The NFL’s latest expansion idea: 18 weeks

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

Any good businessman will tell you that once profits have stabilized or plateaued, the next step is expansion.

In the case of the NFL, “expansion” can have very different meanings and complications.

Adding more teams seems to be a quick response, but that might just dilute the talent pool, along with spreading around fan dollars. Besides, I love having exactly 32 teams and I’d hate to see that change.

They’ve tried expanding into new markets with the current teams, which is why we are now seeing games played in England and attempts to play in Mexico. But to me, that is really more a way to increase the customer base as opposed to an actual expansion of the offered product line.

Which brings me to the most recent idea to get some traction: expanding the regular season from 16 to 18 games.

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All or Nothing: The Carolina Panthers

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

“All or Nothing,” the Emmy award winning Amazon original series, returns on Friday, July 19th.

A competitor to the HBO series “Hard Knocks,” this program is entering it’s 4th season. It’s produced by NFL Films and will be available for streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

In case you missed them, the previous three seasons featured the Arizona Cardinals, the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas Cowboys.

In 2018, they ventured into the college ranks with the Michigan Wolverines getting eight episodes as well as Manchester City of the English Premier League.

This year, they are back to the NFL and will feature the Carolina Panthers!

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NFL reorganization: a serious proposal

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Last week, I had fun with my OCD and wrote about radically changing around all of the NFL divisions to create a more geographically pleasing picture.

I was genuinely surprised at the number of fans who loved my ideas – and equally surprised at the ones who hated my new divisions.

But even the haters agreed that some amount of reorganizing is way overdue. If you simply pause and think about the number of teams that have moved, from Houston to Tennessee or perhaps St. Louis to Los Angeles, and you will agree that a few changes would be a good thing.

Here is my much more realistic view of a few changes to divisions that make a ton of sense.  I’m not moving anyone from the AFC to the NFC and I’m keeping most of the divisions intact, so this should be a fairly painless change for most of you!

This week’s Blitzed NFL Insider’s featured article!

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Saying goodbye to Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

The NFL lost a legend last week in the passing of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.

This news is even sadder because Bowlen was scheduled to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this fall as a Contributor to the game. This annual ceremony is one of my favorite sporting events. It’s a shame Mr. Bowlen will not be there in person to accept the honor but it will give the league a great platform to recognize an important figure in the game.

The 75-year-old native of Wisconsin purchased the Broncos in 1984 and lead the ship on an epic run. As a Browns fan, I know this first hand!

During his tenure, the Broncos have seven AFC championships and three Super Bowl victories. They have also made the playoffs 18 times since he bought the team, making the Broncos one of the most successful NFL franchises of the past thirty years.

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Keep the Combine in Indy, the draft can move

 

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

The NFL is the most popular sport in America. Even fans of teams who feel like their team may not be going anywhere are still heading to games.

To help increase the popularity (like it needs any more help) and give the fans what they want, the NFL Draft has been moving from city to city, and it has worked well.  At first, I thought that was sort of a stupid thing to do, but then I saw the response of the people in the cities that host the draft, and it’s been nothing short of awesome.

It’s also nice because a city can now host either a draft or a Super Bowl, giving more options for fans to interact. While a draft doesn’t bring as much revenue as the Super Bowl does, it still gives the city a chance to shine. Much like the success of Nashville this past draft.

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Fathers and Sons: an NFL legacy

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

 

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

 

This Sunday, June 16th, is Father’s Day, so I thought I’d take a look back at some of my favorite NFL players who followed in their father’s footsteps.

Frankly, I was surprised that – at least according to Wikipedia – there are only 53 father-son combos that have played in the League. I was also surprised to find three families whose NFL legacy has entered a third generation.

It doesn’t seem like the NFL has been around long enough to support three generatons, but here you go: Clay Matthews Sr., Clay Matthews Jr. and Clay Matthews III are my first set and the ones with whom we are most familiar. Then we have the Chickillo’s: Nick, Tony and Anthony, and the Pyne’s: George II, George III and Jim.  Amazing, but true!

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Calvin Johnson vs the Detroit Lions

 

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Megatron. For those who love the game, that is how we’ll always remember Calvin Johnson and his talented, explosive time with the Detroit Lions. Oh, and for helping us to understand that we really don’t know what a catch is…

Drafted #2 overall in 2007 by the Lions, Johnson immediately became an elite receiver, holding both team and NFL records that still stand and making six trips to the Pro Bowl.

In March of 2012, he signed an eight-year extension for a cool $132 million, with $60 million guaranteed. He then went on to set the NFL record for most receiving yards in a single season at 1,964. Clearly, getting paid motivated him to continue producing on the field.

And then, in a move that not only shocked fans and is still talked about today, he announced his retirement in March of 2016 due to concerns for his long-term health if he continued to play the game of professional football.

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NFL says goodbye to legendary quarterback Bart Starr

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

 

The NFL community lost a legend this past weekend with the passing of Hall of Fame quarterback Bryan Bartlett “Bart” Starr.

Credited with being the foundation of the Green Bay Packers dynasty, Starr lead them to five NFL championships and two Super Bowl victories.  While many credit head coach Vince Lombardi with turning the Packers into champions, we all know how important finding the right QB is and Star was most definitely one of the greats.

Born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1934, he considered both the University of Kentucky and Auburn for his collegiate career. Luckily for Alabama fans, he chose to stay closer to home. Fun fact: he eloped with his high school sweetheart, Cherry Morton, in 1954 and they kept the marriage a secret because at that time, college’s could rescind an athlete’s scholarship if he was married.

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NFL and NFLPA adding health resources for players

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

Injuries have been a huge part of life for NFL players. Whether they occur as a result of on- or off-the-field activites, they impact the sport we all love.

In recent years, we’ve seen how these injuries not only impact current seasons, but how these players face life-long issues or disabilities as a result of they playing days.

On Monday, the NFL and NFL Players Association announced two joint agreements that will support further resources directed to address pain management and behavioral health.

The first agreement on focuses on prescription medication and pain management. It addresses the challenges of pain management for current players and works to advance and understand the science in this area to improve potential treatments.

The second agreement builds on the ever increasing reports of player behavioral and mental health issues by providing care resources with additional programs directed toward education, prevention, and overall behavioral health throughout the league.

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Mentor or Adversary: The NFL Veteran’s Dilemma

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

 

We hear it all the time… “That veteran will be mentoring the young guys, showing them the ropes.” But is that really true? And even more, is it really fair to expect a veteran who wants the starting job to spend any time at all helping the rookie who wants to take his job?

That seems to be the big story in Denver this week as quarterback Joe Flacco is taking heat for saying it’s not his job to be a mentor to newly drafted QB Drew Lock.

And I don’t blame him.

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