Should The NFL Continue Playing Four Preseason Games

Wesley Coats, Reporter

     The NFL played preseason exhibition games ever since the formation of the league in 1920. The preseason currently includes a four-game setup played in all 32 teams home stadiums. These games offer a way for the league to try out new ideas and coaches to get the first idea of who to keep and cut when they go from 90 players to 53 after the fourth game.

     Over the years there have been many concepts that started out as preseason tests and our now staples of the game. These include replay, sudden death overtime, and the two-point conversion. Though as time has gone on many fans, players, and sports writers have grown tired of this format and the need for four of these games. So, what are the pros and cons of these games and are four really needed?

     The first pro that comes to mind is the NFL’s number one word: Money! These games are highly profitable when you add up the TV deals, parking, ticket prices, and concessions. For fans the only thing that differs from the regular season is the play on the field. Fans will pay the ticket prices to just go and tailgate and be with their good friends to watch some mediocre football.

      Another pro is that it gives the coaches the ability to determine the entire 53-man roster. There is a reason that main starters rarely play anymore than about a drive or two. This is so the coaches can have time to examine the other 68+ players who are not a lock to make the team. By the Saturday after the last preseason game coaches have to lock in their 53 man rosters. These game reactions just aren’t something you can repeat in training camp.

     Now onto the biggest cons of the preseason. One of the larger cons is that the games do not matter. These games do not count toward record and most often truly do not tell the story of a team. For example, the Chiefs this year in preseason went 1-3, but are currently one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Another example would be the 2008 lions went 4-0 in the preseason only to go 0-16 in the regular season. The majority of big name players do not even touch the field during these games.

     Another con of these are the risk of injury. In the past few years many prominent players have played in these games and resulted in them being out for the whole season. These include Patriots WR Julian Edelman and Former Packers and Raiders WR Jordy Nelson. Both players tore their ACL in preseason games and missed all of the remaining season. While these injuries are few and far between they do pose as an unnecessary plight for star NFL players.

     The NFL should get rid of playing four Preseason games and just do training camp. Personally, I do not enjoy these games and many Americans have the same thoughts towards them as I do. These game slack any great excitement and bore fans to death.  They do not play these games in college football so why should professionals have to play these games? Ultimately the risks far outweigh the pros of these games.