ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 21: Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones (center) talks with two unidentified individuals prior to a preseason game at Dallas Cowboys Stadium on August 21, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
The debate over whether the NFL should move to an “enhanced” 18-game regular season schedule is over, according to one highly influential member of the league’s competition committee.
Colts’ President and former league executive Bill Polian said in his weekly radio show Monday night that the decision to move to an expanded regular season schedule was already fait accompli, a Latin phrase that literally translates to “accomplished fact.” Of course, neither the players’ association or the owners have approved the measure, but, judging by the din of Polian’s remarks, he believes this is little more than a formality.
"I think that the owners, and principally the commissioner, have decided that it's the way to go, and so the debate, such as it was, is over," Polian said, per the Associated Press. "I've heard recently, and I'm sorry that this didn't get more coverage earlier, some really, really interesting commentary on it. ... I wish some of that dialogue had taken place earlier."
Many players, including the Cowboys’ DeMarcus Ware, have expressed some concern over the idea, suggesting that such an expansion could result in shortened careers, that the change would have to be accompanied by additional changes to mitigate these effects, with expanded rosters being one possibility. Others have expressed concern that the shortened preseason would have a negative effect on rookies trying to make the 53-man roster.
Polian said that all of these issues will be dealt with as the expansion moves closer to reality, but remained steadfast in his assertion that it was, in fact, moving closer to reality.
"The short answer is that it's a fait accompli, I'm afraid, and we're going to have to find ways to get those evaluative experiences,” Polian said. “We're not going to sit back and say, 'Oh oh, 18 games. Now we're going to become a veteran team.' That's not going to work. And it's not the way we want to play.”
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