Look, there are no mysteries here folks. It’s pretty straightforward: Thursday night football has GOT TO GO. Honestly, I can barely believe that I’m saying it myself(!), but I am. After a few years of this concept, I think we have enough evidence to make a conclusion. And the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that this experiment should end.
Why? Well let me count the ways.
Now before I get into that, I’ll be the 1st one to tell you that any day football is on tv is a good day to me. And what’s more, I think the College Game does a good job of setting good matchups for Thursday games. As a College Fan, one would prefer to see programs with some quality name recognition square off. And it helps if a given matchup pits teams that are 1) pretty evenly matched, or Conference Opponents 2) a Big Name Program set up in a Trap Game, or 3) a Late Season Showdown/Rivalry Game.
And (for the most part) those are the games I see. Yeah, I’ve seen some duds hyped up as must-see-tv, but mostly, those ballgames are pretty good. So I’ve got no issues with College Football on Thursday Night. In fact, I like it.
No. My problem is with The NFL doing Thursdays. The bottom line it just doesn’t work, and I’ll give you 3 reasons why:
- The Matchups suck
- The Uniforms SUUUUUCK
- The Gameplay quality is lacking
Alright, let’s get into this.
The Matchups Suck
Shit, they do! Look at this year’s schedule…
Actually, this year they’re not that bad. I was ready to talk all kinds of shit – until I saw matchups like this:
- THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30TH
8:25PMETREDSKINS AT Cowboys
- THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19TH
8:25PMETChiefs AT Raiders
- THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 09TH
8:25PMETSeahawks AT Cardinals
- THURSDAY, DECEMBER 07TH
8:25PMETSaints AT Falcons
I can’t lie; those are some legitimately good ballgames – plus we get another opportunity to bust The Rival’s chops on Thanksgiving Night. I love that!
BUUUT, you knew there were gonna be the toilet bowl matchups too. Namely
- THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST
8:25PMETRams AT 49ers
- THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 02ND
8:25PMETBills AT Jets
- THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28TH
8:25PMETBears AT Packers
Who in his right mind wants to see this crap? Sure, they’re Division Games, but who cares? And the odds against Chicago beating Green Bay AT Lambeau are going to be tremendous!
To be fair, The League did a better job of putting together games people wanna actually see (this year). But the fact remains that far too many of these ballgames have little compelling interest. While I can appreciate that the point of this showcase is to give overlooked teams their moment in the sun, there is still a need to draw interest. And the truth is that I don’t really care to see a 3rd Place vs 4th Place Division Game in primetime.
Too many times, the College game that’s on at the same time is better.
The Uniforms Suck
Don’t even get me started.
Whoever thought up the Color Rush concept should be shot. But knowing the way The NFL operates, that asshole probably got a raise.
I mean look. I do understand that The NFL is in the business of making money. And any gimmick that allows teams to have another product line to sell (that make them dollars) makes sense. That doesn’t mean that I, as a fan, am obligated to like it. In the real world, most guys I know thinks it looks terrible.
But I”m sure those jerseys are selling somewhere.
It’s just….those uniforms are terrible! No – they’re an eyesore. Seriously, look at this. Doesn’t that turn your stomach? It does mine. Which is another aspect of these silly-ass games that makes ’em so hard to watch.
3 hours of that & I need an aspirin.
Poor Quality Gameplay
This is my biggest gripe about this ‘product’. Most times, the quality of the Gameplay sucks.
This may not be as obvious to the casual fan, but this issue has merit. Here’s the thing: football is a physical and violent contact sport. Often times, the majority of those collisions don’t look so bad on tv. But for the men on the field, 60 minutes of Game Time with constant contact takes a toll on the body.
This isn’t much of a secret. There are numerous instances of players noting that it takes them the lion’s share of the week after the game for their bodies to recover. This isn’t news. You can find players complaining about Thursday games here here & here.
And that’s just the low hanging fruit. The real deal behind Thursday Night Football games being so bad is that it gives a tremendous advantage to the Home Team in a given matchup. Though the numbers fluctuate from year-to-year, the designated Home Team enjoys a Winning percentage above .800! Think about that. That’s just across the board.
That doesn’t even factor in if the Road Team’s prior game was on the Road as well, or taking into account the distance travelled, or factoring in the quality of the Opponent that they’re designated to meet that night. That’s some tough sledding!
And these disadvantages play themselves out on The Field. Therefore, before Opening Kickoff gets underway, the outcome’s largely been predetermined. Tell me, what’s the fun in that?
That’s the deal. And that’s why it’s a mistake. We’re talking about too many boring matchups taking place in virtual clown suits, involving shitty play. Why continue the farce?
Let’s go back to what we’ve been doing: waiting impatiently all week for the Sunday showdown. That’s when the game is at its best.