Friday, September 7, 2018 10:05 AM

I don't like Thursday Night Football

in Sports by MegaBearsFan
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Thursday Night Football

So, this might be a blasphemous statement from any self-described "football fan", but I really don't like Thursday Night Football, and I really wish that the NFL would stop having Thursday night games. Keep the Thanksgiving Day game(s), as many of us need the distraction of football to prevent us from murdering our certain relatives (especially given the current political climate), but for the love of gods, just stop with all the other Thursday night games.

Last night, the 2018 NFL season kicked off with a Thursday night rematch of last year's divisional round playoff game between the Atlanta Falcons and the (eventual Super Bowl champion) Philadelphia Eagles. It was a fine enough game -- actually played out almost identically to last year's playoff game. The Eagles won that playoff game 15 to 10, and they won last night's week 1 rematch 18 to 12. It was kind of a messy game, with lots of penalties, but it was close and tense, and that's what we all want in football right?

Not all Thursday Night Football games are as close or competitive as the 2018 season-opener.

But not all Thursday night games are nail-biters between potential Super Bowl contenders. The NFL, in its infinite wisdom, sometimes decides to grace us with the privilege of watching a toilet bowl match. For instance, this year's week 3 matchup between the Jets and the Browns looks to be a battle between two league bottom-feeders. Who knows? Maybe the Browns and/or the Jets will have good seasons this year due to their new quarterbacks, and maybe they'll even compete for the division? Probably not.

Even games that look like they should be hard-fought games can turn into one-sided bores. Take, for instance, last year's opening week Thursday night game between the Chiefs and the Patriots. Looks good on paper, as both teams were potential Super Bowl candidates, and both teams made the playoffs. The result, however, was a lopsided 42-27 ass-stomping. Now, I like watching the Patriots be humbled as much as the next guy, and I had Alex Smith on my fantasy football team, but I still got bored with this game.

No, I'm not ready for some football!

Lopsided games and toilet bowl matches are going to happen regardless of what day the game is scheduled. That's not my real reason for disliking Thursday Night Football. Put simply, it's just too soon to start a new week of football. The final game of the previous week was just three days ago! The Monday night games (whether they're good games or not) are a perfectly satisfactory cap on a weekend of football. It's an encore, and it's something to look forward to after getting up on a Monday morning and dredging myself back to work. Thursday night games just don't have that same appeal to me.

Thursday night games don't have the same appeal as coming home on a Monday to watch football.

In addition to not being something that I particularly look forward to, having this one football game game in the middle of the week feels more like a disruption. It gets in the way of other things that I want to do. It also puts undue pressure on me to get my fantasy football lineup squared away, and to get my football bets in at the sportsbook (I live in Nevada, it's legal). The sportsbook doesn't even put the parlay cards out until about 9:30 am on Thursday morning. It's not early enough for me to pick them up on the way to work, and the game starting at 5:20 pm (Pacific time) doesn't give me enough time to make the bets on the way home from work. So I have to either show up to the office late (after picking up my parlay cards) and then fill them out and drop them off during my lunch break, then stay at the office late (or take work home with me) and miss the beginning of the game anyway; or I have to go to the office early, pick up the cards during lunch, fill them out at the office, and leave the office early to drop them off.

Similarly, the Thursday night game means that I (and I'm sure many other fantasy football players) have to spend undue time at work setting my fantasy lineups and checking for injuries. This is especially true for those of us on the west coast who don't have time after work to set our lineups before the game starts. Thank you, NFL, I'm sure my employer is thrilled that you are reducing my work-place productivity every Thursday for a third of the year.

I don't like having to carve time out of my work day to set my fantasy lineup or place my bets.

In all these cases, the Thursday night game is more of an annoying disruption that feels more like a chore, than a fun or anticipated reward. Congratulations, NFL, you found a way to make watching a football game feel like a burdensome chore! And this is coming from somebody who actually watches every single one of my team's preseason games. Granted, most of them are the rebroadcasts that the NFL Network is kind enough to give us, but I do watch them.

Are the teams ready?

The NFL has done a much better job in recent years of ensuring that the Thursday night teams have enough time to rest and prepare for the game. I still remember the years when a team would have a Monday night game, and then have to play a Thursday night game three days later. That is just brutal! It was tough on the players and tough on the coaches who have only three days to watch game film and put together a gameplan. At least the NFL finally became wise enough to put a stop to that nonsense.

Even with the scheduling rules set up to prevent a team from playing a Monday and Thursday game in the same week, the Thursday night games still reduce prep time for coaches and players by two or three days. Continuing with Thursday night games, while at the same time preaching "player safety", is just one of many examples of the NFL's greedy hypocrisy.

Yes, Hank Williams Jr., I am ready for some football on Monday night. But I'm not ready for it on Thursday.

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