Is Richard Sherman Right About Thursday Night Games?

By Matt Paradise
Dec. 15, 2016

As the Thursday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the LA Rams comes up tonight, Richard Sherman, as usual, wasn’t shy to weigh in on his thoughts about the logistics of Thursday Night games.

“Poopfest. It’s terrible” Sherman said. “We got home like 1 o'clock in the morning, something like that, on Monday, and then you've got to play again. Congratulations, NFL, you did it again. But they've been doing it all season, so I guess we're the last ones to get the middle finger."

Is Richard Sherman right? Is Thursday Night Football terrible? Many have been weighing in on the topic all year with different thoughts. One thing for certain is that the Thursday Night games with the players on short rest have been a lesser product than your usual Sunday slate of games. With the short rest and less time to game plan, we have seen a version of the NFL that looks like minor league football so far on Thursday nights. In a sense, Sherman has a point, but every team has to do it, and every team only does it once. 

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

There is some arguments for the Thursday night games. For years, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys have played every single Thanksgiving, which conveniently is on a Thursday. If these two teams could play once per year on a Thursday and the fans love the thought of Thanksgiving football, why can’t every team play one time on Thursday night throughout the season? We as fans love football so much that we want to see it as many days as possible during the 17 week season, so even if it is a lesser product we still want to see football on Thursday nights right? Millions of people still watch every week.

Then there are the arguments against. No, no matter how much we want to see football, the league should never put a lesser product out there. We love football because of how great it is and we shouldn’t diminish that. What about player safety? The NFL preaches increased awareness of player safety yet puts players in danger by putting them on the field with not enough time to recover. That seems hypocritical and the only interest is the extra revenue.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s take a look at a possible solution. The majority of fans would say they want to see football on Thursday nights, so changes need to be made to improve the logistics of the Thursday night games, and the only way is through the scheduling. If every team simply had their bye week the week preceding their Thursday game, they would have extra rest and preparation time going into the Thursday game, as well as the usual extra rest and preparation coming out of the Thursday game. By scheduling the bye the week before the Thursday game, a team has 10 full days off and plays on the 11th day, followed by 9 full days off and playing on the 10th day after the game. This gives the teams ample time to recover and game plan to ensure the Thursday game is a quality product and helps with player safety. If it is too difficult to schedule this as the season scheduling currently stands, perhaps the season could be extended by 1 week to 18 weeks giving each team a 2nd bye week with one mandatory bye the week before a team’s Thursday game. This actually gives fans a better product on Thursdays as well as an additional week of football to enjoy while improving player safety and increasing revenue for the league. Sounds simple, right?

What do you think about Thursday Night Football? Do you love it or hate it? What changes would you make? Comment and let us know! Stay tuned for more current sports stories. Don't forget to follow us on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram @beyondthemetrics, and Twitter @byondthemetrics.