Currently the National Football League has four preseason games but with big players getting hurt, is it time to cut at least two preseason games? Especially with fans playing top dollar for these games and teams are sitting their stars to preserve their health the league needs to take a step back and really think about only having two preseason games.
If you think about it, how many times have you tuned into a preseason game just to see that the team’s stars and veterans aren’t playing because of the fear that they could get hurt and be done for the season? Now imagine if you’ve paid anywhere from $100-300 a ticket to attend this game and have to watch guys 35-90 on the roster with the likelihood that most of these guys playing their hearts out won’t make the roster. Hardly seems fair to the fans, but the league loves it because they’re making money.
With the league cutting preseason down to two games each team would get one home preseason game thus giving fans a chance to see their team in preseason action. Sure the league would lose some money because they’d be losing two games worth of ticket prices, but it would help keep players from unnecessary injuries and limit wear and tear on players to make the regular season a little easier for them.
To address the issue of coaches using the preseason games to elevate talent, coaches have changed their thought process on this a lot in recent years. Remember when preseason was six games long? Most coaches will tell you that they can evaluate talent in three games so why not cut the third game and have two teams do a scrimmage? The only guys who would have to participate for the guys fighting for roster spots and it would limit the injuries that could happen while also seeing how the players react in simulated game play. The league could even sell tickets (at a discounted price) for fans who want to watch the action and see who could potentially be making their team’s final roster.
This move would certainly address the issues of the preseason product on the field not living up to the league’s standards. Look at the final score of the Browns v. Eagles’ preseason game that was 5-0, which sounds like a hockey or baseball final score, not football. It was a sad excuse of a game, which hey it’s preseason that fine, but those fans who paid big money to attend that game deserve better.
While I don’t think that the NFL will ever go down to two games, I wouldn’t be surprised if come next season fans see the four preseason games shrink down to three because really that’s all coaches need to evaluate their talent prior to the regular season and a lot of teams won’t start their starters during those games because of the possibility to losing them for any length of time isn’t worth it when the Lombardi Trophy is on the line.