The NBA allstar game will have to move to March evidently. I realize the NFL is popular enough to do whatever they want - but do they have to be such a bully. Should be interesting to see if the NBA trade deadline is moved back also - as the NBA usually gets a day or two of media attention then.
The NFL is looking to move their season back a few more weeks - it is already about 2 weeks later than it was just about 10 years ago, and now they are looking at moving back another 2 or three weeks so the Superbowl is mid to late February - which will mean the NBA Allstar game will have to be in early March - as it has to be at least two weeks after the SB because of the NFL Pro bowl. (unless the NBA moves it to a midweek thing) The NBA allstar game used to be the midpoint of the season.
Really though I don't care that much about the allstar game, but it just seems like the NFL more and more every year dominates the media later and later, cutting into the NBA coverage. The draft dwarfs the NBA playoffs for an entire weekend.
Here is the article.
Super Bowl on Presidents Day? Longer NFL season in reach
By Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY
DANA POINT, Calif. — Talk about the Super Bowl as a national holiday.
How about as a lead-in to Presidents Day?
The prospect of extending the NFL's calendar and staging the league's signature event in the latter half of February is gaining momentum as team owners contemplate an expanded schedule with a typical end-game mission: More money.
NFL teams have played a 16-game regular-season schedule (with four preseason games) since 1978, but owners have their sights on either a 17- or 18-game regular season and a shorter preseason that could be implemented as early as 2011.
The additional games would be tacked on to the back end of the current calendar, which owners feel would create added value for their network TV contracts because like the Super Bowl, the conference title games would be played in February — a sweeps month that TV networks use to set advertising rates.
"If we're going to keep labor peace, we've got to grow and expand," said New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, chairman of the league's broadcasting committee. Including the preseason, "we're going to play these games, anyway. How do we make them as meaningful as possible?"
At the moment, an expanded schedule is in the debate and analysis stage. It's possible league owners will vote on proposals at their next meetings in May. After that, it would likely become a key component in talks with the players union for a new labor deal. The league's existing collective bargaining agreement ends after the 2010 season. There's also the matter of defining the value of more games, as part of network TV contracts.
"It's dependent, by a large part," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, "on our relationship with our partners and the players."
Still, many owners seem to agree that the status quo of a 16-game regular season won't cut it.
Said Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, "I'm for 17 games, not 18. We need three preseason games."
Tweaking the schedule by altering the ratio of regular-season games and preseason games by just one game might cause a major adjustment in team operations.
"I'm in favor of it, but there are so many details to sort out," said Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.
A longer regular-season schedule would undoubtedly add value for fans who have grumbled about paying regular-season prices for preseason games as part of season-ticket plans. But an alteration might also increase injury risk for frontline players who might play sparingly during the preseason, but endure more wear-and-tear with an extra regular-season game.
Also, while owners have resisted increases to the 53-man roster, an expanded schedule could increase roster sizes in addition to bolstering the number of developmental players on practice squads.
"It might create 100 new jobs," Kraft said, pondering the notion of expanding the practice squads from six to eight or 10 players, but not necessarily the 53-man roster. "That will all be part of the discussion. This is part of our labor discussion."
Other attached issues:
•Imbalanced schedules. With a 17-game season, half of the league's teams would have nine home games, while the other half would have eight. That could wreak havoc on the competitive balance that has been a staple to help fuel playoff races.
•An expanded playoff field. To make the games at the end of the regular-season meaningful, the league would likely consider increasing the field of playoff qualifiers from 12 teams to 14.
"The biggest concern is that I've liked the way we've had the playoffs as a really elite thing to get in," said Irsay. "There are 32 teams, and only 12 get in, unlike the NBA and some other leagues where a lot of people get in. It will probably be hard to keep it that way when you're talking about more games at the end of the season. Do you want those games to mean something that you're adding at the end of the year?"
Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay and Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher, co-chairmen of the rule-making competition committee, didn't have to make concrete recommendations about an expanded schedule this time around.
But they know it's coming. After briefing the media Monday on rulebook changes for the coming season, Fisher was asked about the possibility of playing a 17- or 18-game season. He said he wondered how an altered schedule would affect how he uses players in preseason and training camp, not to mention designs for the entire offseason routine. McKay, meanwhile, figures there could be a need to address rules for injured reserve.
In recent years, the committee has studied formulas for re-seeding the playoffs. Soon, they will likely grapple with the notion of an expanded playoff field — rejected in the past by owners — as part of an expanded schedule.
"All of those issues will have to be discussed," McKay said. "When we went down that path before, there were a lot of traditionalists who didn't want to go from 12 to 14 (playoff teams). But that was with a 16-game schedule. It will be interesting to see where it goes."