Thursday Night Football: Time to say goodnight

10 years ago the NFL brought in the Thursday Night Football (TNF) package as a way to get live games onto its own network. Many would complain because they had no way of watching. As a result, those games were then simulcast on CBS and now NBC. Former head coach and announcer John Madden recently aid that TNF was garbage and the NFL should do away with it. How do you feel about TNF?

A recent report by Mike Florio of stated that the NFL will be taking a closer look at the current state of Thursday Night Football. I think this is the proper move by the NFL. I know for me, as a fan that too much can be a bad thing. I like the anticipation of having to wait until Sunday or Monday for my team to get back on the field. It gives you excitement and build-up throughout the week. As a writer, yeah there is more to write about with weeknight games, but you can always write about the pregame preparations and smack talk. Heck, maybe you could be the result of bulletin board material.

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Injuries and player safety are a huge concern in the NFL now. Playing a game 4 days after one was just completed is tough on the body. If the NFL was to reduce back to one game in 7 days it would alleviate those concerns and lessen team’s injury reports. They would also see an increase in the competitiveness of its players. I do not believe that players are often giving their all on Thursday nights in order to not risk injury.

I can remember, back before the NFL Network that Thursday games were only reserved for those 2 on Thanksgiving afternoon. We were then provided with Saturday afternoon and night games later in the season. Those games mainly took place after the college season was complete. Why not bring that back?

I believe that the Thursday Night Football Package over saturates the NFL with scheduling issues, bad match-ups, and bad TV ratings. Take for instance the Washington Redskins this season. They played a game in week 11 on Sunday Night Football. That is an 830pm EST start time. Depending on how the game is played, the earliest the game would likely be completed is 3 hours (1130pm EST). In order for a player to fully recover from the intensity of an NFL game, they need a minimum of 24 hrs. I understand that most teams do not have any contact in practice, however, the sheer intensity of an NFL game weighs on the body and mind. For a team to only have 2 days to prepare for a game is truly a tragedy to not only the game but the fans as well.

The NFL would also be helping out the fantasy football player. I know that I have often fallen victim to the incomplete lineup because of missing the Thursday game. Fantasy Football, both daily and weekly, is a multi-billion dollar industry. I know the NFL probably does not care about the fantasy player, but if they were too they would see the effect.

The NFL would be doing us all a favor by ridding itself of the Thursday Night Football Package.  It is no longer for the good of the game. The NFL has plenty of other ways that it can make money. The return to Sunday and Monday only is the way to go. The contracts for CBS and NBC run through 2017, so we have to put up with it for one more season. However, I feel the competition level, TV ratings and a decrease in injuries would benefit the most from saying goodbye to Thursday Night Football in 2018!


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Sean Naylor

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