Blog Entry

Thursday night expansion needs one caveat

Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:19 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 12:44 pm
Commissioner Roger Goodell's announcement that the NFL will expand from eight to 13 Thursday-night games this season is great for TV and fans, but it's not so great for NFL players and teams ... unless, of course, the league does what is reasonable and necessary.

And that's to make Thursday-night games available only to teams coming off byes.

Having teams play two games in five days is not only cruel and unusual punishment; it's wrong. Yet the NFL this season had the San Diego Chargers and Green Bay Packers play three times in 11 days. Now it's going to 13 in weeks 2-15.

Fans like Thursday-night games because they can't get enough of the NFL. The NFL Network likes it because it's good for ratings. But players and coaches? Ask them how much they enjoy playing twice in five days. It's tough on coaches' game plans, and it's tougher on players' bodies.

That's why scheduling a Thursday-night game for teams coming off byes makes sense.

In fact, it makes so much sense that the Pac-12 already embraces it. The league has four Thursday-night games scheduled for the 2012 season, with the first three involving teams coming off byes. In the fourth, one club (Oregon) is coming off a bye, while the other (Arizona State) played the Thursday before (Oct. 11).

But it had a bye before that. Plus, it's the home team when it plays Oregon.

Oh, one other thing: College clubs play on Saturdays, not Sundays, so there's an additional day of rest involved. Nevertheless, they still think it's a good idea.

And it is. Think about it: You have 10 days before your next game, then nine more before the following contest. It makes so much sense that one former league employee told me the NFL once had a mock schedule drawn up showing how all teams could play Thursday night games coming off of byes.

"The players would go for it," he said, "and the league would go for it."

But the league should go for it, too. I mean, if it is as concerned about the safety and general welfare of its players as it says it is, then it should push an idea that should make players less vulnerable to injury.

I don't know what the incidence of injuries is when a club plays two games in five days, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that it's easier on someone's body to play twice in 19 days than it is two in five.

So do it.

Category: NFL

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: February 4, 2012 2:02 am

Thursday night expansion needs one caveat

r00t61 said:

The 3rd Thanksgiving day game is NFLN only. 
Just wanted to let you know that starting next year, the 3rd Turkey day game will be on NBC. 

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: February 4, 2012 1:17 am

Thursday night expansion needs one caveat

Fan's don't like it. It screws with our fantasy teams. Most working fans don't even like late night games on the EC to begin with. I know in my office I was the only one watching MNF games and I'd usually fall asleep at the end of the first half. The NFL is extremely popular because working adults can catch most games on Sunday in the afternoon.

Yeah if you're on the WC it's fine or if you don't work a regular schedule or don't work at all.

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: February 4, 2012 12:11 am

Thursday night expansion needs one caveat

This is merely the next domino to fall in the NFL's quest to eventually move its entire product to pay-per-view.  They already moved MNF to cable (though the league still permits primary designated market area simulcasts on broadcast).  The 3rd Thanksgiving day game is NFLN only.  The annoyingly stupid Saturday Night Football game (typically Week 16) is NLFN only.

Soon, you'll have to subscribe to NFLN for a base monthly fee, and then pay additional PPV fees whenever you want to watch a game. 

I suppose it's making someone money somewhere on this NFLN score.  After all, Goodell doesn't lift a finger without getting the owners' approval. He works for them, after all.  Which is why, if you want to blame anyone for the silly idea of more NFLN games, or a Super Bowl in London, you should be looking at the owners.  Goodell's just the figurehead, designed to deflect blame, and he gets paid generously to do so.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: February 4, 2012 12:03 am

Thursday night expansion needs one caveat

Thursdsay night games are really tough on the road team
and there are not that many people watching these games compared to Sunday and Monday night games
I do not recall the team but I saw a Thursday game once where a team was on the road on Sunday and again on Thursday
I would like to see a statistic comparing Sunday home team winning percentage vs Thursdays

Since: Nov 15, 2007
Posted on: February 3, 2012 11:20 pm

Thursday night expansion needs one caveat

The nfl blew it during the last CBA. League wanted 18 games, players wanted 16. They should have split the difference and played a 17 game regular season, with 2 bye weeks and 3 pre season games. Teams play 8 home games, 8 away games and 1 neutral site game each. That means the NFL would have 16 neutral site games a year, farmed out to the highest bidders: 3 or 4 in LA, couple in San Antonio, Vegas, any of the other 6-8 cities that consider themselves contenders for a franchise. Do some international stuff the league wants to do: London, Tokyo, China, Mexico City, Vancouver/Montreal/Toronto etc. Say 3 out of country games and the other 13 neutral site games farmed out to various locations stateside. You could even make the neutral site games non divisional matchups so teams dont feel "cheated" out of a key home date.

17 regular season games and 2 bye weeks makes a 19 week regular season. Start the season the last weekend of August, when people are dying for real football. Who cares if there is pro ball on during Labor Day Weekend? Back in the day the NFL started Labor Day weekend with no problems. Get rid of the hype week for the Super Bowl. Under thaf format the Super Bowl still is played the first weekend of February, same as currently. 

So under this system we get: a shorter preseason, the reuglar season lasting two weeks longer, one extra regular season game and one more bye week for the players. Not to mention fans in other markets have a chance to see live NFL ball. Give it a try, if it doesn't work then just scrap it during the next CBA. .

Since: Jul 15, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2012 9:42 pm

Thursday night expansion needs one caveat

im sorry but how is this idea "great" for us fans??  i dont know many people who like thurs night games....personally i cant stand football should be played on sunday and usual for goodell it nothing more than a money grab for his network that we have to pay more for to watch....its bad enough that teams have to play a short week during the stretch run in nov and dec....and now this clown wants to do it the entire year.....YEAH THATS GREAT COMMISH THANKS  keep up the good work.....

Since: Jan 19, 2012
Posted on: February 3, 2012 6:15 pm

Thursday night expansion needs one caveat

I would hate 2 byes personally. But, if they go to an 18 game schedule I guess it would be ok

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: February 3, 2012 6:07 pm

Thursday night expansion needs one caveat

I would love to see the season extended so that the Super Bowl always falls on the Sunday before President's Day.  Call me selfish, but I get that day off.  That way I could actually enjoy the game and not worry about having to work the next day.  I am sure there are others out there who feel the same way.

It's not like this is MNF and goes past midnight on the east coast. It's the Super Bowl. Your hangover will wear off and if you are getting hungover from partying a little too hard, you probably don't remember much about the game to begin with.

Since: Feb 3, 2012
Posted on: February 3, 2012 5:30 pm

Thursday night expansion needs one caveat

Its about time someone brought that up, will all the concern of saftey, thursday games sure dont seem to make sense. Maybe the great oz should practice what he preaches

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: February 3, 2012 5:29 pm

Thursday night expansion needs one caveat

More Thursday night games are just wonderful -if your provider has the NFL NETWORK Yell.  If not, I guess the rest of us are SOL.

Or you could, you know, switch to someone that does carry NFL Network.  Verizon Fios, AT&T Uverse, Dish Network, and DirecTV all carry NFL Network.

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