A Modest Proposal for Fixing NFL Thursday Night Games -- Take Advantage of the Bye Week

NFL coaches hate Thursday night games, because their players have essentially only half the preparation and recovery time as they do on a normal Sunday game schedule.

So here is my (partial) solution.  Where possible, teams playing Thursday night should have their bye week the previous weekend.  For teams with the bye week the previous week, a Thursday night game is no issue -- in fact, it might even be a benefit, breaking up a single long-preparation period between games into two longer-than-average periods.

This is probably only a partial solution.  Only 8 weeks have bye weeks, and since for week 1 the Thursday game is no issue, this only solves the Thursday problem on 9 of the 17 regular season weeks.  I suppose we could extend by weeks to more weeks of the season, but even as they exist today a partial solution is better than none at all, right?


  1. McThag:

    Or not have any football at all! Which, coincidentally also fixes universities!

    Worth a shot.

  2. jdgalt:

    Or just repeal the stupid federal law against playing pro football on Fridays and Saturdays!

  3. kidmugsy:

    You what? You're banned from playing on Fridays and Saturdays. What loony Stalinist nonsense is this?

  4. xtmar:

    You could also change it so that teams have a bye every week, instead of only for eight weeks. Currently they play 256 games in a season with 32 teams, and you could maintain that by having 16 weeks of 15 games a weeks, and one week of 16 games. You could then put the full week with 16 games at the end of the season, and your problem is more or less solved, except that there would be two teams who take their bye week in the first week of the season and have to play through, but they could be exempted from the gimmick games (London and Thursday night) for that season in exchange for their troubles. Every Thursday night game would be played by a team coming back from its bye week.

  5. Not Sure:

    Maybe I missed something in the article, but that link talks about a ban on televising Friday/Saturday games, not banning playing of the games entirely.

  6. Warren Anderson:

    I've had a similar idea. I say change the season to 18 weeks but still have 16 games. Each team has 2 byes, one in the first half of the season (but not in the first 2 weeks) and one in the second half (but not in the last 2 weeks). All teams that play on Thursday night have a bye beforehand.

    Even though it's the same number of games, I suspect revenue goes up for the league because there's an extra week of games and fewer games will overlap, so more overall TV time; which owners should support. Players should support it because it gives extra rest for healing.

    I suspect such a simple and easy change just won't happen with Goodell.

  7. jdgalt:

    You're right, I missed that distinction. But in practical terms it's the same thing.

  8. don:

    how about we get rid of all TV. then we won't have to watch anything. but that would anger the politicians. Without the telescreen they couldn't tell you what is good for you or bad for you.

  9. marque2:

    Having someone ask you for a drink at party because they mix you up for something else is not exactly racist. When I had a sales job many years ago, I had to wear a suit. It I went into a Target or some other retail store to get something, customers there would invariably ask me where something is located and if I can help them find it. Instead.of blowing up and telling them they are racist against my WHITENESS I politely said, I don't work here.

    Some people look for ways to be offended.