Goodell suggests Thursday night football is here to stay

In his prepared remarks at the Harvard School of Public Health, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said nothing about the impact of short-week football upon the league’s unprecedented push for safety.

The topic came up in the post-speech question-and-answer session.

“We have to look at the data and see if there’s a higher frequency of injuries,” Goodell said regarding Thursday games, via Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe.  “We have not seen that.  If we did, we would certainly evaluate that.

“[The players], actually, in most cases, like the Thursday night game.  They don’t practice much the week of the game, and they get 10 days off after that.  They enjoy that aspect of it.  The reaction, while always mixed, right now has been quite positive from a players’ standpoint.”

While the thumbs ups may exceed the thumbs down, one very influential player previously has given the approach two thumbs way down.

“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.”

Since the most recent CBA, at which time the players had a chance to scuttle Thursday night football completely, short week games have grown, with every team now playing once per year a game on a Sunday followed by a game on a Thursday.  And while that make it fair from a competitive standpoint, it doesn’t make it right.

That said, the Cowboys and Lions have been playing one annual short-week game every year for decades.  And there have been few complaints about it.

Moving forward, the players can complain all they want.  With the current labor deal lasting until 2021, it’s highly unlikely that anything will change any time soon.

37 responses to “Goodell suggests Thursday night football is here to stay

  1. How about Friday night or Saturday night games? I hate staying up until midnight for games and then getting up early for work.

  2. Thursday games are good, but they really need to schedule better games. Who wants to watch the Dolphins and the Bills unless you live in those cities?

  3. I love the Thursday night game. If anything I’d like to see a Friday night and a Saturday night game!

  4. I wouldn’t mind if they continued. However, I would propose that they only occur with the season opening game, and then during the bye week period. Two teams that are coming off of a bye week would have 10 days before playing on Thursday, followed by 9 days before playing in the next weeks game. This gives two long weeks to not only recover, but prepare. Playing Sunday and then Thursday leaves 3 days. You figure Monday is film/recovery, Tuesday practice and Wednesday is walk-through/travel. That is too short of a period to plan for an opponent.

  5. Don’t care for them myself. However, I don’t see why the NFL doesn’t try to arrange the schedule so that the 2 teams squaring off on (most) Thursday nights are both teams coming off their bye week. So, they’d have ~10 days off before and then 10 days after.

  6. Nooooooo!!! This Thursday thing sucks. The games are bad and there’s that whole safety thing but more importantly the games stink. Leave them to the forgotten games on Sundays

  7. Much as I love the game and watch all the games on Thursday regardless of teams playing, I’d be for the NFL giving up all Thursday football including Thanksgiving games if the players would go back to the old practice rules. I think the new practice rules hurt the quality of the game big time. I love quality over quantity any day.

  8. Quantity over quality is exactly the issue at hand. The teams rarely look fresh but if everyone is still watching its another opportunity to make money from advertisers.

  9. I voted “No Opinion” because, safety and healthwise it’s not my ox being gored. But, as a fan, I could watch football every day of the week.

    “We have to look at the data and see if there’s a higher frequency of injuries,” Goodell said but I’m gonna guess that he won’t find a hard correlation…not with all that additional TV revenue streaming into the coffers.

    We love football. The NFL provides us with what we love. I’m conflicted.

  10. Don’t like Thursday games at all… It dilutes the football product. Not only is it bad for players, and often has bad matchups, its bad for the game. One reason the NFL is king is because it’s about SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY and the more that gets twisted it will affect the overall popularity.

  11. Today the Steeler Nation continues their dominance over the Ratbirds. We will again prove who the holy one is.

    They won the last few times, why? Because we let them! They need their confidence built up so beating them today will be even more enjoyable. Wow, we are so gracious.

    Here we go Steelers, Here we go! Jealous?

  12. I’ve come to enjoy the Thursday Night games. I’m always depressed after the MNF game ends and now I don’t have to wait 5 1/2 days for another game.

    Yeah, the announcers are boring, they need to sell the games to TNT.

  13. Move those games to Friday Nites…Goodell needs to put quality teams on the schedule for all viewers to watch…besides the local area viewers cheering for their team, who wants to watch the Bills and Dolphins cause these 2 teams are sub avg. teams most likely won’t make playoffs

  14. I think that they should add an extra bye week during the year, and make Wednesday games, too. That way a team has at least 10 days before and after a Wednesday game. Maybe that would satisfy the skeptics as far as rest and injury.

  15. I’ve never been able to see a Thursday night game because it’s not on any of the channels of my cable package that I already pay too much for and hardly ever watch.

  16. For u of those asking y the NFL doesn’t put the games on Friday or Saturday night?, its because it’s all about ratings!, n most people who the NFL markets to is out Friday n Saturday nights. No one does anything on Monday nights, that is y MNF is so big!

  17. For u of those asking y the NFL doesn’t put the games on Friday or Saturday night?, its because it’s all about ratings!, n most people who the NFL markets to is out Friday n Saturday nights. No one does anything on Monday nights, that’s y MNF is so big!

  18. I’ve come to appreciate Thursday night football even though it has its flaws
    if we didn’t have tnf that’d probably be one less game on TV for most people so can’t really complain

  19. The NFL does Thursdays because of twp reasons: 1) too many miilions of families tied up into highschool football games on Friday evenings. 2) same thing for Saturdays with college football.

    Thursdays are an easy pick. December Saturdays can work, but Thursday is a good day. Sure there is a NCAA game on Thursday’s, and they are putting up decent games to compete with the NFL, but it’s not cutting the mustard. Thursday’s NFL games, regardless of the match-up, are good. Sunday and Monday night games aren’t always great match-up’s, but football is football

  20. football58 says: Nov 18, 2012 9:08 AM

    Thursday games are good, but they really need to schedule better games. Who wants to watch the Dolphins and the Bills unless you live in those cities?

    The same can be said about any two teams throughout the NFL, Dallas vs. New England, NY Giants vs. San Diego, who wants to watch those teams unless you live there? If you ask me, each team should have a Thursday night game. All it would take is 16 weeks, 32 teams, then every city gets the chance. I’m sure the NFL could figure a way to schedule it. All NFL teams have a world wide fan base. The Buffalo Bills have Bills-backers clubs all over the place, Germany, the Ukraine, Florida, Texas, pretty much every state and Country on the planet. I’m sure all 32 teams have fans spread all over, the NFL is crazy popular. You might not enjoy seeing certain teams, but there are hundreds of thousands that do.

  21. calibear831 says:Nov 18, 2012 10:52 AM

    For u of those asking y the NFL doesn’t put the games on Friday or Saturday night?, its because it’s all about ratings!, n most people who the NFL markets to is out Friday n Saturday nights. No one does anything on Monday nights, that’s y MNF is so big!
    ___________________________

    Wrong. The reasons the NFL doesn’t play on Friday and Saturday nights are high school football and college football, respectively. Why don’t you inform yourself before posting.

  22. Some of you folks with the “they should schedule better games” just don’t seem to get it.
    These Thursday night games are almost entirely about giving EVERY team in the league a chance to play on national TV regardless of how dreadful they have been the previous year.

    And it’s about $$ too. It always is. So, if people will watch them (and real football fans will) then they will be on.

    I like them, and my team was on it’s only Nationally televised game on it, and I like that.

    The NFL marketing is NEVER aimed at the casual, luke-warm fan. It’s pretty much aimed at the fans who will take football whenever they can get it.

  23. I love football to the point that I watch all games. I would be happy watching any team on any given day. As a Pat’s fan, I was very interested in the Bill’s and Dolphins game this past Thursday. That being said, I also have concerns about player safety and fatigue. Having teams that would be on a bye week play on the Thursday night games would make the most sense to me.

  24. Really? Football fans saying that they would rather not see football on another day of the week?

    Now that I think about it, I think I would like to not breathe one day a week.

  25. Why not only schedule teams for Th. night games after a bye? Even the Thanksgiving day teams could have a bye the previous Sunday. We already had one weekend with 6 teams off.

  26. Take a look at the Giants’ early season Thursday night game. The Giants were without 7 starters because they didn’t have time to heal correctly with the short week. The Giants still won, but short week games could have a serious impact on playoff races & also the product suffers with a good portion of players sitting out. I say dump Thursday night & institute a Saturday night game. If the NFL doesn’t want to go against the NCAA, then put in a Friday night game; the one day will help a lot with healing. Nevertheless, I don’t think the NFL is too concerned about going against the NCAA. There have long been Thursday night ESPN college football games, long before the NFL started Thursday night games. I say they go with a good matchup on Saturday Night Football & nix Thursday night.

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