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  • Contributors


    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
    Dave Lapham
    Has called game for the Bengals radio network for 25 years. Analyst for Big 12 games on Fox Sports Net. Played 10 years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Turk Schonert
    NFL quarterback for 10 years with the Bengals and Falcons. Has served as quarterback coach for the Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Giants and Saints and Offensive Coordinator for the Bills.
    Phil McConkey
    Played 6 years in the NFL as a WR, punt returner and kick returner for the Giants, Packers, Cardinals and Chargers. Played college football at the Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy before joining the NFL. Best remembered for his oustanding game in Super Bowl XXI.
    Josina Anderson
    Josina "JoJo" Anderson is contributing reporter on Showtime's Inside the NFL and is a weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 Sports in Denver, Colorado. Josina produces the nightly sportscasts and covers the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
    Jerry Jones
    NFL Draft Expert, has published the acclaimed Drugstore List since 1978.
    Russell S Baxter
    Researcher, writer and editor covering the NFL for over 30 years.
    Andy Freeland
    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • Thursday Night Football ... Money Over Health

    I know that fans love Thursday night NFL football. It's another night that we get to watch our favorite sport. Owners love Thursday night football because it puts a lot of money into their pockets. If so many people love Thursday night football, why do the main characters (coaches and players) hate it? The NFL preaches about the health and well being of today's players ... "what can we do to make this game safer for them?" Then, the NFL goes out and makes players and coaches travel 3 time zones to play a game after just playing a game 4 days prior. Players bodies and brains aren't satisfactorily recovered from their physical play of a Sunday's game when forced to play on Thursdays. Minor injuries become more significant because of the lack of rest and treatment time. Any significant injury knocks a player out of the game which hurts the quality of play. How many good Thursday night games do we see, especially when a team has to travel 3 time zones? Let me answer ... very few. A player's body needs recovery time and so does their brain. A tired player is more susceptible to injury and poor play. And, how about the coaches? Coaches don't go home after the Sunday game, they go straight to the office and start watching game film of their Thursday opponent, then they stay up all night putting a game plan together so that they can install it to the players on Monday. Coaches are sleep deprived as it is, and with Thursday games, they never recover!! Coaches coach tired on Thursday night, they drink masses amounts of coffee or drink too many energy drinks to try to stay alert and keen. How many questionable coaching decisions do you see on Thursday night games?
    How is this looking out for the safety and well being of players and coaches? If you're going to preach about the safety and well being of the players, look at all avenues to improve on, not just some. Lets not be blinded by gobs of money. I know that Thursday Night Football isn't going away, but lets put some guidelines in place to make it better for the main characters (coaches and players). Keep the teams in the same time zone, make sure that the teams didn't travel 2 or 3 time zones the previous game and have them play at 1pm. Lets give the coaches and players as much preparation time, and more importantly, as much recovery time as possible. After all, fans want to see quality football being played and coached on Thursday night. Money is often times blinding ... lets open our eyes to the betterment of the game, and to the well being of its main characters!!

    Comments 27 Comments
    1. buzmeg's Avatar
      I love football, however I hate Thursday Night football. In my opinion, NFL football is a weekend sport and should be played as such.

      However, as we all know, money talks and television rules the sports world.
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      Even moving the games a single day to Friday night would help.

      I wonder why the NFLPA or some other party doesn't propose that Thursday night games only allow teams coming off of a bye week. Obviously, this would require that the Thursday games take place between weeks 4-11.
    1. PhillyPhan's Avatar
      I love Thursday night football, I think the easiest solution to this is to ensure that every team that plays on Thursday has a bye the preceding week.

      I'd also say that any team that has to travel out of the country (London game) also get a week off prior.

      3 thanksgiving games + 7 other thursdays + UK game is 11 games / 22 teams, that leaves 5 games / 10 teams that don't have anything "special" after their bye... Wednesday night football anyone?
    1. buzmeg's Avatar
      The real solution would be to play all NFL games on the weekend, (Sat - Sun - Mon). let the NCAA go through the juggling act and play their games on the other days of the week. As I said previously, I hate NFL Thursday games and I don't follow college until bowl season starts.
    1. Curtis's Avatar
      I don't mind the Thanksgiving games (less the Cowboys and those forever terrible Lions), but I am not a fan of weekly Thursday games. I never really considered the NFL's hypocrisy of player safety over greed, until Turk pointed it out. And he makes some great points that I can agree with. I've always suggested/wished the NFL would scrub Thursday and give us a double header on Monday nights. Fridays are for high school, staurdays are college. Let's leave the NFL with Sundays and mondays.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Hold on a minute.

      I thought taking repeated blows to the body made it stronger?

      Mike?
    1. brauneyz's Avatar
      As a fan, I love TNF! But smart and fair, it is not.

      I do think the safety/parity issue could be addressed via bye weeks (as mentioned above) and including a few more variables into the original scheduling. This is such a great topic - one we've informally chatted about in the past, but I would love to see the algorithm the scheduler(s) use. Other than the fixed ones (whom one plays), what accounts for when during the season, or time of day, any two teams play? It would be great if there were an actual live human being who looks at it and can spot such egregious errors. No way should any team play 3 games in 16 days in multiple time zones.

      As always, and I'll try not to be too cynical here, but as long as there is money to be made, the NFL will push the boundaries of common sense, IMO.
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by PhillyPhan View Post
      I love Thursday night football, I think the easiest solution to this is to ensure that every team that plays on Thursday has a bye the preceding week.

      I'd also say that any team that has to travel out of the country (London game) also get a week off prior.

      3 thanksgiving games + 7 other thursdays + UK game is 11 games / 22 teams, that leaves 5 games / 10 teams that don't have anything "special" after their bye... Wednesday night football anyone?
      Most of the Thursday Night games occur later in the season, where byes are not given. Which I think there should also be byes later in the week for the health of the players. But that won't happen since November is a valuable tv watching month.

      Teams that go to London get a bye after the game. I don't know if its better to get the bye before the game or after the game, but I think most teams would rather get it after the game.
    1. Amy's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Curtis View Post
      I don't mind the Thanksgiving games (less the Cowboys and those forever terrible Lions), but I am not a fan of weekly Thursday games. I never really considered the NFL's hypocrisy of player safety over greed, until Turk pointed it out. And he makes some great points that I can agree with. I've always suggested/wished the NFL would scrub Thursday and give us a double header on Monday nights. Fridays are for high school, staurdays are college. Let's leave the NFL with Sundays and mondays.
      This is me, too. I like the Turkey day Thursday games, but I'd rather not see other Thursday ones. Sunday is fine, with Monday night. I wouldn't want double headers, though.
    1. darvon's Avatar
      1) Starting probably 2012, Full slate of Thursdays.

      2) Until about 6 years ago, the NFL schuedule was done by a husband and wife team in Vermont as a contractor. That was eliminated and it was brought in house, so now it is probably done be a teams of interns from Harvard and Smith. Which is part of the problem.

      NFL scheduling chief Howard Katz told Ourand that 500,000 potential schedules were generated via computer, and that the field was reduced to 5,000 “playable” combinations of the 256-game slate. Then, once they settle on a possible schedule, they continued to look for better combinations.
      It's Howard's fault.
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      As a fan, more football > less football. I personally LOVE Thursday night football. Double headers on Monday night wouldn't work because you sacrifice half your audience when you consider West coasters aren't out of work when the early game would start and east coasters are headed to bed when the late game starts.

      I do agree a little common sense with the scheduling should be at play. Having Philly travel to Seattle for a Thursday night game is ludicrous to me. I can see travelling maybe one timezone away, but not two or three. A bit of common sense here would be ideal.
    1. Robmoore365's Avatar
      Clearly they were not thinking when they schedualed the Packers 3 games in 11 days. Im surprised they didnt have more injuries.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Not a fan of Thursday night, and especially with the Steelers playing this week. There's just something rushed about it, and I do think the quality of play suffers significantly. I think the game risks saturating the market, and the scheduling has been incredibly stupid, with NYJ, SF, and Philly all forced to travel multiple time-zones thus far. Perhaps limiting to only divisional games would work, but that would also probably limit the appeal of the product.

      I'd be perfectly fine with no Thursday night. But then again, if Monday is going to produce matchups like SD-Jax, maybe Mondays shouldn't be in the cards either.

      Thankfully, I've found one thing that gets me through bad football. The footballpros chat room. It's phenomenal!
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Robmoore365 View Post
      Clearly they were not thinking when they schedualed the Packers 3 games in 11 days. Im surprised they didnt have more injuries.
      It wasn't just the Packers who played 3 games in 11 days. In fact, unless there's a bye week mixed in somewhere, every team who plays on Thursday night plays 3 games in 11 days.
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      - Eliminate the extra week between the Conference Championship games and the SB
      - Give each team one TNF game
      - Give each team an additional bye week which coincides with their TNf game

      We get 18 weeks of RegSea football. We get rid of the stupid SB bye week. The NFL gets an additional week to sell the TV wonks.

      Everybody wins. Ain't rocket science, people.
    1. Curtis's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by SpartaChris View Post
      As a fan, more football > less football. I personally LOVE Thursday night football. Double headers on Monday night wouldn't work because you sacrifice half your audience when you consider West coasters aren't out of work when the early game would start and east coasters are headed to bed when the late game starts.

      I do agree a little common sense with the scheduling should be at play. Having Philly travel to Seattle for a Thursday night game is ludicrous to me. I can see travelling maybe one timezone away, but not two or three. A bit of common sense here would be ideal.
      You are right about the west and east coast problems with a double header. Maybe just put the Thursday games back into the 1p and 4p sunday mix. It wasn't broke and I don't remember anyone I know wishing for games on Thurs. I really don't see the benefit, other than tv revenue for the NFL. I really don't like the presentation, but I like Mayock. To be honest, I usually forget it's on.
    1. Robmoore365's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by SpartaChris View Post
      It wasn't just the Packers who played 3 games in 11 days. In fact, unless there's a bye week mixed in somewhere, every team who plays on Thursday night plays 3 games in 11 days.
      Only if they start with a Monday night game and end with a Thursday night game would they play 3 in 11, if they start with a Sunday game it would be 2 games in 5 days and 3 in 15 Days, and if they end with a Monday game it would be 16 days. If you just play Sundays you have 3 games in 15 days.

      I like Thursday night Football when you have games like Green Bay VS New Orleans, but when you get games like Seattle at Philly, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, who cares. Throwing one good team into a show like that is boring. Why not Giants at Philly, Baltimore at Pittsburgh, Indy at New England (with Peyton of course) games that are not your team that you would want to watch. They won’t get rid of TNF, but should set both teams up for success by giving them an early Sunday game, TNF, then SNF or MNF. The teams may be happier having two spotlight games in a row and earn some extra time off.
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Robmoore365 View Post
      Only if they start with a Monday night game and end with a Thursday night game would they play 3 in 11, if they start with a Sunday game it would be 2 games in 5 days and 3 in 15 Days, and if they end with a Monday game it would be 16 days. If you just play Sundays you have 3 games in 15 days.

      I like Thursday night Football when you have games like Green Bay VS New Orleans, but when you get games like Seattle at Philly, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, who cares. Throwing one good team into a show like that is boring. Why not Giants at Philly, Baltimore at Pittsburgh, Indy at New England (with Peyton of course) games that are not your team that you would want to watch. They won’t get rid of TNF, but should set both teams up for success by giving them an early Sunday game, TNF, then SNF or MNF. The teams may be happier having two spotlight games in a row and earn some extra time off.
      Because games like that are usually protected by the networks paying top dollar to broadcast them.

      As for the math, I had Sunday - Sunday = 8 days - Thursday = 4 days, so 3 games in 12 days, so I was off by a day. I don't think that one day makes a world of difference, but maybe it does.
    1. SpartaChris's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Curtis View Post
      You are right about the west and east coast problems with a double header. Maybe just put the Thursday games back into the 1p and 4p sunday mix. It wasn't broke and I don't remember anyone I know wishing for games on Thurs. I really don't see the benefit, other than tv revenue for the NFL. I really don't like the presentation, but I like Mayock. To be honest, I usually forget it's on.
      See, I LOVE Thursday night football. Absolutely LOVE it. It gives me another chance to watch a game that I normally wouldn't get to see if it were simply mixed in to the Sunday games. And therein lies the benefit- The fans. We'll watch because it's on and we love football. We have a whole slate of things to choose from, yet we still watch Thursday night football because we love it. Frankly, I'd be pissed if they took it back.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      The projected TV deal coming the NFL's way delivers over $200 million per team per year. WOW! It doesn't matter what we think about Thursday Night Football. It is here to stay.....every Thursday night. The networks need another vehicle for advertising revenue to make their nut for the NFL payments. The audience is there to generate a lot of dollars. Players and coaches will have shortened careers for all the reasons discussed, but it is all about SHOW ME THE MONEY!! The NFL will just cycle more players and coaches through the league at a faster pace. They don't care, it's business. Player safety and improving working conditions will always be sacrificed for the almighty dollar.