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Thread: Four-get about it

  1. #1
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    Wednesday, October 29, 2003
    Initiative to shorten preseason dies quietly

    By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com

    CHICAGO -- The trial balloon floated by Paul Tagliabue nearly two months ago in which the commissioner suggested it might be time to consider reducing the number of preseason games has been shot down even before it took flight.

    There will be a brief report on the matter during a two-day league meeting that convened here Wednesday morning. ESPN.com has learned, however, that there is insufficient support leaguewide to continue moving forward with the initiative.

    The influential competition committee could revisit the idea of cutting back the number of preseason games from the current four contests when it meets next March, but even that is a longshot, a member of the committee said Wednesday morning.

    Essentially, the idea is expected to simply die a quiet death, which is fine with owners and coaches who opposed it.

    "It was the worst idea that I've heard in a long time," said Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney. "There's no support. No one is talking about it and it just isn't going to happen."

    Tagliabue first suggested the idea in early September, in the wake of a spate of preseason injuries to some high-profile players, most notably quarterbacks Mike Vick of Atlanta and the New York Jets' Chad Pennington. The commissioner insisted that the notion was not a response to the injuries but was rooted instead in competitive balance issues.

    Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said he favored "any idea that reduced the preseason games," but added quickly that, should the league seek to expand the regular season, there would be financial ramifications.

    Most coaches who addressed the concept said that they preferred to retain the preseason as it currently is, and some argued adamantly that they need four games to prepare their teams and to assess younger players. "Personally, I'm for (reducing the preseason), but there really has been no groundswell, and all the coaches seem to want to keep the status quo," said Kansas City Chiefs team president Carl Peterson. "I think it will stay as is for the foreseeable future."

    Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com


    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/stor..._len&id=1649521

  2. #2
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    I thought there was move to reduce the number of games that the Jets played in September, which seems to be our preseason.

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