17-game season feels like fake news to traditional Eagles fans

It’s not like we didn’t see it coming. EYE will reserve critical opinion of the expansion of the NFL regular season until all the nuts and bolts are clarified.

But most of the traditional Eagles fans I know between the ages of 30 and 75 seem to think 17 games is a step in the wrong direction.

To sum up what they say:

It further dilutes a product which is already diluted…

It increases the probability of career-impacting injuries…

It is the wrong time to expand stadium events with our just beginning to come out of a viral pandemic…

It greatly increases the apathy of fan bases who are already dulled by struggling franchises, and who don’t want to be stuck with that ticket for the 17th game when their team has been out of contention since Week 10…

Personally, I am more concerned with the concept that regular season games won’t be as “special” anymore.  For example, nobody feels deprived if they missed watching a baseball game in June because of an unexpected life event—they know there will be a hundred more games on the schedule.

I’m old enough to have lived through 12-game regular seasons, 14-game seasons and of course 16-game seasons. Pretty sure 16 games took most league rosters to the wall of no return, so I’m not real confident about the personnel resources holding up for the Eagles or any other team…

NFL clubs on Tuesday approved an enhanced season structure that will feature each team playing 17 regular-season games and three preseason games for the first time.

It’s the first time that the regular season has been altered since 1978 when the league expanded from 14 regular-season games to 16. There will still be only one bye week. The 2021 regular season will kick off Thursday, September 9 and conclude January 9, 2022.

For the Eagles, this means that they will now add a road trip to the New York Jets this upcoming season. The dates and times for the 2021 schedule will be announced later this spring.

“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. “The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”

Well, Roger, there’s growth in international manufacturing, which necessarily depends on the quality of the product.  Not sure you’re going to get the audience growth you crave for your product by making more games potentially more meaningless…there is an optimum balance between less and more, it is called “just right”…

Okay, Boomer yells at the moon, get off my lawn, I get it…  But even HOF linebacker Ray Lewis says 16 games is too many, and 17 games is stretching the rubber band to the absolute breaking limit on a highly conditioned human body in a contact sport…and then you have to somehow get it together for possibly 4 more games if you make the playoffs?

What could go wrong?

Here is a look at the teams that the Eagles will play in 2021:


• Dallas Cowboys

• New York Giants

• Washington Football Team

• Kansas City Chiefs

• Los Angeles Chargers

• New Orleans Saints

• San Francisco 49ers

• Tampa Bay Buccaneers


• Dallas Cowboys

• New York Giants

• Washington Football Team

• Atlanta Falcons

• Carolina Panthers

• Denver Broncos

• Detroit Lions

• Las Vegas Raiders

• New York Jets