Since its inception the NFL has undergone many different changes to the length of the regular season.
When the league began in 1935 the schedule consisted of 12 games. That number dropped to ten games in the early 1940s, but returned to 12 games per season shortly after World War II. Then, in the 1960s (thanks to competition with the AFL) the schedule was bumped to 14 games. And finally in 1978 the NFL made the decision to extend by two more games, taking it from 14 to the 16 game schedule we all know today.
After 32 years of maintaining that same scheduling system the topic has been raised once again. With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement looming on the horizon, NFL owners are considering another scheduling change that would extend the regular season by two more weeks, taking the total number of games each NFL team would play from 16 to 18.
It is a complex situation that begs a simple question: Should the NFL expand its regular season from 16 to 18 games?
There is much more at stake than simply adding games to the schedule. Between player salaries, season ticket-holder rights and expectations, television scheduling, and playoff implications, a decision cannot – and SHOULD not – be taken lightly.