Tis the season for trial balloons.
Last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell created a stir when he floated the notion of eliminating kickoffs in an effort to make the game safer.
On Wednesday, the idea of expanding the playoffs was thrown out there for discussion.
“Right now, we’re with 12 teams obviously,” Goodell said at the owners’ December meetings in Irving, Texas. “We’ll look at probably 14 or 16 teams.”
The competition committee, as Goodell pointed out, has considered the matter in the past. Expanding the schedule was an issue in labor negotiations and owners and TV networks would scarcely complain.
But is this really a good idea? Isn’t the 16-game schedule over 17 weeks, with 12 of 32 teams making the playoffs, just about perfect? Occasionally, a team is unfairly kept out, but for every instance of that, there are two or three subpar teams that get in. And do you really want to see teams with losing records in the playoffs?
Adding another playoff layer could push the Super Bowl deeper into February — and that much closer to having a national holiday on the day after the game. Who wouldn’t want that? Conveniently enough, Presidents’ Day is right there on the calendar. Is the idea of a Super Bowl as late as the third weekend of February that unthinkable?