Thursday Night Football Dilemma

Street Talk Thursday Night Football Dilemma

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Players Are as Much to Blame as Owners

It’s long been stated by many players around the league, and even some coaches, that Thursday Night Football is a farce to drum up more money for NFL team owners.

Some say it goes entirely against the league’s commitment to player safety. After all, playing on a short week isn’t ideal with many players acknowledging their bodies are just getting back to normal on Thursdays.

During their season ending State of the Ravens address, team owner Steve Bisciotti offered his response to those players and coaches griping about why Thursday football is here to stay.

“No. 1, I don’t know that there’s ever been a player poll on how much they hate it,” said Bisciotti. “It seems to me that a lot of these guys talk about how they don’t get pressed very much; they basically get walk-throughs before a Thursday game, and then they get four days off afterwards.”

Thursday Night Football Dilemma

Steve Bisciotti at The State of The Ravens press conference

First and foremost that is entirely true. From a media stand point it’s like pulling teeth to get anything useful other than the players focusing on their opponent, coach speak.

Bisciotti continued with his stance on TNF…

“I think they paid us over $400 million a year for Thursday Night Football, is that correct? OK, there are 1,800 players in the league, and there are probably 1,000 of them that are [playing] on the minimum [salary], let’s say, right? Rookie contracts and veteran minimums, maybe more than that. But let’s just say it’s 1,000; that’s 800 players.

“If you took those 800 players and you said, ‘You’re going to give up $200 million,’ because we split revenues about equally with the players, and we said, ‘You like it so little that you’re willing to give up … Each veteran player that makes more than the minimum has to give up a quarter-of-a-million dollars a year.’

Interesting facts and figures that are never reported by the four letter network or the league’s own broadcast channel that continues to walk a fine line when talking about its product.

“To give up one Thursday night game, how many do you think would vote for that?,” continued the Ravens head honcho. “Any player that I’ve heard complain about it never says, ‘I’d be willing to give up a quarter-of-a-million dollars to get rid of one game on a Thursday night.’

“So, let’s do a better analysis of that before we decide that the vocal minority that hate it are willing to give up a quarter-of-a-million dollars of their pay, because that’s about what it would be.”

Pretty solid analysis by an owner who ranks as one of the quietest owners of the 32 NFL teams.

Perhaps these players who continue to speak out against Thursday Night Football should take note from Mr. Bisciotti. Instead of pointing blame at the owners they should take a hard look at themselves.

After all, no one wants to hear billionaires arguing with the leagues millionaires.

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Brian Bower

About Brian Bower

Brian Bower is avid football fan, born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He has covered the Baltimore Ravens and NFL player positives in the community for the past 6 years. This will be his 3rd season with the Russell Street Report. His work has been featured on NFL.com, ESPN blogs, Comcast SportsNet Baltimore, as well as the Baltimore Ravens web page. He is also a regular guest on local radio and ESPN Radio in Honolulu, Hawaii. Brian is very involved in the community and has spent the last twenty years as a volunteer firefighter. Email him at [email protected] More from Brian Bower

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