On the heels of last week’s report that the Cincinnati Bengals volunteered to be a permanent host of the NFL’s Black Friday game, another team is being linked to hosting the game annually.
The New York Jets, who will host the Miami Dolphins on Black Friday this year, could host the game each year, per NFL’s VP of broadcast planning Mike North.
“I hope I’m not speaking out of turn when I mentioned to people that the Bengals volunteered,” said North, the NFL’s vice president of broadcast planning. “There were others that kind of raised their hands for Black Friday as well.”
“The Jets, once they found out they were the host team, then started to think about, ‘Hey, is this something we could make a permanent fixture as part of the NFL schedule?'” North said. “Maybe they didn’t raise their hands in February, but now that they have been selected as the Black Friday host, I think they might be interested in it, too.”
Last week, North told Adam Schein on his Schein on Sports SiriusXM radio show that the Bengals “put their hand up” to playing on Black Friday and volunteered on making it an annual tradition.
North also said that the league wasn’t looking for a permanent host quite yet, and would wait and see how the 2023 game went before making a choice.
“I don’t think we were looking for this season to commit to a permanent home for Black Friday,” North said. “Let’s play one first and let’s see what we learn and let’s see what makes sense and let’s see if it works for our fans, I don’t think we were looking on day one to deploy this with a permanent home.
“But it’s certainly something we should talk about. Let’s see what happens this year, let’s see what the fan reaction is to that day, and I’m sure we’ll go back to ownership, we’ll go back to membership and we’ll talk about would we be interested in it. Is that a good idea for the NFL? I’m sure there’s pros and cons to both.”
Taking the “wait and see” approach is probably the smart move from the NFL. Amazon mentioned wanting “a game in the top retail market in the country” on Black Friday, and the Jets fit that bill.
Naming a permanent host before one game has been played is pretty silly, in my opinion. Maybe Jets fans don’t fully embrace the game. Maybe the possible integrations Amazon is planning don’t succeed. At any rate, there’s no issue with having the Jets host the first game, but just like with the Bengals, naming them as the permanent host probably isn’t the best idea (yet).