THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Being this Thursday’s slate of NFL games is a special one, I figure this is a good place to start things off. In recent weeks we’ve heard from players like Richie Incognito of the Bills and Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks.
The second one, not only wrote about his dissatisfaction with Thursday Night Football last December, he also hobbled away with an achilles injury following his team’s win just this year. The injury will force Sherman to miss the rest of the year, and has brought up conversations about the long-term viability of the weekly contest out of concern for player safety.
Player safety. There’s an interesting topic. The league has long claimed to have just this at the top of it’s priority list while creating stiffer penalties on and off the field for actions they deem unnecessarily dangerous.
There’s been a focus on quarterback safety of course, and also for the safety of receivers putting in effort to make a catch.
However, this situation strongly flies in the face of the safety narrative being shouted by the NFL. Really, there’s only one solution.
It isn’t an original idea of mine. In fact, I’ve heard it more than a few times and really don’t even remember whom I first heard say it.
Limit the Thursday games to weeks six thru twelve, and put each competitor on a bye the week prior.
Looking at this strategy for 2017, we could have match-ups which are exciting during the week, and have players who are not only better rested but better prepared.
Increased prep time means better performance, and wouldn’t the NFL benefit from having their one weekday game per week being the best contest of the week? It’s a win-win-win. League, players, and fans all get a victory here.
I love football on Thanksgiving, and getting rid of Thursday Night Football is not likely to ever happen. So making it better and healthier for players, is the best way to work out this dilemma.
Expect more players to voice dissatisfaction with the current arrangement, and hopefully this will lead to positive change beginning with the 2018 NFL Season.