Fuck the Preseason
The preseason is just stupid. Every single year, at least one good player that is expected to have a large impact on his team’s season gets injured. Through two weeks of the preseason, it seemed like we may actually be able to escape with the studs and stars all safe. Preseason Week 3, however, ruined everything.
The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots lost perhaps their best weapon behind Rob Gronkowski — Julian Edelman — to a torn ACL. Season over. Then, it was Kansas City Chiefs starting running back Spencer Ware and his torn PCL. His season’s over. And if that wasn’t enough, Chicago Bears no. 1 receiver Cameron Meredith tore his ACL, too. He’ll be laid up for the year.
It’s a conversation every year and it shouldn’t end until a change is made: get rid of the preseason. Or at least shorten it. I get the point of the preseason. It allows teams to build some chemistry and shake off the offseason rust before the games actually count. And, most importantly, it gives a ton of players around the league a chance to make an NFL roster.
So why not just get rid of two preseason games, let the fringe players fight for a roster spot, and add two regular season games? Sure, those first two regular season games may be a little sloppy across the board, but it’s better for the players and fans overall. The fans don’t like the preseason. It takes until Week 3 to see the starters even play legitimate time, and the last game is just a bore. The NFL needs to punt on preseason and invest more in actual games. Players getting hurt sucks, and it is inevitable in the violent sport of football. But for the players, it has to feel a lot better losing games or even their entire season when the games actually count and aren’t just worthless exhibitions.
This should not be an unrealistic request, either. The NBA — a league that is constantly adjusting rules and making changes to better the player and fan experience — recently announced that it would be cutting out about one-third of each team’s preseason schedule. Teams are going from six or seven games to now just four or five. The NBA regular season will also be starting about a week earlier.
The NFL makes annual changes as well, but it’s time to step up and reduce the preseason. For the fan and player, turning the preseason into a two-game audition period for fringe players and extending the regular season is a change that needs to be made.