Thursday night football seems like a great idea on the surface. I mean who DOESN'T want an extra day of football? It makes the week go by faster, it's a nice little appetizer before the main course on Sunday, but there are plenty of reasons to hate the idea. Not only does the quality of the game go down, and you throw off teams normal schedules, but the NFL is seriously contradicting themselves. You don't need to read any further than the comments made yesterday by San Francisco 49ers WR Anquan Boldin.
Boldin told the San Jose Mercury News that he believes the league does deserve credit for certain safety measures, like mandating that players get cleared by independent neurologists before they can return to the field after suffering head injuries. But his follow up is where I couldn't agree more.
A-MEN, Q. How can you preach, preach, preach player safety, and then throw these guys back out on the to the field with about two days of practice/preparation and lesser time to rehab from the physical beat downs they took on Sunday? You cannot say "safety first" and want to do something like this.
“I mean if you’re so concerned about player safety then why do you have every team in the league playing on Thursday night when they just competed on a Sunday, knowing how difficult it is for guys to get back to being healthy after playing on Sunday? Guys really don’t feel like they’re back till probably Thursday or Friday to prepare for that next week.”
So what do we all read yesterday? Not only does the NFL plan to KEEP Thursday Night Football, they are actually exploring the idea of adding MORE games on Thursday. Wait ... WHAT?
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the league is disappointed that the 13 Thursday night games on the NFL Network haven't been generating more viewers. Through five games in 2013, Thursday night football is drawing an average of 8.1 million viewers. If that average holds, it would set a Thursday night record for the NFL Network, but that number is far below what Fox, CBS, NBC and ESPN draw on Sunday and Mondays.
The NFL's belief is that adding another Thursday game would generate more national interest, plus it would give the league a chance to sell rights to another round of games.
Forget about the players safety which you guys PREACH, and continue to change rules for, let's make as much money as fast as possible with ZERO regards for the players who you are "always trying to protect."
Let's put ourselves in the NFL's shoes for a second. What can we do in order to A) Insure that our players are safe B) Make sure the quality of the game is intact and C) Get the players on board?
Well for starters you can kick the schedule maker machine into even higher gear and make sure the teams on Thursday nights play coming off of a bye week. But that would mean EARLIER byes for teams. Bye weeks have already been pushed up to week 3, which is ridiculous.
The NFL wants Thursday Night Football games starting week one, with their big opener and lasting all season long. That won't work. You could add a BYE week, get rid of two preseason games and add another two regular season games -- but that opens up another can of worms with player safety. How would ADDING more games keep the players safe? It wouldn't.
Could you argue that limiting the Thursday night games actually makes them more watchable? How awesome is football on Thanksgiving? It used to be MUCH better when we didn't have Thursday night football starting in September. Made it seem special. Now the fact that we are spoiled with games EVERY Thursday, kind of brings down the glow of Thanksgiving. Maybe try that again. Don't start them until Thanksgiving again. Addition by subtraction? Doubt it.
I hate Thursday night games. The only way the NFL will stop having them is if it no longer benefits the NFL financially. So if everyone stops going and watching the Thursday night football games then the NFL will stop having them. Other than that, they’re not going anywhere, unfortunately. I know it is easier said than done. I for one will watch every single week. The NFL has us by the horns and won't let go ... they are making way too much money. We can live with ONE game per week ... PLEASE don't ruin this sport any more by adding another.