Is It Time to Dump Preseason Games?

Do they really help teams get ready for the season?

In the early 1920’s there wasn’t much buzz about pro football.  Baseball was king.  Those who were interested in football followed the college game.  The pro teams in the fledgling National Football League were mostly struggling financially.  They would play their regular season games, but then to make extra money, they would barnstorm the region taking on college teams, or any group of amateurs that was willing to put eleven guys on the field. 

They scheduled these games before, during, and after their NFL seasons.  They were kind of like a traveling road show, like a circus.  The contests were called exhibition games, because their purpose, ostensibly, was to exhibit what pro football is all about.  In truth, they only existed because the pro teams wanted the extra money. 

One hundred years later, nothing has really changed except the name.  The NFL doesn’t like the term “exhibition games” because it implies a lack of meaningfulness and relevance.  So they now call them “preseason games”.  But they still exist for one major reason, money. 

There was a time when professional players weren’t paid very much.  When the season ended, they would go back to their other jobs, knock down beers and party hard, not concerned about their conditioning.  The following summer they would use training camp to get back into shape, and the preseason games to resharpen their skills.  Today, the competitive nature of the sport demands players work on their physical conditioning year round.  To keep their football skills sharp, most feel it necessary to attend offseason training activities, even if all of them are not “mandatory”. 

In terms of getting ready for a season, there is a growing sentiment that preseason games have outlived their usefulness.  Publicly, coaches will profess excitement and anticipation over getting a chance to see their young players in game action.  Privately, preseason games are their worst nightmare.  They live in fear of some yahoo from the other team trying to make a name for himself by lowering the boom on one of their players and ending his season.  Their concern has become so acute, many coaches, including Matt LaFleur, won’t even play their starters in the preseason anymore.  There is just too much money and strategic value invested in starting players to risk injury in a game that doesn’t count in the standings. Preseason games have become something they just try to survive. 

As for game action experience for the young players, ask yourself, is it really doing Jordan Love any good to line up against a rag tag bunch of second and third string defensive players, many of whom won't even make their team's final roster?  Does that really help him to be able to step into a regular season game and lead the team against NFL starters?  Didn't seem to get him ready to play against the Chiefs last fall.  

The trend is to try to accomplish the same thing by gathering together with other teams for live action joint practices.  The Packers did that with the New York Jets last summer, and will do so with the New Orleans Saints this year.  These scrimmages give the coaches a good look at their starters and prospects under a highly controlled environment.  Of course, injuries can still happen, but they are less likely. 

Then there are the new spring football leagues.  The second iteration of the USFL just completed its season in June and has committed to returning next April.  The XFL is set to try again in February.  Both leagues would swoon at the possibility of the NFL loaning some of its young players to them for purposes of gaining experience in game action.  They would love to become the equivalent of minor league affiliates for the big league. 

But NFL owners will be hard pressed to give up their August games.  Actual games require fans to buy tickets and concessions.  In other words, they bring in money.  Joint practices don’t.  Preseason games are televised, allowing the league to make money from local and regional networks.  NFL Network would be hurting for late summer programming if they didn’t have every preseason game to air.  Many teams, including the Packers, include the preseason home games in their season ticket packages, allowing them to charge more. 

It's a short-sighted approach.  Whatever funds the league might lose by dropping the preseason, they could easily make up by expanding the regular season to eighteen games, or more.  The owners know this, but there are two impediments.  First, the players union would strongly object, just as they did two years ago when the league went to seventeen.  They expressed great concern over wear and tear on the bodies of the players.  Funny thing though, their concerns always seem to abate when they are offered more money.  They have managed to cope with the expansion from twelve games to fourteen in 1961, to sixteen in 1978, and to seventeen last year.  Rosters can be expanded and bye weeks increased to help teams keep players fresh and healthy. 

The other problem with expansion to eighteen is the fact the league just signed new long term contracts with all of its broadcast partners in March of 2021, deals collectively worth around $110 billion.  It’s not clear if the networks would be willing to tear those agreements up and fork over even more for an eighteenth game.  Expanded playoffs are also an option.  

Would dropping preseason games hurt the quality of play once the real thing begins?  An indication arrived in 2020 when Covid-19 forced the cancellation of all preseason games.  The league opened the regular season on schedule.  The Packers and Vikings came out of the box with a crisp, highly entertaining contest, won by Green Bay 43-34.  Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns.  The general opinion around the league was that the quality of play was quite high.  No preseason needed. 

By contrast, the Packers played all three scheduled preseason games in 2021, yet looked totally unprepared to open the season in a 38-3 beat down at the hands of the Saints. This would seem to indicate that playing preseason games has little or no bearing on getting a team ready for the regular season. 

So, will there come a day when preseason games go away?  It seems inevitable but, as always, it will come down to money.  When the league and its partners figure out how to bring in more revenue by not playing them, rather than playing them, it will happen quickly. 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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Comments (53)

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 18, 2022 at 07:00 am

Pre-season games are here to stay!

I personally like them from the standpoint the Packers draft a bunch of young rookies and it is a fans only chance to watch many of them play.

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murf7777's picture

July 18, 2022 at 09:34 am

Knock….I’d would agree with you 10 years ago, but the pre-season games have become so watered down that it’s not really entertaining. I do agree thou that it’s important for the younger players to get the playing time. That is something you cannot duplicate during practices.

I think Ken is correct regarding the XFL and others will become the minor leagues of the NFL to showcase the young talent. IMO, over time and that might take 5-15 years, pre-season games will become regular season games similar to how the 17th game replaced the 4th pre-season games last year.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 18, 2022 at 04:04 pm

I think they should just make it official with the NFL supporting a 16 team minor league. Each team would have a set number of players designated from one AFC and 1 NFC team and then fill out the roster with the leftovers. I think it would probably just mainly help the OL and QB players but would eventually lead to a better quality NFL. But why share the money when you don't have to I guess.

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Spock's picture

July 19, 2022 at 04:14 am

I'm in the minority here, but I like the preseason game. Some players are just "gamers" and I enjoy watching the young talent which gives me a reason to pull for some "marginal" players.

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Since'61's picture

July 18, 2022 at 07:09 am

I have been an advocate for years for reducing the preseason to two games and adding more practices prior to the season.

Preseason games have been an injury factory which is why veteran players and their coaches have moved to not playing their starters during the preseason.

MLF has it correct. Protect the starting players for the games that count especially now with another game added to the schedule. He has held his starters out of the preseason since he arrived in Green Bay and the Packers are 39-10. How would preseason games improve on that record? It wouldn’t.

Plus the coaches know before any preseason game about 40-45 players who will make the final 53. They don’t need 3 preseason games to figure it out especially against 2nd and 3rd stringers, many of whom won’t be in the league in a few weeks.

I’d be fine if the league did away with preseason games entirely and added more practice time. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t participated in a preseason game in the last 2 years and he has won the league MVP in both seasons. So what’s the point? Prevent injuries, save the players, practice for the season, get to the season with a healthy team rather than trying to make up for players lost in meaningless games.

Chuck the preseason, preserve the quality of play.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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Johnblood27's picture

July 18, 2022 at 07:07 am

"As for game action experience for the young players, ask yourself, is it really doing Jordan Love any good to line up against a rag tag bunch of second and third string defensive players, many of whom won't even make their team's final roster? Does that really help him to be able to step into a regular season game and lead the team against NFL starters? Didn't seem to get him ready to play against the Chiefs last fall. "

YES - It would greatly benefit Jordan Love to get preseason snaps.

Coaches always say - There is no substitute for live game reps. Are they lying? NO.

I get that veterans do not need those reps, they are ready to compete at a high level with just practice reps. Young guys need the reps to improve, young guys need the reps to have a chance to impress the coaches with their talents at playing the game, not just doing drills. The difference between the Combine and Games comes to mind, just in case you have forgotten the number of busts in the NFL draft even after 4 years at the NCAA level and the underwear Olympics.

Preseason games do provide value to the talent evaluators as well as the coaches and also the players. the financial side is whacked out since the value to the fans is actually minimal while the outlay is the same as a regular season game and also foisted upon them by the myopic greedy owners.

fix the financial aspect, keep the games and reduce to 2, make the 18 game schedule with neutral site engagements, raise the salary cap, expand the active game day rosters and protect the practice squad members and lets just get on with it.

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murf7777's picture

July 18, 2022 at 09:37 am

Since 61’. Your logic is right on, but you forget the most important component. Lost $$’s.

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 18, 2022 at 04:07 pm

Well some preseason time might have helped against the Saints last year but I can't fault you if you totally blocked that debacle from your memory!

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Guam's picture

July 18, 2022 at 07:22 am

As a fan, do I like watching preseason games? Yes I do, but I suspect that has more to do with simply missing football by August than any real interest in preseason games. Do veteran players need the preseason, probably not. Do young players find the preseason useful, probably. Do owners like the income from preseason games, yes. And that last sentence is the deciding factor.

I would prefer to see the XFL adopted as a minor league for the NFL and let younger players get their reps there, promote the hell out of the XFL so the owners can tap that as a revenue source and drop preseason games and add more practices.

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Since'61's picture

July 18, 2022 at 08:12 am

Guam - agree with you 100%!!! Utilizing the XFL for young player development and evaluation is a perfect solution.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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mnbadger's picture

July 18, 2022 at 12:53 pm

This will only happen if the teams gain oversight and control over the use of their players. They don't want some knucklehead Bill Belicheck wannabe risk the long term health of an injured player to pad his won/loss record.
GPG!

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Johnblood27's picture

July 18, 2022 at 02:36 pm

yeah, that's never been tried before...

alternate leagues come into being, set up to make a profit like the NFL, do not do well financially and then leave like the dinosaurs.

that strategy will never work, especially operating as a feeder league for the NFL, until the NFL values it enough to subsidize it. The owners of the alternate league aren't operating their league for the benefit of the NFL, they are doing it to try to cash in on the popularity of football and to make a PROFIT.

when the cash doesn't come pouring in, owner interest wanes, no matter how beneficial the league may be to the NFL as a feeder, unless the NFL helps the "feeder" league makes money.

So long as college football has popularity (it has had great popularity for much longer than the NFL has) the best up and coming young players will choose to take the college education, free ride and now the NIL monies instead of playing in a watered down NFL wannabe league. the wannabe leagues will be for marginal players who have washed out of the usual path to the NFL in hopes of getting a 2nd, 3rd or 4th chance to grab the brass ring of an NFL payday. - boring!!! fans won't buy this crap for long and the owners will end up shutting it down.

So long as college football exists (it aint going anywhere) the NFL will not financially support a feeder league.

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wildbill's picture

July 19, 2022 at 08:41 am

Totally agree. NFL owners won’t spend one dollar if they didn’t have to. College football has been a good, free, feeder league. The draft a crapshoot you say? How many people at your work looked like a good hire and didn’t prove to be one? Anytime the human element is involved there will be no absolutes.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 18, 2022 at 10:47 am

Yeah, I just miss football by August. I mean, you could put a bunch of fat women out there in helmets and pads and I'd probably watch it if they were wearing Green Bay uniforms.

As a coach, you'd want a tuneup. College coaches schedule an out of division weakling so they can play poorly and still win. I'd kind of like it if the first two weeks of the schedule were against non-conference opponents....AFC v NFC. That way, whether you're 0-2 or 2-0, you're still 0-0 in the conference, and the race to the Super Bowl hasn't even really begun.

As a player trying to make the team, you'd want as many opportunities to make the team as you could get. As a star/starter, it's kind of pointless to risk the injury in a meaningless game, so at least my way, the game does count as a regular season W or L.

So yeah, I'd use the first two games as tuneups, and then get ready to take care of business.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Tangentially related. Last year, we started with a thud in the opener and never really showed up. This year, I don't think we have that option. We start with the Purple, in that cursed dome they call home. A win for them is everything, it's their Super Bowl. They'd be 1-0 and we'd be 0-1. In reality, all they did was hold serve.

BUT....if we can beat them in their own place, that lets them know, right out of the box, that this isn't going to be their year. It's a hard shot to the nuts of the entire organization.

You don't get golden opportunities to crush the soul of an opponent very often, and it's being served up to us on a platter, and best of all, it's the Purple.

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Johnblood27's picture

July 18, 2022 at 02:55 pm

LH -
I am all for a good Lingerie League!!!

You captured my feelings concerning losing preseason games, expanding the regular season schedule and how to begin the season. Make the first 2 weeks NFC vs AFC and use those games to tune things up. Add this - expand the rosters for the first two weeks allowing teams to use the games to assess more players before final cut downs.

Now we're getting somewhere!

i also agree with you on crushing the queenies early. I sure hope that MLF and AR feel this way as well, or the team will just sleepwalk through another season opener like last year. LEADERSHIP MATTERS!

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 18, 2022 at 04:26 pm

I'm not sure a chubby chasers lingerie league would sell a lot of tickets. That's a pretty niche market.

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LeotisHarris's picture

July 18, 2022 at 07:49 pm

Ticket sales be damned. Have you considered the revenue generated by sales of game-worn uniforms? Sponsorships from Gold Bond *and* Viagra?

LH got this ball rolling. He deserves to be Interim Commissioner of the CCLL with teams in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Galveston. Three week season in August; take advantage of that Texas summer heat!

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 18, 2022 at 11:23 pm

Oh man, nobody needs to see that! At first I thought you were going to recommend selling certain items of clothing like they did on Orange is the New Black. 😜

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 18, 2022 at 05:06 pm

I heard a retired NFL player who was involved in the NFLPA when he was playing talking about this on the radio and he said it would never happen because of the cost. That basically the owners have no incentive to improve the product with a minor league when they're making so much money. It was an interesting discussion though and he did say there were GMs and coaches that were interested. He said that the players would want some say in it if the NFL wanted to expand the draft to feed a minor league team and they would want to give the minor leaguers a partial access to a pension, like 3 years would equal one year in the NFL. Then he talked about the pension being a joke compared to baseball players and how it was just as much fault of the players as the owners and it's was the main reason he stopped being involved in the NFLPA after a couple years.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 18, 2022 at 07:24 am

I'd miss preseason games, but then again, I don't have tickets.

I think the players want the money just as much as the owners.

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Since'61's picture

July 18, 2022 at 08:13 am

TGR the players are not paid for preseason games.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 19, 2022 at 03:19 am

Very true. But Preseason games still add revenue to the All Revenue number, which gets translated into a higher salary cap. In that sense, players (at least those who make the 53 man roster) still benefit fairly directly. The games are still televised, ads get sold, beer, food, and souvenirs get purchased, even if the ratings are lower and the stadium isn't overflowing with fans.

As a note, Lambeau Field will see an exhibition soccer game this Saturday between FC Bayern Munich and Manchester. If I read the CBA correctly, revenue from that match (if the Packers get any) does not count in the All Revenue and is not shared with the NFL or other teams. It is televised locally by Channel 58 (CBS).

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 18, 2022 at 06:16 pm

For whatever reason I was a lot more interested in them when I was younger. Maybe because the Packers were crappy then and I was looking/hoping for a rookie that would make a difference. Nowadays I watch the 1st one and then get antsy for the season to start.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 19, 2022 at 03:51 am

Same here, though I still like them. There may be a number of reasons for that change.

GB may have been so bad back then that more back-of-the-roster guys ended up contributing. Or not.

And, as you alluded, GB needed more of those unknowns to come through. For the last decade or two, it is pretty easy to predict the top 40 to 48 guys who will make the team.

Better reporting on these back benchers. IDK - that seems like it might work both way. So much info is available, including lots of numbers from Combines and Pro Days. It is nice to see if a guy is as quick or fast in pads as he is in shorts.

Better coverage in general. This isn't specific to preseason games, but better TV coverage, and things like All-22, sites like this one, and following guys like Ben Fennell opened my eyes so I have a glimmer about schemes, spacing, noticing defensive schemes so that one can actually get an idea if a player recognizes things quickly and/or has instincts.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

July 18, 2022 at 08:15 am

Which player was injured 3-5 years ago in a scrimmage against another team (Raiders or Houston). Where one player on the opposing team defied established scrimmage & safety rules and blasted a Packer player injuring him in a meaningless scrimmage? Was the injury to Jace Sternberger, or maybe Josh Jones? Injuries are part of the game and whether you call it a pre-season game, or a scrimmage someone is always going to light someone up with potential for injury. It is called competition and there just is too much money involved for a player (particularly a young player trying to make a roster) not to do everything within their control/power to make a team.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

July 18, 2022 at 09:23 am

I also remember the hit on Sternberger and a lot of Packer players were torked over it. I recall the practice was against Houston. Good point.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

July 18, 2022 at 09:24 am

deleted. The post got printed twice.

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Johnblood27's picture

July 18, 2022 at 02:44 pm

so does that mean that you double parked?

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

July 20, 2022 at 08:45 pm

Almost like getting two speeding tickets during one stop.

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Johnblood27's picture

July 21, 2022 at 06:20 am

I once got pulled over 2 times within a quarter mile and received a total of 6 tickets.

True story.

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Swisch's picture

July 18, 2022 at 08:16 am

The debacle by the Packers in the season opener of 2021 -- getting crushed by the Saints -- may be evidence in favor of preseason games. I don't know if the Saints had played their starters in the preseason.
***
Two or three preseason games with realistic game conditions and outside referees would seem to be just about right for preparing the starters and taking a look at the new guys -- reasonable risks as far as injury that seem safer joint practices.
For player safety, end Thursday games, and return to 16 regular season games.
***
I'm still wondering: Why did Aaron Rodgers seem so opposed to preseason games, but so eager to play in a meaningless game against the Lions at the end of the regular season?
Does our superstar QB ever get asked the obvious difficult questions, or is he free to just ramble about whatever he desires to impart in all of his supposed wisdom?

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LLCHESTY's picture

July 18, 2022 at 04:30 pm

His point was valid. He said he thought they got more work done scrimmaging where they could run set plays over a few times and correct mistakes on the spot. But he was talking about the starters not backups or guys vying for starting spots.

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mrtundra's picture

July 18, 2022 at 08:20 am

I'd be fine with cutting preseason down to two games and adding two more weeks of practice. Then, at some point, getting rid of preseason altogether. Position Coaches know who they have, in their groups, that can play during training camp.

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T7Steve's picture

July 18, 2022 at 08:27 am

Preseason this year might help decide and teach the young players on the new special teams. Only benefit I see for players trying to make the team. Getting Jordan Love some snaps can't hurt but, he did get injured last year to set him back again.

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HarryHodag's picture

July 18, 2022 at 08:30 am

Nice clickbait during summer, Ken, but the reality is the games are pure gravy for the owners so not much is going to change.

The coaches also want to see the second and third line players in actual game conditions, albeit against weaker talent. In positions where there is tight competition for a job, game performance is the difference between winning a job and being on the street.

So is it better for Jordan Love to coast the sidelines or to get game experience with live tackling? Preseason is the best time to grow a player.

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Coldworld's picture

July 18, 2022 at 09:07 am

The idea that players can just rock up and play with no practice games is really more fantasy than fiction. Games provide an opportunity to face opposition that does not do as expected. That’s true to some extent for coaches too, even in vanilla pre season. It also provides opportunities for whole groups to work together, both veterans and rookies.

In reality true veterans usually don’t play that much these days, just enough to get some rhythm hopefully. We saw what not playing with Rodgers or, for a number, at all looked like in week one last year. The additional games are all about rookies and testing them. That’s a big part of winnowing out the roster depth. For myself, I enjoy watching it for that. 3 games is enough though. Interestingly, most teams now don’t play the starters in the last one much or at all.

I’ve been a proponent of a summer league for a while, but that’s more for development for next year. Playing college then even a short USFL season then actually contributing through an NFL one is probably physically too much to be a planned substitute for preseason. It also would mean time spent learning different systems and schemes, not the ones they need to contribute with the NFL team.

Keep the pre season. It’s up to head coaches to use it wisely. Players need to play together as a group, veteran and non veteran. Coaches bear responsibility for getting the right balance. Injuries happen in life, practice etc. At some point it’s all part of playing a sport and an inevitable one.

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dobber's picture

July 18, 2022 at 09:48 am

Your last paragraph pretty much echoes my thoughts.

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murf7777's picture

July 18, 2022 at 09:55 am

Good points about different schemes by using the USFL and/or XFL for evaluating young players and more importantly getting them ready to be on your team for the regular season. Being I’ve never talked to players or coaches how important they are compared to practices I don’t have an educated opinion. I’m sure Pre-season games do have value, but they have become hard to watch any longer for me.

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Coldworld's picture

July 18, 2022 at 03:24 pm

Were they ever really good to watch? To me they always were fun only from the perspective of amateur scouting.

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13TimeChamps's picture

July 18, 2022 at 10:01 am

As long as fans are willing to pay full price for preseason games, there is no way owners are going to willingly give up that revenue. They only dropped the 4th preseason game after adding the ridiculous 17th regular season game. Once they go to 18 regular season games, another preseason game will be dropped.

Money trumps player safety. Always has. Always will.

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Leatherhead's picture

July 18, 2022 at 11:18 am

We used to have six preseason games. Then a season of 14 games. That's 20.
We used to have 4 preseason games, and a season of 16 games.....That's 20.
Now, we have 3 preseason games, and a season of 17. Yeah, 20.

So from a player safety stand point, I don't really see a big difference between 20 and 20. Nobody wants to see a guy get hurt in a meaningless game, even if it's a scrub trying like hell to make the team and especially not if he's a guy you figured for a key piece (Jordy Nelson).

I would propose two scrimmage/exhibitions, one at home, one on the road.
Then open the season with two non-conference opponents. That way, even a bad 0-2 start leaves you in a decent position to start the 15 game run for the playoffs.

Again, I'll use this opportunity to put in my pitch for a split season. 8 games, then a bye, then another 8. If you win the division, you're in. If you win the division both times, you're in with a bye week before the playoffs. That way, even if you get off to slow start, you have a chance to make the playoffs in the second half.

I'm also wondering why we have roster limits if everybody has the same amount of money to spend?

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Rarescope's picture

July 18, 2022 at 03:15 pm

I'm with you on a lot of this Leatherhead. The current bye system has got to be about the worst possible option out of infinite options. I guess it's better than no bye but that's about it. I'm sure it's all because of TV revenue. There are plenty of teams and games to have a fair and equitable +/- 1 week for byes being at the same time for everyone but the networks can't bear to find something else to play on tv for a couple hours on a Sunday because they know they'll completely lose out to whichever other network is still airing a game.

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Coldworld's picture

July 18, 2022 at 03:22 pm

I agree with most of the things that you wrote except the split season. I’d like to see two byes, in the 1/3 and 2/3 weeks of the season (+/- 1) and all overseas games pre or post a bye. Better for the players and better for us as a result. I don’t want a team good 3 months ago keeping out one peaking late or just better over the whole slate. The test of a roster is a full season not a good half of one.

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splitpea1's picture

July 18, 2022 at 11:28 am

Maybe the preseason games aren't as important for perennial contenders like the Packers, but for teams that are rebuilding and going through major coaching changes, they're essential.

No matter the team, coaches always want the chance to evaluate the rookies and bubble players, and preseason gives them a great opportunity to do so in all three phases of the game. It's also helpful for player conditioning.

Maybe two games are enough--I don't know. But that should be the minimum.

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porupack's picture

July 18, 2022 at 11:28 am

As I view this from a consumer-vendor lense, the preseason makes sense to both sides as obviously there are ticket sales, viewers and chat sites etc proving the demand. As long as there is demand, why are some people suggesting private sector activity be eliminated? If consumers buy it, then let the league produce it. What we really should focus our attention on is to reduce the number of brands of soft drinks to 17.

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ricky's picture

July 18, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Rather than making exhibition games a part of the regular season ticket package, season ticket holders should have the option of not buying the exhibition package. Instead, it could be sold to the public, especially people like those Packers fans who are on the waiting list for tickets, but would likely still attend the games, just to be part of the "Lambeau experience".

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HarryHodag's picture

July 18, 2022 at 02:33 pm

I have long advocated giving the people on the waiting list for regular season tickets first dibs on the preseason games. The team lays it on the current ticket holders, I'm told, and most of the season ticket holders dump those preseason tickets to whoever wants them.
Much easier to give the preseason games to those in waiting. At least they get a sniff of the real deal. Surely some regular ticket holders also want to see the preseason games but I'm thinking it's a minority. With digital media today, the Packers could ask the regular ticket holders to respond by date 'x' whether they want the preseason. If not, off to the folks in order on the waiting list.

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jont's picture

July 18, 2022 at 12:22 pm

It seems to me there's a disconnect between what preseason games are and what the league (and many fans) want them to be. Coaches and players sensibly use these games as practices with game conditions which can't be duplicated nearly as well in OTAs and camp while the league promotes them as NFL games with, in most cases, NFL ticket prices. The reality doesn't match the advertising.

Cheeseheads and other serious fans understand the reality and often enjoy watching rookies and guys on the bubble show what they can do. We don't expect much of a scheme and we make allowances for disjointed play because we're more focused on one or two guys rather than the flow of the game and score. But you've got to really love the game or be made of money to pay full price to sit in the stands for this so we see a lot of empty seats.

The owners-- a group which cares less and less about football and the quality of the game every day in favor of maximizing quarterly profit with an "entertainment product"-- responds with another repackaging which achieves nothing, and here we remain stuck with the widely held perception of preseason games as garbage.

If I owned a team, I'd present the preseason games as family nights. Lower ticket prices for kids, cheap hot dogs and little else on the menu, and a good deal more collaboration between the coaches about what happens on the field to make it a useful practice.

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T7Steve's picture

July 18, 2022 at 01:11 pm

We as non-season ticket holders could almost always get tickets for pre-season, or at least tailgate. Back in the late 70s and 80s they seemed more like a real game (or so we told ourselves). Actually got to sneak into one in the early 80s when someone left one of the old wooden concession windows flapping in the wind. We thought it was on purpose

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TarynsEyes's picture

July 18, 2022 at 02:06 pm

Compliments of Pink Floyd

"Money, get away
Get a good job with more pay and you're O.K.
Money, it's a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I'll buy me a football team"

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Johnblood27's picture

July 18, 2022 at 02:52 pm

so - you took a trip in the way-back machine, eh?

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Rarescope's picture

July 18, 2022 at 03:19 pm

Was that a not-so-subtle Stuff You Should Know reference?

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Coldworld's picture

July 18, 2022 at 03:31 pm

“...nothing quite as wonderful as money!
There is nothing quite as beautiful as cash!
Some people say it's folly, but I'd rather have the lolly
With money you can make a splash.

You can keep your Marxist ways, for it's only just a phase...
Money, money, money makes the world go round.”

Eric Idle

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