Thursday Night Football Not So BadOctober 22nd, 2013
If you listen to some NFL types like Pat Kirwan, he of CBS Sports and SiriusXM NFL Radio, he loathes Thursday night games and wants them banished for good, to never come back.
Yet, he has a comrade in Ross Tucker, also of SiriusXM NFL Radio, who works with NBC Sports, who often says players love Thursday night games.
Love them? Yes, Tucker has said the quick turnaround between games creates an unofficial second bye week for teams who get a well-deserved weekend off. Joe asked a couple of players in the Bucs locker room Monday what their feelers were about playing Thursday night games, and they seemed to lean more toward Tucker’s point of view than Kirwan’s.
“There is some truth to that,” Bucs offensive lineman Gabe Carimi said of Tucker’s view. “You don’t get much time between [games] but you are not having that one hard practice in the week. You definitely aren’t going to be as prepared, but neither is the other team. There is a point to it.”
Bucs wide receiver Tiquan Underwood agreed somewhat. But he admitted the body is still recovering from the Sunday beating when Thursday rolls around.
“Physically, it is pretty tough because you are coming off a quick turnaround from the Sunday game, to get your body back to feeling well,” Underwood said. “It takes a tough toll to get ready for that game with such a quick turnaround but at the same time, it is good because whether you win or lose on Sunday, you have to get ready for the game on Thursday.”
In other words, the loss to the Dixie Chicks is ancient history.
Generally, especially in college, home teams on Thursday nights have a significant advantage. But that didn’t come into play for the Bucs last year. They went up to Minnesota and thrashed the Vikings. Underwood believes playing Thursdays on the road is overstated.
“To be honest, it is not that big of a disadvantage if your team is mature,” Underwood said. “You can use that time to [watch film] and guys can take advantage of resting up.”
Carimi said playing at home on a Thursday night is no less of an advantage than a standard Sunday home game. “You have the same advantage. You have the same home crowd, the same noise,” Carimi said.
At the end of the day (or night), players down deep love Thursday night football games.
“Nationally televised game? You can’t argue with that,” Underwood said. “Your family and friends get to see you play, so that is pretty cool.”