Whatever Roger wants, Roger gets. And Roger wants Thursday night flexing.
Commissioner Goodell came close in March. Two votes short. Twenty-two yes, eight no, two abstentions.
Of course, there wasn’t an official vote, because that would have officially made the effort a failure. Instead, the measure was tabled for two months. And, with a vote expected this week, it’s safe to say the Commissioner believes he has managed to move two of the 10 to yes.
That also assumes the group of 22 that previously voted for the move haven’t had a change of heart. Maybe one or more of those teams re-thought their position after Giants co-owner John Mara called the proposed late-season sliding of games from Thursday to Sunday and Sunday to Thursday as “abusive” to fans.
And Mara was right. It is abusive to fans, especially to those sufficiently passionate to spend the time and effort and money to travel to games, under the impression that games will happen when scheduled, not three days earlier or three days later.
Much remains unknown regarding how often this power, once the league office finagles it, will be used. How much notice will be given? How many games can be flexed from Thursday to Sunday and, in turn, Sunday to Thursday in a given year?
Also, will the league use it right away, or wait until next year? There’s no need to force the vote now, if it’s something that wouldn’t be used until 2024.
Then there’s the reality that most of the teams that opposed Thursday night flexing ended up with multiple Sunday-Thursday games in 2023. The league calls it a coincidence. There’s a belief in league circles that it wasn’t coincidental.
And the vague notion that there is price to pay for resisting the NFL’s idea of progress could be enough to get some of the holdouts to relent, this time around.
Regardless, it shouldn’t happen. The simple reality is that it likely will.
Because football is family. Except when you plan to take your family to a game in a warm climate over the holidays, only to find out that the game isn’t happening when it was supposed to be played.