Expanding the playoffs would be the latest example of the NFL not realizing you can have too much of a good thing.
Whoever said, "Always leave your audience wanting more" obviously never worked for the NFL.
The NFL's motto could be, "Never leave your audience a moment to think about anything but the NFL."
This is the league that had a televised news conference in April to unveil new uniforms that, well, don't look any different.
This is the league that had a three-hour spring TV special to unveil schedules when fans already knew the opponents and venues.
And now this is the league that's talking about expanding the playoff field two years after a 7-9 team won a division title.
"It's stupid," Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said.
Speaking Wednesday at a league meeting in Dallas, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell talked about the benefits of a larger playoff field and said, "We'll look at probably 14 or 16 teams."
Going to 16 teams -- half the league -- would add four teams. For perspective, if that format were in play this year, the Jets (6-7) currently would be the eighth seed in the AFC.
Yes, the Jets. With the Browns (5-8) wheezing down their neck.
Would this increase the perception of the seasons the Jets or Browns are having? No. Would it decrease the excitement for the regular season by further devaluing the post-season ticket? You bet.
Would coaches on horrible teams be fired before or after their team's playoff game? Stay tuned.
The NFL can't see what it's doing to itself. But that's understandable.
After all, this is a league that can talk about player safety while introducing more Thursday night games that rake in more money.
This is a league that can stretch a seven-round draft over three days and increase television ratings by 34 percent in doing so. Picking players who may or may not be any good has become such a staple of the endless NFL hype machine that Mel Kiper Jr. no longer gets packed away like an artificial Christmas tree once the draft is over.
But, hey, the hype works. For now at least.
However, some of us have an appreciation for the game that goes deeper than a fantasy football lineup and/or the latest gambling odds. We worry about the league's future because making more money certainly appears to trump the concern for the long-term health of the product.
"The reason our league is so much better than other leagues, I think, is because of that competition," Allen said. "Every game means something. There are 162 games in baseball and you're like, 'Ehhh.' No one really watches until the end, right? Basketball, same way. There's no real significance on every game.
"And I think you damage the sport if an 8-8 team [has a greater playoff chance]. You know what I mean? Now our games become less significant each week if you know, like, 'Oh, I can still lose half my games and sneak into the playoffs.' "
Expanding the playoffs appears to be the NFL's Plan B for not being able to force-feed the players an 18-game regular season. And, yes, more money will be raked in.
But one has to wonder if there's a point -- years from now perhaps -- when this Golden Goose could suffocate with the hands of 32 owners and one commissioner squeezing so tightly around its neck.
|Houston||2||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Washington||7||Bottom 6th Inning|
|Miami||4||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Minnesota||1||Bottom 7th Inning|
|NY Yankees||3||Bottom 5th Inning|
|Baltimore||0||Bottom 2nd Inning|
|Detroit||3||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Cincinnati||0||Top 1st Inning|
|Los Angeles||0||Top 1st Inning|
|San Francisco||0||Top 1st Inning|
|Chicago WSox||0||Top 1st Inning|
|Kansas City||0||Top 1st Inning|
|Seattle||0||Top 1st Inning|
|Colorado||0||Top 1st Inning|
|Oakland||0||Top 1st Inning|
|LA Lakers||7:00 PM|
|Miss Valley St||75|
|Northern Ill||6:00 PM|
|Bowling Green||6:00 PM|
|Central Mich||6:00 PM|
|Morehead State||6:30 PM|
|Coll of Charleston||7:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||8:00 PM|
|Loyola Marymount||10:30 PM|
|(21) George Washington||77|
|(3) South Carolina||58|
|Mercer||49||2nd Half 0:58|
|East Tenn St||62|
|Richmond||31||2nd Half 12:10|
|Miami-Florida||47||2nd Half 10:11|
|(2) Notre Dame||60|
|Washington St||16||2nd Half|
|(9) Arizona State||19|
|Ark-Pine Bluff||36||2nd Half|
|Miss Valley St||28|
|(23) Rutgers||12||1st Half 11:37|
|Tennessee St||11||1st Half 12:59|
|Loyola Marymount||10||1st Half 9:07|
|(18) Texas A&M||2:25 PM|
|Saint Josephs||3:30 PM|
|Santa Clara||4:30 PM|
|Virginia Tech||5:00 PM|
|(7) Florida State|
|Rhode Island||6:00 PM|
|North Florida||6:00 PM|
|(20) Fla Gulf Coast|
|Kennesaw St||6:00 PM|
|USC Upstate||6:00 PM|
|Saint Peters||6:00 PM|
|(13) Princeton||6:00 PM|
|(15) North Carolina||7:00 PM|
|San Jose St||7:00 PM|
|Utah State||8:00 PM|
|(8) Oregon State|
|New Mexico||8:00 PM|
|(12) Kentucky||8:25 PM|
|(11) Miss State|
|San Diego State||8:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||8:30 PM|
|Boise State||9:00 PM|
|Aug 8 - vs. Oakland||7 pm||X||10-6|
|Aug 16 - vs. Arizona||7:30 pm||X||30-28|
|Aug 23 - at Kansas City||7 pm||X||30-12|
|Aug 28 - at Tennessee||7 pm||X||19-3|
|2014 regular season|
|Sep 7 - at St. Louis||Noon||X||34-6|
|Sep 14 - vs. New England||Noon||X||30-7|
|Sep 21 - at New Orleans||Noon||X||20-9|
|Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta||3:25 pm||X||41-28|
|Oct 2 - at Green Bay||7:25 pm||X||42-10|
|Oct 12 - vs. Detroit||Noon||X||17-3|
|Oct 19 - at. Buffalo||Noon||X||17-16|
|Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay||Noon||X||19-13 ot|
|Nov 2 - vs. Washington||Noon||X||29-26|
|Nov 9 - Bye|
|Nov 16 - at Chicago||Noon||X||21-13|
|Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay||Noon||X||24-21|
|Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||31-13|
|Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets||Noon||X||30-24 ot|
|Dec 14 - at Detroit||3:25 pm||X||16-14|
|Dec 21 - at Miami||Noon||X||37-35|
|Dec 28 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||13-9|
Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?