By David Hauser
Roger Goodell, the self appointed crusader and czar of NFL player health, found it within his complex web of cognitive dissonance to courageously demand teams play on 3 days rest, so the world can get yet one more night of football…and perhaps, oh I don’t know, his owners can make a few more greenbacks.
In yet another bout of wild hypocrisy (to go along with “Bountygate”), for the first time ever the NFL has scheduled weekly Thursday night games in order to commandeer one more night of voluptuous and bountiful TV ratings. Better yet, with the Thursday night monopoly on professional football his The NFL Network can gain further leverage with Time Warner Cable in their endless bickering to add the 24-hour football network to more households (at a hefty price of course) and big markets.
What is lost in all of this is the fact that the product looks terrible on Thursdays. The complex uptempo offenses, amazing quarterback play, and gifted skill players fans have fallen in love with in the last 2-3 seasons all require time to master execution and rest up from the prior week’s bloodbath. But Goodell won’t have it, not when there is more $$$ on the table. Goodell shrewdly selected a Bears v. Packers matchup, that had all the makings to be one of the best games of the year. But due to his greed and insistence on placing this game on a Thursday night to spotlight his network (making it ever the more noticeable to cable viewers who do not receive the NFL Network), what could have been one of the marquee games of 2012 turned into an unwatchable slopfest.
Yes, Clay Matthews racked up 3 sacks and both defenses were conceivably more active, but anyone who watched the game knows that this was more of a product of offenses depleted of healthy skill players, lacking practice, and unable to execute. Mark me down as one voice willing to forego an extra night of football to enhance the quality and health of the game. And Roger, your big crafty master plan to convince me to call up my cable company on YOUR behalf to beg them to pay your ransom for your precious product…yeah…that’s not happening either.