The Norman Transcript

National Sports

March 19, 2013

Goodell: No expanded NFL playoffs for 2013 season

PHOENIX — The NFL won’t be adding playoff teams for 2013, and the champions of last season, the Baltimore Ravens, could open on the road because of a conflict with the Orioles.

As the owners meetings opened Monday, scheduling was a main topic.

Traditionally, the season has opened with the Super Bowl winners playing host on the Thursday night after Labor Day.

The Ravens won’t have that opportunity unless baseball’s Orioles, who share parking lots at Camden Yards with the Ravens’ M&T Bank Stadium, will move their night game Sept. 5 to the afternoon.

So far, there’s been no progress, and Sept. 4 is not an option because it’s the first night of Rosh Hashanah.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell twice has spoken with his MLB counterpart, Bud Selig, seeking a solution.

“Unfortunately, the only (other) option is to take the Ravens on the road,” Goodell said. “We think that is wrong for the Ravens’ fans. We would not want that to happen.

“We are working on parallel tracks for a couple more weeks. Clearly, we are getting to a point where we have to make that decision.”

Last year, the NFL moved the opener to a Wednesday night to avoid conflicting with President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention.

Goodell also said the playoffs will not expand this season, but it will be discussed for the future. Last December, Goodell spoke about adding two or four teams to the current 12-team format.

“The competition committee looked at some of the issues,” said Goodell, who added the league needs to discuss expanded playoffs with the players’ union, too.

“Now, we have a little bit of work to do before we can advance it. It clearly won’t be happening for this year if there was any doubt about that.”

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