Despite what Richard Sherman may want — an opinion, by the way, that I think is shared by just about every player — Thursday night games aren’t going anywhere until at least a new collective-bargaining agreement is reached after the 2020 season.
Maybe all Richard Sherman was trying to do was make “Thursday Night Football” interesting.
Before, during and after the game, Sherman was pretty much all that was really memorable about Seattle’s lone Thursday night game this year, which for most of the 60 minutes between the lines lived down to his “absolute poopfest’’ description of the entire enterprise earlier in the week.
(The assumption here is that Sherman probably didn’t censor himself quite as much when he went into a sideline tirade and ripped into coaches for passing the ball at the 1-yard line in the third quarter.)
Sherman, recall, said Thursday-night games are, well, unappetizing to play in and ultimately to watch because four days isn’t enough time for players to recover physically from playing the previous Sunday to perform at their best.
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Had Sherman not lost it after the almost-interception on the throw to Jimmy Graham, Seattle’s 24-3 win over the Rams might have been as quickly forgotten as just about every other Thursday-night game this season.
Certainly, it made little impression on national TV viewers as the game drew just a 10.1 rating, which helped bring what had been a slight uptick in Thursday night ratings in previous weeks to a halt. (The ratings surge was helped greatly by the Dallas-Minnesota game two weeks ago that was the most-watched Thursday might game ever.) The Seahawks-Rams game drew a typically good number in Seattle of 40.1 but, in fact, the game was outdrawn nationally in the prized 18-49 age group by “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS.
It was also another in what has been a string of noncompetitive Thursday games, which have had an average margin of victory this season of almost 12 points.
You could fit into one tweet every memorable moment from a Thursday night football game this year.
But despite what Sherman may want — an opinion, by the way, that I think is shared by just about every player — Thursday-night games aren’t going anywhere until at least a new collective-bargaining agreement is reached after the 2020 season.
But even then, it’s hard to imagine the NFL giving it up considering the Thursday-night package will bring the league an added $450 million over this year and next.
It’ll also be interesting to see how much the NFL would even listen to the players on this issue because the days of the week when games are scheduled hasn’t typically been a real topic of discussion.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell restated the league’s stance on the matter Friday, telling ESPN that “I don’t think we’ve seen anyone who wants less football’’ and citing the Dallas-Minnesota game as proof of the success of the Thursday-night platform.
Judging Thursday-night football by a Rams-Seahawks game may be tricky. All games between the Rams and Seahawks of late have tended to be sloppy, penalty-filled, chippy affairs.
But certainly the play Thursday night was uneven at best and, well, worse at worst.
Sherman said afterward that “my legs didn’t feel great” and a few other players made similar comments.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the team had to make concessions during the week and on game day to account for little recovery time.
“There were some things going into the week and in the game itself, and in the game last week,” Carroll said. “I was tuned into that with certain players.”
He didn’t go into specifics. But it was noteworthy that tight end Jimmy Graham — who typically does little practice during the week to rest his surgically repaired knee — had the two lowest snap-count totals of his season other than in the opener (57.7 percent and 60.7 percent) the last two games, Seattle possibly managing his plays to not overwork him.
But the added money the Thursday-night package brings in undoubtedly makes such tradeoffs worth it for the league.
Some have noted that two of the best Thursday-night games were those when each team didn’t play the previous Sunday (which includes the opener) and wondered if a solution would be having each team that plays on Thursday have its bye the previous week.
But that would sort of mitigate the benefit of what is about the only thing anyone seems to like about Thursday-night games — getting the following weekend off — by essentially giving teams each of their “bye” weeks or weekends within the same two-week span. That would also mean some teams would take their byes in Week 2 or Week 15, etc.
One solution to that could be adding a second bye for everyone and spreading the regular season out over 18 weeks. But is it worth going to those lengths just for Thursday night?
Maybe if they’d promise to get rid of the Color Rush uniforms along the way.