Miami Dolphins' fans during a Christmas Day 2022 game against the Green Bay Packers. Miami Dolphins’ fans during a Christmas Day 2022 game against the Green Bay Packers. (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports.)

If there were no moral outcry or risk of crippling its workforce, you get the feeling the NFL would put games on television every day of the week.

What was once hyperbole seems slightly closer to reality.

The league told us a lot with last week’s news that there will be two games on Christmas Day. This was a surprise since Wednesday games had been considered a bridge too far, including the NFL previously saying it wouldn’t play on Dec. 25, 2024, since it falls on a Wednesday.

The public relations machine spun this change of plans as a positive. NFL executive vice president of media distribution Hans Schroeder told The Wall Street Journal: “The fans clearly spoke. There’s a big demand.”

Disingenuous, self-serving, and not altruistic. The NFL isn’t doing the fans a solid by having a doubleheader on Christmas to spare some family members from talking to rarely-seen relatives on a holiday. The NFL is doing this strictly for financial reasons. The league is reportedly already auctioning Christmas Day media rights.

This deliberate Yuletide takeover will have major implications down the road. The NFL has already usurped the holiday from the NBA. Now it’s telling us that more games on more days are on the table.

We’re getting more football in the future—whether we want it or not and likely sooner than we think.

America’s football addiction seemingly cannot be sated. Like any dealer, the league will continue to offer us more. There is the risk of watering down the product. But the NFL has been correct in its assumption that fans will overlook mounting injuries and diluted quality. The league barely has enough healthy players to finish a 17-game regular season. That hasn’t affected ratings, or the money networks will pay for games.

Eventually, the NFL will expand to an 18-game regular-season schedule. Too much money is at stake. Plus, there is the issue of competitive balance with some teams playing nine home games while others eight. Sure, the players’ union will balk, but they will likely agree to this change because their constituents stand to benefit financially.

But at what physical cost? The toll is bad enough now. Players risk their bodies for our entertainment while performing under non-guaranteed contracts. An 18-game season will push the limits of recovery from injury to an uncomfortable and unhealthy range.

Management seems OK with that. The employees won’t be. But that shouldn’t be the players’ only concern. Having football on a Christmas Wednesday potentially opens Pandora’s box.

Let’s say the games go off without a hitch. Perhaps these games are memorable, exciting, and a ratings bonanza. If 2024 Christmas Day football is wildly successful, what’s to stop the NFL from repeating Wednesday football in the future or even adding Tuesday football to the mix?

Don’t laugh. There is a precedent.

COVID played havoc with NFL schedules and the league was forced to play games on unusual days during the pandemic. As recently as December 2021, there were two games on the same Tuesday (the then-Washington Football Team vs. the Philadelphia Eagles and the Seattle Seahawks vs the Los Angeles Rams) due to the Omicron variant causing a spike.

So, while it’s unusual, it’s not improbable that the league will test an occasional Tuesday or Wednesday game down the road. (It’s important to note that an antitrust exemption limits how many Friday and Saturday games the league could play).

We’ll never see a week with a televised NFL game every day. However, there is the possibility that the gluttonous oligarchy might spread out the product over more than any given Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. They don’t seem to be concerned about oversaturation.

After all, as Schroeder said, “There’s a big demand.”

America has a ravenous appetitive, and we don’t feel full.

About Michael Grant

Born in Jamaica. Grew up in New York City. Lives in Louisville, Ky. Sports writer. Not related to Ulysses S. Grant, Anthony Grant, Amy Grant or Hugh Grant.