It may be the sheer awfulness of this Thursday's
Nobody likes what they see.
The latest to weigh in is
As Klemko observes, the league expanded its one-game Thanksgiving Day tradition to a slate of eight games on Thursdays in 2006 (aired on its
The broadcast money being talked about is in the neighborhood of $700 million a year, which would just about cover in a single swipe the $765-million settlement the NFL signed with players suffering from concussions. Actually, more than cover it, because some of the $765 million may be illusory and most is to be paid out over years.
The irony is that as much as the league claimed the settlement attested to its concern for its players' health (not that many people believed that), critics argue that the Thursday night games are endangering the players' health.
A possible data point involves
Nor is Thursday night a fan's paradise. Games played by two exhausted teams, one of which may have traveled clear across the country, tend to be tired, conservative, fumble-, interception-, and penalty-plagued affairs. Does the NFL care about the quality of play on the field? This is the league that staffed regular-season games with replacement refs for three weeks last year, so draw your own conclusions.
Moreover, the bad games are still ratings bonanzas; even this Thursday's likely snoozer is expected to draw 8 million viewers. That's like catnip to possible bidders such as