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Thursday night opener and kickoff celebration to be yearly thing????

Tom [Giants fan]

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Commissioner favors early game for future seasons


Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A Thursday night game to begin the NFL season might become an annual event.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said on Wednesday that an early game is likely to be repeated in future seasons, not necessarily in the New York area where the Giants will play the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night, but in what he called "dynamic" cities around the country.

"We did it this year in New York because it correlates with the anniversary of Sept. 11. "But it makes a lot of sense to start each season with a prime-time game that can stand on its own."

Tagliabue said that like this week's game, which features a Times Square concert by Jon Bon Jovi and others, the opening game would likely be coupled with a community celebration.

He said they would likely be in major markets, suggesting that Chicago might be suitable when the Bears reopen Soldier Field, currently being renovated, or in cities like Washington, San Francisco and Dallas among others.

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Originally posted by Tom [Giants fan]


I think it was just the idea of showing the world how New York City and America for that matter can bounce back from events that took place a year ago.

I figured Monday night, Sept. 9th would have been the choice then. But maybe Tags wanted the New York game to stand out even more. That's cool. I do think it would have been even better then if it had been Redskins/Giants, because the DC area was hit as well. I think sometimes people forget how badly the Pentagon got struck because the tragedy at the WTC was just so overwhelming.

But none of this is a criticism. Just thinking out loud.

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Henry..that was my initial reaction too - how on earth do the two dates correlate.

You don't suppose isolating a single game between two big market teams would be a ratings ploy, do you? Or is that too cynical?

Heck, I'm for spreading out the games so Joe Fan (like me) gets to see 'em. I hate the fact that I wait all off-season like one of Pavlov's salivating dogs when I get a whiff of football and then they have 15 games on one day and I can only watch maybe 1 1/2.

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Fellas, it's all about revenue. Tagliabue is attempting to create the same viewership for ESPN that the other networks enjoy. It's also a way to make up for the fact that in Week 7, ESPN does not have any games to televise.

ESPN is televising 18 games this year, and they paid the NFL handsomely for this right.

On the other hand, this increased network airing of games could hurt the NFL's position with DirecTV. For instance, the Redskins are on national t.v. 6 times this year. Add to that local stations having the option to show any game that doesn't conflict with their home team and you might wind up seeing your team at least half the time on network television. Shoot, Orlando is showing the Redskins this Sunday. It makes me wonder whether the NFL ticket is worth it or would it be cheaper to watch the games not televised at a bar somewhere. As it stands right now I'll be paying over $15 per game to watch the ones not on national tv. $15 dollars could buy me at least 4 beers. :cheers:

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I'd be a lot happier with Sunday Ticket if they threw in the preseason games. Don't know much about the broadcast rights rules, and I can understand Monday night football is spoken for, but what would be the big deal with broadcasting the preseason games? Anyone up for a write-in campaign?!

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