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Adam Wonderly

AFC North Nation: Thursday Night Football doesn't keep players' safety in mind

If you have been watching the NFL throughout the past decade, you can tell that the refs have become a little more trigger-happy with their flags. These yellow flags are supposed to represent Commissioner Roger Goodell’s concern for the players’ safety.

The term “hitting a defenseless receiver” has become all too common in the NFL in recent years. I understand they don’t want the defensive players destroying a guy because he is vulnerable, but how are you supposed to play the game nowadays if you can’t hit someone hard? The sole reason why these guys get paid so much is because what they do is dangerous. 

Fines have been too frequent lately. Each fine is based on how much the player gets paid, and the penalty is priced accordingly.

 But if player safety is such a concerning factor for the Goodell, why add another game (Thursday) to the weekly schedule?

The NFL is where modern day gladiators go to battle as entertainment for us. It’s comprised of some of the biggest, fastest, most athletic men in the entire world, and they line up against one another and hit each other in the head for a couple of hours. There is a reason the NFL only has 16 games while Major League Baseball has 162 — the human body simply can’t take beatings the way these NFL guys do on a consistent basis.

I love the idea of a primetime game; it gives America a chance to zone in on one game and gather around to enjoy America’s favorite sport. But we already had that with Monday Night Football. Altering the schedule to have a game on Thursday night is just a ploy to put some more money in the NFL’s pocket.

If a team plays on the previous Sunday, then the players would only have three days of practice and rest before they have to go out onto the field and put themselves at risk again. But I guess it’s okay, right? Because Goodell is allowing more flags to be thrown.

Sure, it’s their job and they get paid like kings, but I think it’s wrong to give these guys another game to go out there and destroy their bodies just a little bit more. However, this goes with the issue about penalties and fines. If you’re going to fine someone for endangering another player, but you add another game onto the weekly schedule, that screams hypocrite to me.

 Goodell is all over the place, and it seems like he is losing a grip on things. He already did a horrible job dealing with the Ray Rice incident earlier this year, and he was the one who instilled this new Thursday Night Football gimmick that only allowed DirecTV users to watch the game.

The NFL needs to end Thursday Night Football and go back to the normal schedule. He is letting his greed get in the way of really keeping these players safe.

Adam Wondrely is a senior studying creative writing and journalism. Email him

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