Good News Packers, Bears & Vikings Fans: Next Season Will Be Longer
It's official: NFL owners voted to increase the regular season. 16 games has been par for the course for years. Now, there will be 17 games. This is effective immediately, so beginning with the 2021 season according to ESPN. If you're an NFL fan, you're aware that the owners have wanted to do this for a long time, but the players were hesitant to add a game to the season. By the way, check the bottom of this article to see the most famous sports stars to come out of the state of Iowa - there's a couple football stars on the list.
It really did seem inevitable last year when the payers agreed to a new collective bargaining that included an option for NFL owners to add a game 17. A handful of players have already expressed frustration on social media, but a game 17 is confirmed and official and will for sure be implemented, at least until the current agreement expires after the 2030 season.
Here's some things to know about what the season will be like for your favorite team going forward:
- The season will NOT start earlier. It will actually be extended. Each team still only gets one Bye Week.
Technically, all teams are playing the same number of games as the new 17th game will replace a preseason game. That means three preseason games and not four. The regular season will still start at the same time just after Labor Day, and the season will go long, with the Super Bowl now scheduled for the middle of February and not the first weekend. In fact, the upcoming Super Bowl 56 game will be on Sunday, February 13th.
- The players won't get paid more.
This is likely why there's some grumbling from NFL stars. Technically, their paychecks will be lower since their salaries are being spread out over more weeks. A few players will be eligible to get paid for an additional game, depending on their contracts.
Buuuut, the players are also entitled to a 48% share of the revenue as per the ESPN report. So this actually creates an additional boost, which will likely push it to around 49%. This means the players will see their future contracts get a bit fatter in the coming years since the NFL will rake in more cash. In other words, there will be a trickle-down effect over time.
- Not every team will have the same number of home games.
With 17 games there's now obviously an odd number to be played. That means only half the teams will have an extra home game. How will it work? In 2021, the AFC will have nine home games and eight away games. Then in 2022, it will flip and the NFC will get the extra home game. In other words, more road games for the Packers, Vikings and Bears in 2021. But the Chiefs will have an extra home game.
- There probably won't be any asterisks in the record books. This has happened before.
Some season-long records may be in jeopardy with a game 17. It shouldn't be a major issue however. Prior to the 1978 season, teams only played 14 games. Even though it's been the same for 43 years, it hasn't always actually been 16 games. Yes, some records will fall. Yes, many fans will bicker about the legitimacy of these new records. But, in the end, we'll all get use to it.
Are you excited for another game in 2021 and going forward? It's hard to argue the popularity of the NFL, so it's also hard to argue most fans will be very, very excited for more football (and less pre season).
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