Amazon's Thursday Night Football logo on the L.A. skyline. (Supplied by Amazon.) Amazon’s Thursday Night Football logo on the L.A. skyline. (Supplied by Amazon.)

Throughout the offseason, the National Football League keeps pushing the idea of flexing Thursday Night Football games.

With ESPN having the ability to flex on Monday Night Football this upcoming season, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell floated the idea of TNF having flex scheduling in the future. A few days ago, it was revealed that NFL owners were deliberating over TNF flex scheduling, with a potential vote taking place.

One opponent of this idea is NBC Sports’ Peter King. In his weekly Football Morning in America column, King expressed doubt it will pass, but it’s something Goodell wants so who knows.

The league really wants the Thursday flex. I’m dubious it’ll pass. We can all agree this seems insane. Moving a game from 1 p.m. Sunday to 8:20 p.m. Sunday is inconvenient, to say the least, for the fans in attendance. Moving it three days earlier, as is on the agenda for a vote here, is a punch in the face to the fans who’ve planned trips to see games and either won’t be able to see a game played three days earlier or will have lives turned upside down in order to do so. But I’m told this is something Roger Goodell really wants to have in his tool box, to prevent awful games for a partner already struggling with audience share, Amazon. But coaches hate the idea. “Really hate it,” one of them told me here Sunday. In discussions with those who want this to pass, one told me, “It might make sense to max it out at one per season.” It still will be bad for the product and for the fans in-stadium, but it is sensible to legislate not being able to do it more than once per year.

Many groups have a reason to be against flex scheduling on Thursday, but none of them involve the commissioner of the NFL. Players won’t like it because of a lack of rest due to having to play four days before, increasing the risk of injury. Coaches won’t like it due to a lack of time to prepare for their opponents. CBS and Fox won’t like it because that’s another potentially great game flexed out of Sunday afternoon, further watering down the Sunday afternoon schedule. And fans won’t like it because, for those traveling from out of town they run the risk of spending lots of money for travel and lodging, expecting a Sunday game, and it winds up taking place on Thursday. Ditto to the fans who planned to go to a Thursday game that moved to Sunday. Even if they’re told 15 days in advance, that might result in higher-priced flights or hotels.

That being said, this is something Goodell “really wants,” so it’s not like the people who are actually going to be impacted will have much of a say. If getting flex scheduling on Thursday Night Football brings in more money, that will be the ultimate driver for Goodell and the 32 owners. And we’ll all just have to deal with it.

[Football Morning in America]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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