Morning Links (and Daily Thread)…

A quick daily look at what’s happening around Steelers Nation. And consider this your open thread for discussing the days events and, well, anything else that comes to mind about the Black and Gold.

This was brought up in yesterday’s daily thread, and since it’s not really a Steelers topic, but an NFL topic, I figured this might be a good place to continue the discussion. Anyway, am I the only one that has a problem with the players speaking out so passionately against the possibility of an 18-game schedule, citing the injury risk involved?

Granted, I understand there’s quite an injury risk with playing two additional regular season games, and I think the players should have a greater concern for their future well-being, but I’m having a hard time believing the basis of their argument here. After all, players today put their own well-being — and their teammates well-being — at risk week after week by playing through various injuries, ranging from muscle and ligament injuries, to something as serious as a concussion.

We all know about Hines Ward going on NBC last year and gently criticizing Ben Roethlisberger for refusing to play with a concussion, but just check out some of the other quotes that are out there from other players on the subject. Like former Redskins fullback Mike Sellers, for example, referring to Roger Goodell’s policy to have players alert the medical staff of a possible concussion:We ain’t no snitches over here,” Sellers said of the idea, per the Associated Press. “That is not happening.

Yes, that’s how seriously players take concussions. You’re a “snitch” if you tell somebody that one of your teammate’s might have a serious head injury. That’s just silly.

Last year an Associated Press poll found that 30 of 160 surveyed players said “that they have hidden or played down the effects of a concussion.”

And, of course, whenever the league does take measures to make the game safer, they draw harsh criticism from players for making the game “a pansy game.” And now I’m supposed to believe these same players are suddenly concerned about getting hurt? I’m having a hard time buying that. In the end, this all comes down to one thing: money.

If the players get more money — to compensate them for an 18-game schedule, as opposed to a 16-game schedule — and perhaps additional jobs (in the form of increased rosters) I’d imagine these complaints would disappear, for the most part.

Any thoughts on this?

– Here’s a chat with former Steelers linebacker Jerry Olsavsky. No word from Bob Pompeani on whether or not Patrick Bailey is the next Jerry O. (sorry, just continuing the fun from the Wes Welker-Tyler Grisham Chronicles). [Behind The Steel Curtain]

– Random: I was walking through the mall yesterday and saw a guy wearing a No. 15 Willie Reid jersey. I can’t say I’ve seen many of those.

– Want to know which members of the Pittsburgh Steelers are currently on Twitter? This list has you taken care of. [Mondesi's House]

– And if you’re not yet, you can follow us on Twitter, too. [Twitter]

– And for your random YouTube of the day: Jack Ham.

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  • Randy Steele

    The players’ talk about increased chances of injuries is a bargaining chip. The real issue here is money. It’s always about money. The rest is just conversation.

    If the money’s right and the roster gets a boost, the player’s union will sign in a heartbeat. There will be an 18-game season. Soon. Bet on it.

  • IsraelP

    That doesn’t mean that we the fans have to like the idea.

    I for one like the symmetry of the schedule as it is.

  • Cols714

    The season is going to be 18 games long, I don’t think there is any doubt about that. I like it how it is right now though. And I do worry about the increased chance of injury plus the extra banging around that will occur. In my opinion, there have been enough players speaking out about how shitty they feel after their careers that it should be an issue.

    In fact, on some level it has made the game a little bit less fun for me to watch. When someone got crushed in the past, I used to think it was awesome, but now I mostly wonder how much damage that just did to the player.

  • josh

    I understand the contradiction by players, etc. However, I agree that as a fan I’m not really into more regular season games. Playoff football > week 17 (or 18) football & I’d rather the teams be in ok shape health-wise for the playoffs.

  • josh

    I understand the contradiction by players, etc. However, I agree that as a fan I’m not really into more regular season games. Playoff football > week 17 (or 18) football & I’d rather the teams be in ok shape health-wise for the playoffs.

  • Dean Keaton

    I have now doubt that the average NFL playing career will be shortened if they go to 18 games. Some of that will be injuries, but some of it would be, as Cols pointed out, the faster accumulation of hits taken. I get that most NFL players just want more money, but the smart ones should be concerned about the longer term affects instead of just the injury risk increased from trading off two preseason games for two more regular season games. These guys are already doing something that is on the far end of what most human bodies (even NFL players’) have the ability to take, that the average NFL player is going to be worse off physically after adding 2 games a year to a 5-10 year career.

    From a fan perspective, I suspect I might be in the minority here from this regard, but even though I’m a die hard fan, by the time the season ends now, I’m actually ready for it to be over. Adding more to the season just might start to make it too long for some fans. Not saying it definitely will, but I really think it’s perfect now and there’s a chance that it happens, and once they add two games, there is no way it will ever go back to being less.

  • Dean Keaton

    BTW, I like the primer for discussion topic in the links/daily thread.

  • SteelerBill

    Really really like what you wrote Dean …..

    One of the reasons other sports don’t appeal to me (outside of the obvious love for football) is the length of the season – which has a tendency to reduce the sense of urgency on a game by game basis….

  • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

    Following up on Dean’s comments about QOTDs: feel free to post Question of the Day topics for future Daily Links here (and in subsequent Daily Links threads) and Gretz will make sure they make it into the post.

  • countertorque

    Israel, I think the 18 game schedule can make perfect sense. 6 within the division, 4 from a rotating NFC division, 4 from 2 other AFC divisions. Instead of picking 1 AFC division to be “on” each year, you pick 1 AFC division to be “off.” There are other ways to do it, of course. But, given that half of the league only faces the Steelers every 4 years, there’s a lot of opportunities for good matchups.

  • Dean Keaton

    Ryan – I’m setting the stopwatch right now. GO!

    Also, why is every black QB who can run deemed to have “special skills”?

  • countertorque

    I’m surprised that so many of the comments here are against an 18 game season. The NFL is really the only sport that I watch. I watch some hockey during the playoffs, but that’s about it. I don’t understand how anyone can sit through a baseball game. I spend most of the NFL offseason waiting for the NFL to start up again. I’m actually excited to see pre-season games when they start. If there was a way to safely extend the NFL season year round, I’d be for it.

  • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

    Dean,

    Ha, I saw that and just shook my head. It’s clear Florio knows he’s wrong and is just sticking to his original insane talking points.

    And regarding “special skills” — for the same reason Tyler Grisham is the next Wes Welker, I suspect.

  • Eric

    Re: hits

    I think the same thing now. Getting old sucks.

  • Randy Steele

    I agree. You’re essentially trading two worthless pre-season games for two regular season games and stretching out the regular season a bit.

    Also, there will probably be two “bye” weeks, which means the Super Bowl would be played during President’s Day weekend.

    With everyone getting Monday off, the Sunday night Super Bowl would turn into an even more brilliantly insane national holiday than it already is. And what’s wrong with that?