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Globe Editorial

NFL: 16 games is enough

New York Jets safety Eric Smith and linebacker David Harris tackle New England Patriots’ BenJarvus Green-Ellis during an NFL divisional playoff football game in January. New York Jets safety Eric Smith and linebacker David Harris tackle New England Patriots’ BenJarvus Green-Ellis during an NFL divisional playoff football game in January. (Associated Press)
February 6, 2011

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As this NFL season wore on, more and more evidence has emerged about the long-term damage that football does to its players. And however much the league purports to take the problem seriously, team owners are signaling the opposite with their plan to extend the regular season from 16 games to 18.

Owners argue that there would be no change in the total number of games; the four-game preseason would shrink to two, while season-ticket holders would get two extra meaningful games in exchange for their investment. But each team’s starters would surely end up playing more.

The teams reaching the Super Bowl are the survivors of a demolition derby. The more regular-season games that are played and the more star players who are sidelined, the more the NFL product is diluted. Enough is enough.

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