Making A Case For Shorter Seasons

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Shorter games? Sure. And maybe it's time to revisit the possibility of shorter seasons.

NBA players have acknowledged that they can't get excited about every regular season game. There are too many of them. So if you've bought a couple of tickets at $50 or $80 or $100 each and spent another forty bucks to park your car, you can only hope the home team won't be tired or bored that night.

The NFL owners have floated the notion of two additional regular season games, but wouldn't there be fewer injuries if the schedule got shorter, rather than longer?

[sidebar title="Do Short-Season Titles Mean Less?" width="630" align="right"]After strikes and lockouts, leagues sometimes play shorter seasons. Should the titles from those years come with asterisks?[/sidebar]How many of the fans who remember when the MLB season was one 154 games long think more has turned out to be better? Even if you like the multi-tiered playoffs system, wouldn't it be fun to get to round one in mid-September?

Then there's the soccer season. Or seasons: the club seasons, the games that make up the Champions League and the other international or regional competitions, the "friendlies," and the qualifiers for the World Cup, to be followed by the games of the World Cup itself.

Maybe all that thrills and delights us when we watch games would be more thrilling and delightful if each game were rendered more important by reducing their number.

The counter argument is as simple as it is singular: money. Owners, commissioners, and players want fans, television networks, and corporate sponsors to provide more and more of it. More productions mean more tickets, more TV time, and more trinkets sold.

But why shouldn't the case for shorter games be applied to the argument for shorter seasons? Wouldn't it be something if we tried it out and found that with respect to our games, in at least a couple of ways, less is more?

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This segment aired on November 15, 2014.

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Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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