Florio: NFL gives fans the middle finger with Thursday Night Football flex scheduling


(Audacy) The NFL is giving itself another option to continue moving games around, and the latest decision could cause headaches for the league’s most devoted fans.

Owners voted Monday in favor of having the option to flex Thursday Night Football games. Although it only can be done in Weeks 13-17, there's now the option for the Thursday game on Amazon to be changed.

The argument in favor of the decision made is that it gets rid of some of the terrible football we witnessed on Thursdays late in the season. That might delight viewers, but there are logistical matters at play for those attending the game. If a fan buys a ticket for a Sunday afternoon game, it's creating a potential nightmare for them if the game gets moved to Thursday night.

If a game is flexed, the involved teams must get 28 days notice. For some fans, that won’t be enough time to make the necessary changes if they're traveling to the game from out of town. Local fans might also not love having to adjust their schedule for a Thursday game when they had been planning, likely for months, on a Sunday.

“It’s a middle finger to the in-stadium fan,” Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk bluntly put it Tuesday in his weekly appearance on the Mully & Haugh Show. “And at a time when you see every team that needs a new stadium or a renovation to its existing one put its hand out for public money, I think this is a moment where the politicians should push back and say, 'If you’re not going to have proper regard for the people who come to these stadiums, why are we doing what you want us to do when it comes to paying for these stadiums?'

“There really is a problem as it relates to fans who travel to games or just local fans who rearrange their schedules, rearrange their lives so they can go to a night game on a Thursday. And then all of a sudden it's uprooted to a Sunday or (vice versa)."

It isn't a guarantee that games will get flexed, as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said the option will be used "judiciously, if at all." But the door is open, and any fan who buys a ticket now to a Thursday game late in the season has to be aware of that.

“Everyone who buys a ticket to one of these games now from Week 13 to 17 has to worry about the possibility that it’s going to happen," Florio said. "Remote as it is, it’s now on your radar screen of stuff to worry about.”

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