Should the NFL preseason be shortened?
Football is back ladies and gentlemen!
Sunday evening was host to the NFL Hall of Fame Game that was played between the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers, but it was an absolute waste of time. It was just a bunch of third, fourth, and fifth string quarterbacks throwing to mediocre receivers squaring off against scrub defensive backs.
The NFL preseason is a time for coaches and general managers to study their roster, and decide who gets cut and who will have a job come week one. It is also a time that fans despise because they don’t get to see their favorite players play every snap.
It is just agonizing to watch a fourth string quarterback trying to make throws to inadequate receivers. The preseason in the NFL is basically a form of Chinese torture.
Another reason fans hate preseason games, they have to pay regular season prices. This is becoming a problem amongst season ticket holders because they have to pay a regular season fee to watch newly acquired draft picks and young players competing for a spot on the roster.
This was a huge topic that was discussed on Sports Night on 102.5 The Game in Nashville hosted by George Plaster, Willy Daunic, and Floyd Reese.
Floyd Reese is a former front office executive and general manager for the Tennessee Titans and Houston Oilers, and he said, “The value [of the preseason] for your starters is minimal.”
George Plaster proposed the idea about the possibility of the NFL reducing the preseason to only three games because no one really pays attention to the fourth game, as if anyone pays attention to the other three games, due to the beginning of college football.
Floyd responded, “When it comes down to determining your roster, that fourth game is a key game from just young players getting a chance to perform.”
From a coaching and front office perspective, that fourth game is a key game because it helps shape the team’s roster. Floyd even said, “Your team is developed after that last preseason game.”
Aside from how grueling it is to watch the games, Reese said, “To me, the biggest concern is how much they [fans] are paying for the tickets.” Season ticket holders of all 32 teams are forced to pay full price for two home preseason games if they want to retain their rights to the other eight home games.
It is absolutely ridiculous for fans to have to pay full price to see backups play against backups.
Willy proposed the idea of cutting prices in half for the games, so the guys did some math to get a ballpark number to see how much the teams would lose.
They used a sold out Nissan Stadium as an example. If all 70,000 seats were sold at $80 a piece, it would be $5.6 million that would be generated from ticket sales for that game. If prices were to be cut in half, the Titans would lose $2.8 million per game, and $5.6 million for both preseason games.
Those are some pretty humongous losses, but when is a preseason game ever sold out?
The money made from the preseason goes straight to the team, so it would take a miracle for the billionaire owners to be willing to reduce ticket prices for two games.
Floyd ended the segment with this, “Cutting down preseason, cutting down OTA’s, cutting down offseason practices, cutting down the number of practices you can wear pads, everything is cut down, cut down, cut down. And, yet, people want the product on the field to look good, and at some point in time it will effect the product on the field.”
He is exactly right because if we want to reduce the off the field activities because we are too impatient to wait for the first week of football, the level of play will be thoroughly disappointing.