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Weekend Debate: Do NFL fans really want an 18 game regular season?

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One of the hot topics for about a year throughout the NFL has been Commissioner Roger Goodell's idea to increase the regular season by two games, in return eliminating two games from each team's preseason. Goodell has not wavered from his belief that an "enhanced regular season" is what fans really want. It's become one of the many points of contention, though, when the owners and the NFL Players Association have sat down at the bargaining table to try and hammer out a new CBA.

The commissioner continues to insist that he's just trying to give the fans of the league what they want. During his "State of the League" address a couple days before the Super Bowl, Goodell again played the "this is what fans want" card when speaking about the proposed 18 game regular season.

"We started this with the fans. The fans have clearly stated that they don’t like the preseason, said Goodell. "We have a 20-game format, 16 regular season games and four preseason games, and the fans have repeatedly said the preseason games don’t meet NFL standards. And that is the basis on which we started this 18-game concept, taking two low-quality preseason games and turning them into two high-quality regular season games."

But is this really what the fans want? Or is this really what the owners want - adding additional weeks to the regular season to increase revenue, particularly from their television partners?

I think Goodell is either missing what fans are really saying when they talk about the preseason. Either that, or he's just trying to spin the fans' complaints about having to pay for those two home preseason games every year when they purchase their season tickets.

I believe that many fans do not want additional regular season games. They just don't want to be forced to purchase tickets to meaningless (in the eyes of fans, but not in the eyes of the coaching staffs using these games to evaluate talent) preseason games when they order their season tickets.

I, for one, am totally against adding two additional games to the regular season. These players take enough of a beating. Do we really want teams even more banged up heading into the most important time of the football season - the playoffs - than they already are? Is this really a good idea?

So now I'll open the floor up to all of you. Are you in favor of the 18 game regular season? That's what I really want to know.