Dan Rooney Not In Favor of 18 Regular Season Games

January 21st, 2011

Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney was in Pittsburgh Friday afternoon and commented on the current state of NFL labor negotiations and expansion to 18 regular season games. Judy Battista of the New York Times tweeted:

Steelers chairman Dan Rooney has arrived from Ireland. Weighs in on labor. Still doesn’t like 18 games. “I would rather not have the money.”

Rooney expressed his concern about the lack of progress in negotiations with a small group of reporters, but also noted the league’s continued success.

“The games this year couldn’t be better. The ratings are high. So why would you step back?”

Regarding a lockout, Rooney said “We should not let the disruption of next season happen,” and added, “The players, of course, want to play, and that’s what should happen.”

Rooney, a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in 2000 and current United States Ambassador to Ireland, has been instrumental in labor negotiations for over three decades. He is considered in league circles as the key piece that brokered the 1976, 1982 and 1993 Collective Bargaining Agreements.

Players across the league are opposed to the 18-game expansion. The current 16 game season already exposes players to repeated opportunities for injury, and lengthening the season would only increase injury potential and likely shorten the average NFL player’s career. 

“The 10-year guys you won’t see any more, except for your quarterbacks. The running backs, you’re really going to see a short lifetime span. The season’s just too long,” said Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward in a September interview. The future health of the league and its players may be in jeopardy.

3 Responses to “Dan Rooney Not In Favor of 18 Regular Season Games”

  1. mikey Says:

    Keep the NFL we want NFL this year

  2. Jon Says:

    Dan Rooney is the smartest man in football. It’s too bad Obama didn’t appoint him the Commissioner instead of the Ambassador. This mess wouldn’t have gotten this far.

  3. bricarr2 Says:

    This thing isn’t about an 18 game schedule. Its an owner v. owner showdown. Rooney’s right too, there’s been no progress. Here’s a good link.

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