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For safety-conscious NFL, short weeks don’t raise red flags

Thursday-Night--Football-B

This year, every NFL team will play one game on a short week.  And we like it, because it allows us to pay close attention on a Thursday to a game that otherwise would have been caught up in the seven-hour scrum on Sunday afternoon.

And plenty of players like it once it’s over, since it’s kind of like a miniature bye week, with at least 10 days until the next game.

But some players don’t like it at all.  “You have to ask yourself a real question when you schedule games like this:  Who does it help?  Because it doesn’t help the players,” Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said in 2010.  “That turnaround is just too quick.  You go from playing a physical game on Sunday and you have less than four days before you have to physically get back up again.  It takes a week for guys to really heal. . . .  I don’t know when they put it in but I’ve never liked it.”

At the time, we thought Ray’s words were part of the broader labor-deal dance, with the NFLPA being coy about expanded use of Thursday nights in order get a better bottom line from the billionaires.  And maybe it helped, because the league now has the ability to play 16 total short-week games.

But does forcing at least two teams per week to play with only three days of rest truly mesh with the league’s supposed safety epiphany?  We’re not sure it does.  Even though we otherwise like everything about Thursday Night Football — other than the dude in the bright blue suit.

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21 Responses to “For safety-conscious NFL, short weeks don’t raise red flags”
  1. godofwine330 says: Sep 14, 2012 9:18 AM

    Am I the only one who is tired of that stupid prick in the blue suit and moustache on the NFLN commercials? That dude is annoying and I wish they would have come up with better commercials than an annoying idiot on multiple commercials. Who thatough that was funny?

  2. joetoronto says: Sep 14, 2012 9:26 AM

    The Raiders have to travel to Miami from Oakland, on a short week, for an early game.

    That’s nuts.

  3. leftcoastnative says: Sep 14, 2012 9:29 AM

    Let’s be honest……it’s about the almighty dollar and getting as much TV time as possible on every channel to justify huge revenues and future increased revenues.

    It’s getting to be like ESPN college football with games every night of the week this season except on a Tuesday. The league opened on a Wednesday to accommodate Obama, and by the time the play-offs hit, we will have NFL games with brunch, lunch, supper, dinner and late night snacks.

    Bordering on over saturation, especially when some of it is not very good.

  4. ajc33635 says: Sep 14, 2012 9:43 AM

    The guy in the blue suit is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. Hard to believe some executive thinks this is a good idea.

    Yikes

  5. mrlaloosh says: Sep 14, 2012 9:52 AM

    Haven’t y’all heard? Mr. Goodell is all about safety. He wouldn’t stage a game on a short turnaround if it wasn’t completely safe. Tired & sore athletes don’t trump the almighty NFL billionaires club dollars! Man Up And Play! We need the spungeetas!
    BTW, that loser in the blue leisure suit is one of the reasons I zap commercials. Creepy.

  6. dvoxrox says: Sep 14, 2012 9:54 AM

    *Roger Goodell

  7. ravensgrl says: Sep 14, 2012 9:55 AM

    …and Cee Lo singing “Hey Ho” is the worst theme song I’ve ever heard.

  8. rickyoung1212 says: Sep 14, 2012 9:56 AM

    @leftcoastnative

    Tuesday games are happening this year with college games. My school (UL Ragin Cajuns) are playing two games on Tuesday this season (Ark St. and N. Tx State)….BUT, they obviously are not playing the weekend before and we don’t play the following weekend. So over the course of 21 days, they will play 2 games with 10-11 days rest. I’m not sure, but would be willing to bet all Tuesday games are following this schedule. We need the TV exposure (ESPN 2) and even though we are giving up a chance to tailgate properly, we are looking forward to both games. The other downside is it significantly lengthens the season!

  9. azr1988 says: Sep 14, 2012 9:58 AM

    It would seem there’s a pretty easy solution to the issue…have the teams coming off of bye weeks play on Thursday nights.

  10. challer9 says: Sep 14, 2012 10:01 AM

    joetoronto says: Sep 14, 2012 9:26 AM

    The Raiders have to travel to Miami from Oakland, on a short week, for an early game.

    That’s nuts.

    Oakland had a Monday night game at home and plays Miami on Sunday at 1:00. That isn’t what this article is about at all.

  11. Mike Florio says: Sep 14, 2012 10:04 AM

    Great point . . . and not a single team this year plays on a Thursday after a bye.

  12. fwippel says: Sep 14, 2012 10:09 AM

    These Thursday night games are nothing but a cheap ploy by the NFL to get its network more exposure. They also take games away from the NFL Sunday ticket package, further devaluing it as the years go on.

    So because the league wants its cable network on every cable carrier’s basic package, they feel justifiied in making every team play at least one short week game, and the consequences be damned.

    How many key players are going to miss games this year because they weren’t fully healed from the previous week’s matchup (just three days rest instead of six)? How many will play before they’re ready and end up getting hurt worse?

    If the NFL wants its network to have more exposure, they should schedule the games for Saturday every week. But Thursday is too soon, especially when the justification for doing so is that of trying to pump up a cable ‘network’ that wastes most of the year televising NFL Access reruns. Using these Thursday night games to try to justify the network’s existence is lame.

  13. petehemlock says: Sep 14, 2012 10:20 AM

    Pop quiz, hotshot: The dude in the blue suit and the Fox robot are hanging off a cliff. Who do you save? Who do you save?

  14. citizenstrange says: Sep 14, 2012 10:29 AM

    Stating the obvious … again …. but the fake concern about player safety act is all about trying to protect the league/owners from lawsuits.

    If it weren’t for the potential lawsuits Goodell and the owners would let them play on a field of broken glass and use sledgehammers and chainsaws for blocking and tackling purposes.

    And when the league has to defend itself in court James Harrison and Sean Payton are going to be Exhibits A and B.

  15. rpkllc says: Sep 14, 2012 10:33 AM

    Just do it after a bye week. Same for Thanksgiving.

    Oh, and the blue suit dude is horrible.

  16. smokinjoes91 says: Sep 14, 2012 10:39 AM

    See what you people don’t realize that is going over your head is that the blue suite guy is actually a brilliant commercial.

    Think of how many hours of TV an average American watches in a week and how many different commercials are seen. So many that our short attention spans (thanks to the Internet) can barely remember what commercial came on last break.

    For an advertiser to make something that evokes any kind of strong attention one way or the other is a win for them. Sure go ahead and rip on the blue suite guy but realize all you are doing is bringing more attention to it while the NFL laughs their way to the bank.

    Open your eyes and take a real look at the world around you because things aren’t always what they seem.

  17. cometkazie says: Sep 14, 2012 11:16 AM

    I thought they had resurrected one of the Smith Brothers.

    That prolly dates me.

    We apparently don’t get NFLN here in the BlueGrass on Time/Warner. At least I don’t see it on the schedule.

    The good thing about having a lot of games to choose from is you don’t have to watch the bad games.

  18. patfanken says: Sep 14, 2012 11:22 AM

    It really is hypocritical for the league to do this. The only reason it was started was to give its own network some games. Money Money Money.

    Still if the players are adamant about the safety issue, they’d have to be willing to have lower salaries due the drop in revenue.

    Of the top of my head, perhaps the solution is to schedule as many of these Thursday night games AFTER the bye in teams schedules. That way the team would have a full 11 days off before the game and another ten games afterwards. It wouldn’t be easy, and they might not be able to do a full 16 game schedule, but if they could get 10 in, it would be a good compromise

  19. bobzilla1001 says: Sep 14, 2012 11:26 AM

    As a person who actually works for a living, I detest ALL primetime games. I say keep ‘em all on Sundays. I’d even like to see the Super Bowl played on a Saturday night…

  20. wikipediasaidso says: Sep 14, 2012 11:33 AM

    Never been a fan of expanding Thursday games beyond the traditional Thanksgiving ones.

    I understand it’s a financial boon, but I don’t like it from a purely competitive standpoint.

  21. jlinatl says: Sep 14, 2012 1:27 PM

    If fans are opposed to it, the easiest way to stop it is to not watch.

    I don’t like the Thursday games. I spend pretty much every waking moment Sunday in front of the TV. Again Monday night. It probably is at least reasonably fair that my family would like me spend some time with them

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