Brew: Thursday Night Football not good for players or fans
- Nov. 14, 2012
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For the 2012 NFL Season, the league made the decision to expand its Thursday Night Football package to 13 games, with the games airing on the NFL Network. This was a bad move not only for NFL teams but also for the fans.
I understand that having Thursday Night games gives the consumer another night to watch the NFL, but this idea sounds better than it is. With these games airing on the NFL Network, most fans won’t be able to watch the game without paying to subscribe to the network. This part of it makes sense for the NFL because its tactics and business savvy have made it the most successful and profitable professional sports league in North America. I don’t doubt that the popularity of the NFL and the passion fans have for its respective teams will get people to purchase access to the NFL Network so they will never have to miss a game. There’s only one problem with this formula: These Thursday Night football matchups have been dreadful.
Here are some examples of the boring matchups that Thursday Night Football has provided us with: New York Giants (6-4) vs. Carolina Panthers (2-7), Arizona Cardinals (4-5) vs. St. Louis Rams (3-5-1), and coming to you tonight, a heavyweight matchup between the Miami Dolphins (4-5) and the Buffalo Bills (3-6). Like I mentioned earlier, I understand why the NFL is having these Thursday night games. The league wants to make money and please its loyal fans by giving them another day with an NFL game.
I also don’t mean to insult these aforementioned teams; many of them have won Super Bowls, which is something I can’t say for my Minnesota Vikings (who were beaten on Thursday Night Football by the Buccaneers three weeks ago). It’s just that I want the customers who pay for the NFL Network to get the bang for their buck. If the NFL is going to make the fans pay more to watch these games, it should give them better matchups. These Thursday Night games are also unbeneficial to the NFL teams.
Player safety has been the biggest issue in the NFL during the last few years with reports of the trauma hits to the head can cause for NFL players. The league is changing its rules to try to prevent these hits and bring awareness to the safety issues, but why make players who are coming off a game on Sunday play another game with little rest?
I’m not saying a player playing a game on Thursday instead of Sunday increases his chances of getting injured, but it seems to be going against the NFL’s views on players’ safety. It remains to be seen whether the NFL will continue to have Thursday Night games for most of the season, but if I had to guess, the money that comes from the NFL Network will prove to be too much for the league to resist.