it would also create a new wave of excitement and give some fans in non-NFL cities a chance to see pro football in their own backyard. It all makes sense to me. Forget 18 games.
Seventeen is the magic number.