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Old 12-12-2003, 03:53 AM   #1
Anthony
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Question Two Monday Night Games Per Week Soon?

Concerned about matchups like this past Monday night's St. Louis at Cleveland game and the December 22 Green Bay at Oakland game that is virtually assured of being blacked out in one of the country's largest TV markets, Paul Tagliabue has gone on record as considering the idea of having the NFL play two Monday night games each week, one being nationally-televised and the other not on the original schedule, the idea being that those two roles can be reversed if the "second" game proves to be more meaningful (so far as the playoff picture is concerned) than the "first" (presumably viewers in the market of the road team of whichever game did not get televised nationally would be able to watch both games, with some local station besides that market's ABC affiliate picking up the signal, much the same way as is done now with the Sunday night games; plus the market of the home team of the "other" game would also get both games, provided the game sold out - although Tagliabue did not elaborate on this matter).

While it is hard to see how this could do any harm, the real issue here is that the NFL needs to get out of the "prediction" business (under current procedures virtually all teams that get to play on Monday night either made the previous season's playoffs or just barely missed). This of course segues into another one of my oft-proposed solutions, and that is to guarantee every single NFL team at least one appearance in a nationally-televised, non-cable game. At present there are 44 such slots - 32 from the 16 Monday night games (starting this year there is no longer a Monday night game the last week of the regular season), four on Thanksgiving, and four each on two Saturdays in December - and there is nothing to prevent the league from adding some more, say, by playing a game the Friday night after Thanksgiving, or even day games on holidays like Columbus Day or Veterans Day (in 1993 there was a day game on New Year's Eve, which fell on a Thursday that year - Minnesota at Washington if memory serves). Of course the "good" teams could be put on the national TV schedule somewhat more often (with 48 slots half the league's teams could get on twice and the other half once), and the worst of the worst can always be relegated to the Saturday games in December or the new slots I've suggested; but in any case this would represent a massive improvement over the present method, which literally guarantees several "stinkers" per season because every year some of the top finishers from the year before are going to disappoint.

If nothing else, this very topic is living proof that the bed of roses known as "parity" is not without some very real thorns!

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Old 12-13-2003, 04:39 PM   #2
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Yep ... one big downside of parity in the NFL is we get a lot of "stinker" games that were supposed to be good when they picked them. One example is the upcoming Raiders vs. Packers game ... only the Packers have a chance at the postseason, and the Raiders have given up. It's hard to hype that as Game of the Week. That said, I think the current format should stay and like the whole country focusing on one game.
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Old 12-14-2003, 03:48 AM   #3
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Of course adding a second Monday night game would be the wrong "cure," because the "disease" consists of the NFL's broadcasting gurus trying to "handicap" a season five months before it even starts! By automatically excluding every team that finished with a poor record the year before from the upcoming season's free TV schedule, they guarantee, without fail, that they will "miss the boat" on one or two teams every year (this year those teams were Cincinnati and Carolina). If the NFL instead adopted what I'm suggesting - 48 nationally-televised, non-cable slots, with half the teams in the league getting on twice and the other half getting on once - they would never "miss the boat" again, plus if a "good" team from the previous year flops it would only ruin at most two national TV games instead of three or even four, as is possible now.
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Old 12-15-2003, 02:29 PM   #4
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Why must you always make things so complicated? Just have two Monday night games from week 6 on, the better game gets televised nationally everywhere but in the two markets in which the lesser game has. So say if New Orleans and NYG was the other Monday night game tonight, every market but New York and New Orleans would get Philly and Miami.
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Old 12-16-2003, 02:07 AM   #5
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Several comments:
1. Oakland has given up, Marc? Try telling Brian Billick that right about now. The Packers SHOULD win in a walk, but as you note in another thread, the Pack are so wishy-washy it's a turn-off.

2. I agree with Anthony's suggestion that there should be less emphasis on getting good matchups and just even out the field. There are 16 MNF games every year, right? So, make sure each team makes it once. End of story. To be sure the game has meaning to someone each week, make them all divisional matchups.

3. I disagree Edgar with the premise of having two games with the local force-fed. The great part of MNF is having the opportunity to see other teams not from your market. If you're in an NFL market, you get that market's team and, locally, anyway, a bunch of crap. Usually divisional games I don't care about when the league's last two unbeatens are duking it out somewhere else, or worse, absolute hooey like SF v Arizona. Gimme the one game, no opportunity of being screwed out of a good game by the broadcast rules, having only Bill Callahan to blame for next week's Oakland-GB game being a lot more lackluster than originally expected when they scheduled it.

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Old 12-16-2003, 10:14 PM   #6
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I personally would prefer NO Monday night or Sunday night games. They were fine when I lived on the left coast, but I just don't feel like staying up past midnight to watch anymore. I'd prefer Saturday games started two weeks after Thanksgiving.
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Old 12-18-2003, 10:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
The great part of MNF is having the opportunity to see other teams not from your market. If you're in an NFL market, you get that market's team and, locally, anyway, a bunch of crap.
Well, at the risk of sounding like a know-it-all, you can get NFL Sunday Ticket and not have to put up with local games. I just thought it was misleading to act like you have no other choice. And I am not a big fan of cable TV as satellite TV is really not all that more expensive and you can get so much more. Anyway ... it will be tough to be without it in college.

As for jnmhayes, I do like the Sunday and Monday games, but it is impossible to watch all of them (especially MNF) when you have to wake up early for work or school. This is just something that bothers me all around -- even not getting to see the big Western Conference showdowns in the NBA because they start at 10.
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Old 12-19-2003, 06:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marc
Well, at the risk of sounding like a know-it-all, you can get NFL Sunday Ticket and not have to put up with local games. I just thought it was misleading to act like you have no other choice. And I am not a big fan of cable TV as satellite TV is really not all that more expensive and you can get so much more. Anyway ... it will be tough to be without it in college.
Of course, Marc, the problem with this theory is that not everyone can get DirecTV, currently the only satellite TV that offers Sunday Ticket. I don't know the numbers offhand, but if you read TMQ on nfl.com/network long enough, he'll recite them to you. On the other hand, if I were living in Canada, TMQ says anyway (I've never verified), Sunday Ticket is available on cable TV systems. What the hell's that about?

I'm hoping that sooner, rather than later, the NFL gets off its DirecTV love affair and avails Sunday Ticket to digital cable subscribers. Then, I might become a Sunday Ticket subscriber... till then, I have nowhere to put a dish and a deal on my digicable, internet and phone, that I'm unwilling to give up.

All that said, that's no reason to screw with non-Sunday Ticket subscriber Lions fans with the local s*** when they could be watching Green Bay-San Francisco...

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