Remember that scene in the movie “Gladiator” when Russel Crowe — Maximus — mows through a bunch of masked warriors in a gory parade of violence, then turns to the crowd and says, “Are you not entertained? Isn’t this why you’re here?”
I flashed on that scene while watching the Seahawks play on Thursday Night Football. It was a parade of injuries culminating in All Pro Richard Sherman blowing out his Achilles in a season-ending injury. The Hawks got the win, but at what cost?
I’ve been a football fan all my life. I started playing Pop Warner when I was 7 years old. I’ve been to more football games than I can count, and I can say without reservation that Thursday Night Football needs to stop.
If you’ve ever had the chance to talk to an NFL player, one thing they all agree on is how violent the game is. Playing on any given Sunday is like getting into a dozen or car crashes within a three-hour window. Expecting these men to just shake it off and play another game four days later is just flat out negligent.
The NFL needs to listen to the players on this one. They are telling you with their voices, and with their broken bodies, that this is a horrible idea.
I found a story from a year ago by NFL insider Mike Florio that said, “suggestions have emerged in recent weeks that the NFL could pull the plug on the experiment.” That was a year ago, and the mid-week games roll on.
So why are we still seeing teams dressed in their color rush jerseys playing on Thursday nights? As the saying goes, “the answer to all your questions is money.”
Thursday Night Football is the most blatant and calloused money grab in modern sports. The game puts the players at even more physical risk than usual. The ratings are bad, the quality of play is bad, and most importantly, the people who have to play the game are telling you it’s too much. Even the fans seem to recognize that this is not good for the game.
The NFL has been trying to convince us that it cares about player safety since they were forced to finally come to terms with the CTE issue. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is and end Thursday Night Football.
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