Thursday night games just the latest reason why the NFL is getting worse

Football is the most popular sport in America, bar none. The NFL is the most popular of all of the major sports leagues, and it gains more fans each season.

It's ironic that despite the growth in fan base, the league has been producing an inferior product for the past few seasons.

Article 24 of the new collective bargaining agreement, ratified in 2011 by the league, states that teams cannot hold more than 14 padded practices during the regular season of 17 weeks.


This means tackling is no longer something that can be stressed during NFL practices in the regular season. It also means that tackling in games has become increasingly poor, and in turn has created a more sloppy product on the field.

What’s worse now is the NFL’s insistence to have football on Thursday night, completely taking out actual practice. When a team has a game on Thursday, it has no time to rest up from the previous Sunday.

It must hit the film room and the classrooms immediately Monday and only have one real day of practice Tuesday (likely not padded) and then a walk-through on Wednesday. The result is a sad excuse for football.

Nearly every game on Thursday night this past season was either a blowout (49ers-Rams), or a sloppily played, sorry excuse for a football game (Patriots-Jets).

And now the NFL wants to add another game on Thursday as part of a new deal with CBS. It’s as if the NFL wants to produce a much more mediocre product once the playoffs start each season.

Reach the columnist at or follow him on Twitter @bill_slane

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