I hate the preseason. Sure, it's great to see football back and it fuels the juices for another great NFL season. But the games are meaningless but the injuries sustained from them aren't.
Why do we need four preseason games?? Really. Why? These games really just determine the final rosters spots and a few battles for starting positions. And it does give teams game situations to work in. Clinton Portis, who was injured last night in a preseason game, even said: "For whoever's watching: Let's get rid of some of these games. Four games is ridiculous. Then you play a 16-game season and the playoffs behind that."
Now, you can poke holes thru this.
You could say, "oh...you only care because Clinton Portis went down for your beloved Redskins". Nope. Oh, it is what enrages me to write this....but I've hated the NFL preseason regardless. I had an opportunity to see my Redskins play on National TV against Cincy last night....and chose not to. Preseason sucks.
You could say, "even if we scaled back the amount of games to two"...Portis still could've gotten hurt. Sure. Portis could get hurt in a car ride or shaving too. Or in practice. At least practice is a bit more controlled than an actual game. And, sure, LeCharles Bentley of the Browns and Steve Smith of the Panthers were hurt pretty much the first second they walked on the practice field....and those things do happen. But they tend to happen more often during the preseason games where...again...it isn't as controlled.
You could say, "but those jobs are important. Those position battles and final roster spots mean something." Yep...but isn't that what all these camps are for? I mean, the NFL is a 12-month job now. And with all these mini camps and scimmages....you cannot tell me that these jobs cannot be determined then??? Every NFL player who played in college or high school didn't have "preseason games". They had camps...possibly scrimmages...and then the season starts. Sure, in college....some do schedule Appalachian State right off the bat as a cupcake to get the season going....but there are also games like Florida State-Miami that get the season going. Why not have the same thing with the NFL?? Most teams have scrimmage buddies now [the Skins and the Ravens knock each other around] to be able to match up with someone else. And those games are somewhat controlled.
And spare me the "battle for those final roster spots". Yes, it does happen that some guy performs really well during the preseason and nails down one of the final spots. I was impressed with Mike Espy during that Redskins game last night. But that was mainly against guys who wouldn't be on the field in a normal game. And, again, Espy got more run than some other guys in last night's preseason game because he was....say it with me now.....impressive during camp.
Maybe make the NFL's preseason kind of like the NBA's summer leagues?? In the NBA, only guys who are in their first few years in the league and guys who are fighting for jobs play. Or guys recovering from injuries. Shaq doesn't play in summer leagues......Mike Gansey does.
Heck, let's just scrap the preseason as a whole?? Why not just inflate the NFL rosters for the 2-4 weeks of the season?? Instead of the 45 man roster and the 8 practice squad from the get go....allow for an expanded roster?? At least for a few games. Maybe allow a 60 or 65 man roster for the first couple of games and allow teams to make cuts after that deadline? This would keep a bigger roster to allow for guys to see some time....allow for depth for guys getting their game legs....and eliminating those preseason tilts.
I know that's not practical or sensible...but neither is losing your best player in a meaningless game. Even if is Michael Vick a few years ago or Rex Grossman last year. Of course, the reason why none of this would happen is money. Preseason money is free money for owners. They charge the same prices for meaningless games as they do for the real ones. And they ain't giving that up....even if it costs them a $8M player in the process.