Collectively, No Bargain for NFL

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We’re all going to die. Someday. It might not be from a virus several news bulletins indicate is presently making the rounds, so let’s try to stay calm even though we don’t feel inclined to do so.  Classify the urge to feel frenzy as a symptom.

Preventative measures are as important to the future as re-signing draft picks.  This is another reminder to frequently introduce your upper extremities to soap and water, although you can keep your mitts clean regardless of whether or not there’s a pandemic.  You may also engage in isolation, which means it’s second Christmas for misanthropes.

Use time when you’re expected to not deal with other humans to be productive. Or just watch stuff. Under present trying circumstances, we’ll count that, too. Finishing something you’ve always wanted to get done is always a good use of isolated moments even if it’s only to reduce a lengthy viewing queue. You could view, say, YouTube playlists of beloved teams and enjoy yourself at a time when so many options for doing so have been confiscated.

I wish the NFL and players had binged instead of getting along. Unfortunately, both sides didn’t wash their hands of the new collective bargaining agreement.  Longtime adversaries spent quarantine agreeing to a curious deal.  While it’s nice having sports news, these rivals could’ve been more combative to fill the void left by the lack of contests.

One more isn’t always that much better. Going to 17 games is literally an odd compromise.  The league’s trying to balance the desire for extra football with player safety and ended up with not enough of either.  A single addition feels like a half-measure, which won’t please anyone.

You don’t need a DeLorean to change history.  The standard has shifted, as 16 game records are put into storage with your Bananarama cassingles. 

Legacies don’t seem to be treasured in the social media era when this morning’s outrage is forgotten over lunch.  But consistency of seasons over time brought commonality with previous decades.  A schedule length which goes back to Chuck Knox’s first year coaching the Buffalo Bills is now forgotten like Hank Bullough.

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It’s not a matter of keeping what happened for the sake of presuming every precedent was correct. A tradition of pineapple on pizza should be broken with the next order. But 16 games seems to be a fine amount where there are just enough for each to have meaning. That length is like how baking at 350 degrees is a good balance between ensuring most food gets cooked without burning it.

As I try to convince myself when the Bills advance, rarity makes it special.  Strategically limiting participation is crucial for the playoffs. By contrast, adding a team in each conference to the pool makes the tournament as easy to get into as Arizona State.

The NFL apparently needed more of the many unremarkable clubs to get a championship shot. Those 8-8 squads resented how only three out of every eight made it before. Having to win more than you lose is so unfair. The honor roll is elitist.

There are now fewer elimination games before the postseason. The paid game is becoming excessively inclusive like their college counterpart. There has never been a two-loss collegiate national champion, which will change if it expands to another round as some demand.

The regular season is the best playoffs.  But now, a defeat that previously ruined chances can be shrugged off.  Like filming the latest Star Wars trilogy, teams can just assure they’ll fix it in the edit.

The deal’s defenders note higher seeds can just beat the lower teams.  But then there’s little point other than more wear and tear on the way to the championship.  More football for the sake of it might not be any more fun than more soccer for any reason.

Adding a seven seed gives the mediocre a chance, which in a one-game scenario can mean a ridiculous upset.  An aberration of a result as exciting to watch as it is bad for determining the best team.

Reducing the number of meaningless games accompanies expanding everything else.  Going from four to three preseason games sounds like a joy.  But teams can use them as they wish.  Fans can skip rehearsals that coaches might find helpful toward developing play in real clashes.

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There will also be less training all around. The CBA reduces the number of padded practices during training camp, which sounds fun for players  So does cake for dinner, but parents serve protein instead of sweets for a reason.  Being less prepared for the season creates a sugar crash.

Giving .500 teams their chance may not be as exciting as portrayed. The pact seems middling all around. As with politics, bipartisan support is only good depending on the proposal.

Peace can come at a price. It’ll be nice to not see millionaires go on strike any time soon.  But those who aren’t good enough to earn the second wild card spot shouldn’t get to keep playing, either.  Like every other club, the Bills shouldn’t be happier life is easer.

Editor’s babble: Thanks, as always, to Anthony Bialy for his thought-provoking contributions to our blog. You can find Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy recently moved back to Buffalo from New York City and acts like he never left. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He likes getting Tim Hortons on the way to get Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.