The NFL is ultimately going to win. Individuals can push again on the product, and complain about Thursday Night time Soccer and abroad soccer all they need, however in due time modifications grow to be normalized, and even probably the most inept schedule makers hit on a matchup. Enter the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens on Thursday.
Two premier QBs, two scorching groups, and the AFC North is at all times a positive guess for a great, bodily sport. About that final half: It’s no secret Baltimore, Cincy, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland maul one another each time they face off. Followers understand it, groups understand it, your niece Shelly is aware of it and he or she doesn’t watch soccer. The one entity that doesn’t understand it, or doesn’t care, is the NFL.
After all, the perpetually dinged-up Joe Burrow was dinged heading into a brief week and tousled his wrist additional. And naturally, Mark Andrews’ season ended on a “hip-drop” sort out that the league thinks it might probably regulate out of the sport. Hell, Lamar Jackson took a visit to the medical tent only for good measure.
Positive, the Bengals season most likely wasn’t going anyplace (and final evening mainly assured it received’t) however think about if Jackson’s damage was critical as effectively? Baltimore’s new coordinator has the brand new offense rolling, and so they had been lastly getting sort of wholesome. There’s no motive to take pointless scheduling gambits to appease a TV associate.
Soccer followers are drawn to NFL video games like Swifties to an Eras Tour cease. It doesn’t matter what groups pull the quick stick, viewers will tune in as soon as the muscle reminiscence is ingrained. Any press is sweet press, and should you don’t consider that’s the NFL’s strategy then why is Roger Goodell nonetheless employed?
It’s nearly as if the homeowners take pleasure in how a lot the media and followers detest their designated scapegoat.
“Thank god they’re centered on Roger, and never us, proper Mortimer?”
One of many unwritten guidelines of scheduling is Thursday evening matchups need to be so dismal that the viewers solely wants to concentrate for a half. If Amazon says something concerning the rankings, they’ve the tech for hologram Al Michaels, and whereas they’re at it, may give AI Al a shot of enthusiasm.
All season, the league has been touting its use of supercomputers to make the schedule as if anyone cares. Right here’s an thought: How about asking Hal to rig it so groups coming off bye weeks play Thursdays? Then they’d have further time on the entrance and backends of the off week. No? Too logical? Alright, I’ll go sit within the nook.
Up till final evening, the TNF slate was its common forgettable self, and the rankings had been up over final yr regardless of developmental showings from Tyson Bagent and Will Levis the previous two Thursdays. Who cares if the narrative of midweek soccer is the poor high quality of play? Prime Video already despatched a Hummer full of money to all 32 franchises, and the league didn’t inform them to speculate a small fortune into one other ineffective studio present.
It will take a hell of loads to usurp Sunday Night time Soccer’s broadcast as probably the most unbearable, so Tony Gonzalez and Kirk Herbstreit are superfluous. Choose one, and attempt to cancel the opposite so you may get out of a contract. That’s what the Raiders did with Jon Gruden, and look how effectively that labored out.
The NFL is extra unkillable than Haliburton. Missteps don’t matter so make Carolina, Atlanta, Tennessee, Las Vegas, and the remainder of the organizations with disposable quarterbacks the designated TNF and NFL Europe groups. Let the bona fide stars stick with their restoration routine as a result of what occurred Thursday evening was as predictable because it was avoidable.