The NFL is finally going to win. Folks can push again on the product, and complain about Thursday Night time Soccer and abroad soccer all they need, however in due time adjustments change into 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 sizzling groups, and the AFC North is at all times a certain wager for a superb, bodily sport. About that final half: It’s no secret Baltimore, Cincy, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland maul one another each time they face off. Followers comprehend it, groups comprehend it, your niece Shelly is aware of it and he or she doesn’t watch soccer. The one entity that doesn’t comprehend it, or doesn’t care, is the NFL.
In fact, 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 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 principally assured it received’t) however think about if Jackson’s harm was severe as effectively? Baltimore’s new coordinator has the brand new offense rolling, they usually have been lastly getting type of wholesome. There’s no motive to take pointless scheduling gambits to appease a TV accomplice.
Soccer followers are drawn to NFL video games like Swifties to an Eras Tour cease. It doesn’t matter what groups pull the brief stick, viewers will tune in as soon as the muscle reminiscence is ingrained. Any press is nice press, and should you don’t imagine that’s the NFL’s method then why is Roger Goodell nonetheless employed?
It’s virtually as if the house owners take pleasure in how a lot the media and followers detest their designated scapegoat.
“Thank god they’re targeted 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 scores, they’ve the tech for hologram Al Michaels, and whereas they’re at it, can provide 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 concept: 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 traditional forgettable self, and the scores have 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 take a position a small fortune into one other ineffective studio present.
It could take a hell of so much 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 more 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.