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NFL Picks Week 15, Thursday Edition: 'Greek' says ...


I’ve got to say, going into this week before I checked out the schedule; I was kinda hoping that there was no Thursday night game. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching as much football as possible, especially given the state of affairs of my Buffalo Bills, but these Thursday games, I fear, are starting to water down the excitement level.

Assuming that you don’t watch college football, your plate of football looks something like this: Thursday night, Sunday at 1 (possibility of 2 games), Sunday at 4 (possibility of 2 games), Sunday at 8, Monday at 8:30 (All times Eastern standard). That’s 5 games a week without even ordering Sunday ticket, and if you follow college football, you only get 2 days without games, and no days without analysis from ESPN.

The NFL has a great product, but we are starting to learn that they are stretching their efforts a bit thin. Look at the reaction to this year’s game in London compared to last year. Look at the reaction for last week’s game in Toronto. Viewers are being flooded with choices now and unfortunately, it is undermining the product. One of the great things about the football season is scarcity. With only 16 games in the season, every game means something. With games only on during certain times of the day and the week, watching football has become an event in itself. By taking that away, with all the random games on throughout the week, the NFL is taking away what makes it so great.

One just needs to examine Monday Night Football today vs. 10 years ago. With the advent of satellite, and the ability to watch any game you want, Monday Night Football no longer holds the mystique and reverence it once did. If Monday night is a terrible matchup, who cares, you had your pick of games to watch Sunday and a full slate of games next week. Monday Night Football used to mean something, but now it’s become just another game, despite all the promotion that ESPN has done.

Thursday Night Football works, but only if other games are eliminated. Back when TNT had the first half of the season’s Sunday night games, the league would move some games to Thursday night. This meant that there was no Sunday night game, and having a game on Thursday was considered a treat. If things don’t change, I fear many will see Thursday night games as a chore, and it will end up diluting what is a fantastic league.

New Orleans at Chicago (-1.5)

Last week: 8-8