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It’s time for the NFL to admit its mistake, move on from Thursday Night games

By Matthew Coller

Two of the Minnesota Vikings’ most gut wrenching losses in 2016 came in games that they weren’t allowed to prepare for.

The Vikings fell to the Detroit Lions with basically only one practice in between their win over the Arizona Cardinals and game on Thanksgiving Day in the Motor City, then played one week later against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football, so they weren’t given the extra rest right away that usually comes along with games on Thursday night.

Complaints have been aplenty about the quality of Thursday Night Football games, but the toll that it takes on teams, especially in the latter half of the season, can have an affect on the outcome of the season.

The hypocrisy is so blatant that only the NFL would be audacious enough to do it. On one side of the NFL’s mouth, they say they’re making the game safer. Look, Moms! On the other side, they put players in danger by giving them no time to recover or prepare.

You might understand pushing the limits if the games were appointment TV, but they’re often bad and rarely watched at the same rate as Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football, unless the game features the Cowboys or playoff implications or both, in the case of the Vikings-Cowboys matchup last year.

Yet, somehow the commissioner thinks TNF can be saved by fewer commercials.

“I felt the increased commercialization, particularly on Thursday night, where we’re going to have more aggressive changes — we’re going to reduce that,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “To my surprise last year, we put some more commercialization in there, there were some more spots in that I was not aware of and we saw that and we’re going to get that back out of the game. So many mentions that are not related to the game on the field, we’re going to reduce that, we’re going to take that out.”

So you’re playing them with less recovery time and taking away TV breaks where players can catch their breath.

Legendary broadcaster and NFL head coach John Madden touched on all of the issues when he was asked about Thursday games by Sports Illustrated.

“We’re spreading it out more and more with fewer good teams, which makes it doggone impossible to have good games…something has to be done about Thursday Night Football. It just doesn’t work. It’s not only a fan thing, it’s a team thing. It’s a safety thing. It’s a competitive thing. It doesn’t work. I know about money, and I know about business. Maybe you have to tweak stuff a little more. To help teams, maybe you get a bye the week before.”

It may be about business, but not smart business. If you’re a musical artist, do you put out an album every two years or every three months? If you produce a record every three months, there’s too much supply to meet the demand. Your songs are always available, so there’s less urgency to find them.

If the NFL does away with Thursday night games, players will rejoice, games will be better, fans won’t miss the dreadful games and the league will be juuuuuust fine financially.

Oh, and we’ll never have to see those “Color Rush” jerseys ever again.

The post It’s time for the NFL to admit its mistake, move on from Thursday Night games appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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