NFL needs to stop flexing the schedule, including Thursday nights

Miami Dolphins Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Miami Dolphins Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The NFL owners will vote on a proposal to allow flex scheduling late in the season on Thursday nights. It’s a mistake.

It would be wonderful if we can believe that the NFL wants to flex Thursday night games late in the year to provide fans with better games. The NFL says that the proposal would give the league an opportunity to provide better games with what could be playoff implications instead of games that might be between teams that are not very good.

In reality, the NFL knows that they have a better chance of seeing an uptick in Thursday night viewers if they have better games, and that would equate to more money.

What the NFL needs to do, however, is just stop flexing games all together. For the league, it’s not a big nightmare. Teams can shuffle concession employees around, they can hold off on a return flight home, but for fans, it could mean having to sell your tickets to the game because it costs too much to change a flight.

Sure, the viewers at home get a better game to watch but if the NFL just played the game on Sunday or Monday, fans would still get to see the game.

Thursday night games have been a point of contention since the first year they implemented it. A short week for teams that play the previous Sunday. The league has not make a strong push to have teams that are coming off a bye week play on Sundays. That would make more sense.

The league has maximized their earning potential with network broadcast deals and now, these newtorks want more opportunities to showcase top teams late in the year that will up their viewers and thus make more money in advertisments.

There is no way the NFL is going to do away with Thursday night games even though they should but flexing the games late in the year, even with a 14 day window, should include. It’s already hard enough when games on Sunday night and Monday nights are shuffled around, or for that matter, shifting from 1:00 to 4:00.

While it may seem like a great idea and let’s face it, some of those late Thursday night games are not very good, the opposite of all of this is that maybe the Thursday night games get better. Of course, if the NFL would just stop trying to put every team into primetime throughout the season, we wouldn’t have any of these problems.