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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

17 Game Season - World League 
Changing the NFL schedule to 17 games would mean changing this modern day gladiator sport from national to an international icon by playing all 32 teams in an international venue.  As the worlds greatest venue for entertainment, this change alone would change the entertainment-field for all time.  It would impart a level playing field for all 32 teams, thereby reducing the present system from offering easy scheduling.  It would also guarantee that every franchise would play every other franchise at least once every other year so that your team would see, and then play against the leagues super stars.  For the international market, to generate the greatest interest, the NFL would offer this leagues most coveted divisional games in an international setting on a neutral field.      

Imagine the Cowboys playing the Redskins in Wembley Stadium, or the Chiefs playing the Bronco's in Berlin, or the Vikings & Packers playing in Mexico City where neither team would have home field advantage.  What message would that impart to the world of sports?  Is it traveling to some sort of iconic venue in September that's important or is it the intricate nature exposed by those gladiators on that day that becomes iconic in time?  Does the statement, "I knew we could beat those guy on a neutral field", say anything to you & might that involve another level of interest to the common bloke?     

As for the preseason, the league could keep its scab bowl where players get their last chance to vie for that coveted 53 man roster in the final preseason tilt, allowing a home & away for preseason games 1 & 2 to tune up the starters.  It would also eliminate players fears versus owners need to eliminate useless games in favor of increased revenue by just adding one more game to the regular season schedule rather than two.  
All 32 franchises would still have 8 home & away games to schedule with one divisional game to be played at a neutral international sight like London, Mexico City, Tokyo, Toronto or Berlin for example.  As the NFL's most coveted games this would introduce the greatest interest to not only the existing fan base but throughout the world.  This can be done by walking away from the present home & away yearly divisional contests in favor a superior product, similar to how it is done in college football.  For the Vikings Franchise, the divisional contests would rotate on a 3 year cycle, except one divisional opponent each year would be played on a neutral field in an international environment

Green Bay Detroit Chicago
Home Away International
International Home Away
Away International Home

The benefit from moving away from the present inbreeding of the divisional format would be to introduce 4 additional conference contests ensuring that the studs of each conference would get to clash at least every other year.  For an NFC franchise, each year they would play eight (8 - 47.1%) AFC teams (4 home & 4 away), and nine (9-52.9%) NFC games (4 home, 4 away, with 1 international divisional tilt at an international neutral sight).  As an additional benefit in regard to conference play, we'd get to keep the first, second, third & fourth place finishers (three games per conference) to ensure that the best of each conference would get to clash each year based upon the previous years results.   

For example, for an NFC franchise inter-conference games would rotate every other year.  The NFC north would play the AFC South & AFC East divisions (4 home & 4 away games)
in the first year followed by playing the AFC North, & AFC West the following year.  If this form of scheduling appears to have inappropriate advantages inherent in it, then you can change the format to the following:

  Home - Divisional Away - Divisional International NFC Home & Away  AFC Home AFC Away AFC Home AFC Away
Year 1 Green Bay Detroit Chicago 3rd Place Teams  East 1st & 4th  East 2nd & 3rd West 2nd & 3rd West 1st & 4th
Year 2 Detroit Chicago Green Bay 4th Place Teams West 2nd & 3rd West 1st & 4th North 1st & 4th North 2nd & 3rd
Year 3 Chicago Green Bay Detroit 1st Place Teams North 1st & 3rd North 2nd & 4th South 2nd & 4th South 1st & 3rd
Year 4 Green Bay Detroit Chicago 2nd Place Teams South 2nd & 4th South 1st & 3rd East 1st & 3rd East 2nd & 4th

The non-divisional NFC home & away scheduling can be rotated to first & 4th place finishers on a 4 year basis, or to keep the integrity of the best teams playing the best competition in the conference, 1st place teams, based upon the prior years division standings would face off against other 1st place finishers, and so on, as it is now.     

It is also quite clear that scheduling Thursday night games appears to be not as competitive for traveling teams.  There is also an issue of safety with the players as the recuperative time is at issue, so as leverage for adding 1 game to the regular season schedule, the Thursday format would need to be dropped except for Thanksgiving however the home games for those contest will rotate equally for all 32 franchises.  The competitive advantage extended to both Detroit & Dallas will be no more. 

Maybe the most important aspect of this new scheduling concept would be in the inherent variance which would ensure that no teams regular season schedule would end up being a soft schedule, which has happened numerous times in the past.  Division dominance would be a thing of the past in favor of league-wide match-ups. 

To be direct, proposing an 18 game regular season format will not sit well with the players as it will not be seen as a step-wise change to the resource expenditure of the existing regular season schedule.  By the players it will be seen in a similar light to the hated Thursday night format.  The idea here is to make sweeping changes that change the entertainment to an international format, rather than to try to expand, and force feed the world, the needs of just one franchise.

Maybe the most important aspect of this new format will be that both conferences will be better prepared to clash in the NFL's greatest yearly contest ... THE SUPER BOWL! 

 17 Game Season - Additional Content  


The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: June 6, 2019