On his radio show Monday Colts president Bill Polian called an 18-game NFL season a fait accompli – French for an accomplished fact.

Roger Goodell loves owners. And together, they are going to seriously damage the NFL with an 18-game season.

That was humorous to me on a couple of levels.

After hearing that Polian took it upon himself to disclose this information I got an immediate vision of a darkly red-shaded Roger Goodell with steam coming out of his ears.

Using a phrase nobody knows is patented Polian. I remember transcribing interviews I had with Polian while working for ColtPower and scrambling to figure out what words like canard and diatribe meant.

What’s not funny is an 18-game NFL season is a reality.

The major arguments against it are clear.

There will be too many injuries. There won’t be enough time to evaluate talent in the preseason. It will water down a great product.

But for me, one of the biggest issues with the 18-game season is it will further damage the record books.

The NFL gradually expanded from 1935 to 1977, but has been set at 16 games for the past 33 seasons (excluding strike years).

This has created continuity in the record books.

Statistically, it’s hard to fairly compare guys like Jim Brown and Johnny Unitas to today’s players, but for the past few decades we’ve been able to accurately compare our NFL stars.

Shifting to an 18-game schedule will ruin that.

Phenomenal single-season records will be broken and the value of them will eventually be forgotten – Dan Marino’s 5,084-yard passing season; Eric Dickerson’s 2,105-yard rushing season; Jerry Rice’s 1,848-yard receiving season.

It has already happened.

Does anyone talk about O.J. Simpson’s 2,003-yard rushing season in 1973 (14 games) or Lance Alworth’s 1,602-yard receiving season in 1965 (14 games)? Simpson’s season ranks sixth all-time though it is clearly the best. Alworth’s ranks 12th, but should easily be considered Top 5. Come to think of it, has anyone under the age of 30 even heard of Alworth?

Career stats will also become harder to gauge.

Then again, how many careers will be cut short due to injury with guys trying to fight through what could be a 22-game season (with playoffs)?

The whole idea is a joke. Nobody can tell you it’s for the good of the game with a straight face, though they will.

All the reasons an expanded season stinks are valid. Ruining the record books is just another.

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