Time to close curtain on Thursday night football

Rarely muffled, Seattle's Richard Sherman actually speaks some sense this week. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Rarely muffled, Seattle’s Richard Sherman actually speaks some sense this week. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

So much that he does leads us to believe that Seattle’s voluble cornerback Richard Sherman is a terrible waste of a Stanford education.

And, yes, he blatantly interfered with Julio Jones two months ago in a game-changing moment that went uncalled by the bystanders in vertical stripes.

Yet, he may have been onto something useful when earlier this week he so eloquently referred to the NFL’s Thursday night game as an “absolute poopfest.”

This Thursday night, Sherman’s Seattle Seahawks face the team the Falcons just four days earlier stripped to the bone, the Los Angeles Rams. Sounds like a good evening to finish that macramé plant hanger you’ve been meaning to get to.

The Rams, who after the Falcons beat them 42-14 fired their coach, rank below even any given Kardashian as belonging on prime time.

You might as well put this game on PBS during pledge week with all the other self-help seminars and Pink Floyd tributes that you’d never watch normally, yet someone continues to believe will inspire you to give money (sorry to air a personal grievance there).

I have strategically waited to bring up this topic until there was a dreck matchup like this. Last week’s Raiders-Chiefs game had too much intrigue going for it, not that I was so desperate for a fix of sanctioned violence that I couldn’t have waited another three days for it.

But back to Sherman’s complaints.

“We played (losing Sunday at Green Bay), got home at one o’clock in the morning or something like that on Monday and then you got to play again. Congratulation NFL, you did it again. But, they’ve been doing it all season; so I guess we’re the last ones to get the middle finger,” Sherman said.

Normally, I’d cheer anything that discomforted that guy. But Thursday night football is an abomination, a sacrifice of player well-being and competitive quality for a short-term money grab. But even the league, faced with declining TV ratings, is beginning to take notice that more isn’t necessarily better.

Bad enough that they do it to collegians – granted Thursday night at Grant Field can be a wonderful setting, although it treated Georgia Tech poorly this year against Clemson. At least they have one more day of a short week to recover and prepare.

In the NFL, other than on Thanksgiving, when football is necessary to maintain peace in the home, there is no justification for such a hurried turn-around in a sport that already asks so much of its players.

Retired coach and voice of football on another weeknight, John Madden, struck on one of the major reasons Thursday night football as a whole doesn’t work.

“What happens is there are not a lot of good teams, and they have too many windows to put these games in,” he said earlier this season.

“When you think of an early Sunday window, a late Sunday window, a Sunday night window, a Monday night window, a Thursday night window. They all want good games, and there’s not enough good teams.”

There are whispers that the NFL may pull the plug on the Thursday night game, or at least use that possibility as a bargaining chip to encourage the players to accept a longer regular season. Whatever, dropping this smudge on the calendar could only improve the quality of the product and whet the public’s hunger for it.

Any inkling of its demise is welcome.

Because Thursday night football is not just your average, everyday poopfest. But, rather, an absolute one.

Reader Comments 0


I'd watch the NFL every night if I could. I don't get the logic that says if we have less games available, people will appreciate them more and rating will increase?

One could also argue less games means people will have an easier time doing something else. You know-like we use to do.

It really is simple-rating are down because the games are not competitive and then fans are asked to watch a ton of commercials. My guess is Monday and Thursday night rating will increase one the NFL finally allows fans to pay and stream games in real time like the other major sports.



In your article about Thursday Night Football you refer to NFL as "sanctioned violence". How the he.. have you lasted so long as a sports writer with that attitude?

I suggest you write about Tiddly Winks or perhaps if you want to get real Sporting, perhaps Bocce Ball!

Never again will I read your writings!



The solution to Thursday Night is take two teams that would normally play on Sunday and let them play Thursday Night, then let them have their bye week  three days later.  That way they get 10 days off on both sides of the Thursday Night game.  


11.5mins:  average time the ball is in play in pro football game.

3.08hrs:  average time to play a pro football game.

63mins:  average time of commercials in a 3.08hrs pro game.



I usually crash sometime during the first half.....damn Natty's.


The NFL used to own Sundays and have a strong claim on Mondays. We would all ask to get off early on Mondays so we could get to the 6:00 PM (west coast) kickoff. Now I have trouble justifying time for the Falcons. Games are no longer special and they drag out with the same commercials playing over and over.

Look, a TD. Now a commercial. Next a PAT, then a commercial. Then a replay and a kickoff. Time for a commercial. If the Central Office has time to handle a review, insert a few more commercials. Look a penalty. While the officials huddle to count off five yards for delay of game, another commercial. And we wonder why these games take so long.


@ChessMaster: ". . . they drag out with the same commercials playing over and over."



You nailed it--although it's not "a" commercial; it's five or 10 commercials at every opportunity by the greed-driven TV network and NFL execs.

You'll also notice that when the talking heads and/or league officials lament the "mysterious" decline in viewership, they ALWAYS (smarmy, lying weasels that they are) dance around the huge issue of FAR too many suffocating, annoying, obnoxious, repetitive commercials!

The Grizz
The Grizz

As long as people keep watching Thursday night football, they'll keep scheduling it. I have boycotted it all season long. Forcing players to play again 4 days after the last car crash is just dangerous and stupid. It's just about the money.

I also won't watch the international games. If the NFL wants my attention they'll have to play on our own soil.

As an NFL junkie, it kills me to miss those games. But I lived with 3 games on Sunday and 1 on Monday for years and got along in life just fine. I guess everyone draws a line in the sand at some point in their lives.

Goodell pretends the league cares about player safety, but he's so full of s***. He's ruining the league and has got to go.


@The Grizz

As "an NFL junkie" myself, I wish they'd play every night.

But back to reality, why not move the Thursday night games to Friday night? That would add another day for recuperation/preparation--and because it's not a school/work night, viewership would climb.

High schools on Friday nights? Don't wanna hear it. That's what the colleges used to say about Friday nights; now they play every Friday night during the season, and I've yet to see a study showing that it has hurt high school football.


Sucks when your team loses a Thursday night. 


And, on Thanksgiving, we really only need two games to get us through the day, not the third one they've foisted on us in recent years.