The NFL needs a Thursday Night Football alternative

While the NFL and Network television might enjoy the extra revenue from Thursday Night Football, is it really worth the extra night? Have there been too many games aired late on Thursday night that you were glad you stayed up for? The only time anything resembling a decent product has been rolled out on the field is late in the season when teams are in a playoff hunt. Otherwise, the quality of football being played is lethargic and boring.

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Players hate having to play on short days rest. The NFL tries to combat this by giving those teams a bye week the following week or proclaiming the 10 days rest should suffice. However, it seems each year more coaches and players are speaking up in disgust for Thursday Night Football. Players hate it because they often leave the field banged, bruised and exhausted. Coaches hate it because they feel they don’t have enough time for preparing their team for travel, game planning, and rest. Now, everyone can argue they’re professionals who get paid a lot of money to play. However, the same could be said in regards to fans expectations of the product on the field. If teams can’t put out their best performance due to lack of rest and growing health concerns, why waste your money on tickets for a sub-par game?

If the NFL wants to explore new revenue sources, instead of throwing yet another night of football at the masses, why not institute a whole new fold to the current scheduling structure. Instead of Thursday Night Football, why not implement Rivalry Weekends where a certain percentage of the league is playing their divisional rivals on their home turfs. Would you rather watch 11 games of boring Thursday Night Football that no one puts their heart into, or renew old-school football rivalries that seem to have died over the years? Establishing these games would take teams back in their rich history and renew fan interests in the matchups.

The NFL could make a ton of money on the merchandise alone. Imagine rolling out custom-made rivalry jerseys instead of the eye soars they call color rush uniforms. If the home team wears blue, the visiting team black (the colors of bruising) mixed with player numbers in their team’s color and logo fans would go crazy for the chance at limited edition gear. Instead of 3 boring hours of lackluster football on a work night, imagine 12 hours of football on Saturdays and Sundays a couple of times a year. If the NFL markets the rivalries correctly revenue for television and advertising could reach a whole new level. The money is out there for the NFL and networks. They don’t have to handcuff themselves to Thursday Night Football which everyone but themselves hates. It’s time for the NFL to end this experiment and try something new. #endTNF.

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