Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has gotten a lot of attention this week for taking a strong stance against Thursday Night Football, going as far as to call it a (earmuffs) “Absolute poopfest.” Writing for The Players’ Tribune on Wednesday, Sherman expanded on those comments, specifically on how the schedule puts players at higher risk of injury and that the Seahawks and LA Rams get to be the last teams this season to suffer those consequences.
My Seahawks teammates and I are playing in the last Thursday night game of the season this week, so we’re one of the last teams to be exploited in 2016 — one of the last to be taken advantage of. We’re the last to get the middle finger from the NFL.
But as long as the NFL is using that same finger to count Thursday Night Football dollars, I don’t think it really cares.
Sherman notes that the NFL is being hypocritical to say that they want to increase player safety but then ask those same players to turn around from a Sunday game to play in a Thursday game with just three days of rest (including practice) in between. It’s not necessarily “news” that Thursday games are dangerous and water down the product of football, but Sherman is clearly unafraid to air his views and call out pro football for valuing more money over more safety. If the game is to be played on Thursdays in the future, Sherman says that maybe teams should get an extra bye week, including one before every Thursday game.
I’d like to put Roger Goodell in pads for a late game on a Sunday, in December, in Green Bay, on the frozen tundra — then see what time he gets to the office on Monday morning, knowing that he would have to suit up again on Thursday.
He also made a very interesting hint at getting rid of the preseason altogether, something that is not addressed very often, if at all. The NFL would probably be quicker to turn two preseason games into two regular season games, but I’m not sure what Sherman’s idea would be for wiping the entire preseason away considering that it’s how teams pare the roster down from 90 players to 53, or that guys who could get lost in the shuffle without a preseason include fifth round rookies ... like Sherman was in 2011.
Maybe Sherman just thinks that the NFL should just increase the size of rosters or something, but as he knows, that won’t help the league’s bottom line. Nor will getting rid of preseason games that sell a lot of tickets and get good enough ratings.