Thursday Night Bore

It doesn’t matter who you put on that field, it will be bad.

Jim Rome
September 20, 2019 - 9:19 am
Tennessee Titans

USA Today


It’s time we had a talk about Thursday Night Football. Not “a” talk, but THE talk. It’s time for the hard truth, some straight fire: Thursday Night Football isn’t good.

In fact, it’s really bad. Consistently bad. Saying something sucks is not a take. But TNF sucks. 

Thursday Night Football is a trap. Not a trap game for the players, a full-blown trap door for everyone involved. 

Last week’s game was Tampa Bay at Carolina. And it was rough. Really, really rough. 

But you get Friday to recover, you’ve got college games on Saturday, a full slate of NFL on Sunday, and then a Monday night game. But there’s no Tuesday night game. Or Wednesday night game. And by the time Thursday rolls around, you’ve gone so long without football that you’re actually convincing yourself that Thursday night football can be good. And you’re Jones’ing. Hard. You haven’t any actual football in a few days.  Some of you haven’t gotten down with any action in a few days; you’re gearing up for the weekend, and you conveniently forget how crappy Thursday night games are. And convince yourself not only is this NOT one of the worst things ever, it’s actually one of the BEST. Like hell yes, free football!! Bring it. Man, freaking Christmas in September!  I can’t believe how lucky I am to have found bonus football! Let’s get it!! 

And by the way, that’s a pretty nice matchup, right? 

The Titans are good: they knocked America’s team the hell out in the opener. And the Jags have a lot of drama surrounding them. This will be a good game. This will be a blast. And like that, you’re hooked. And have completely forgotten how crappy Thursday night football is.  Until they kick. And then you’re locked into a game that is totally unwatchable. Virtually everything about it is just brutal.

Is it just me, or does it rain every Thursday night. But only where they play that game.  And nowhere else in the country. The conditions are always a mess. And the game is always even worse than the elements. 

And that’s what happened last night. Thursday Night Football is so bad that even Gardner Minshew couldn’t save it. 

Don’t get me wrong. He tried his ass off. Beowulf just needs to show up at a stadium and magic is going to happen. 

But he’s not just dinking and dunking, he’s got a little gambler in him. Because like the man says, “Sometimes you’ve gotta have a little bit of ‘screw it.’ ”

And then there’s this, on third and nine.

13 for 18 for 125 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and became the first rookie in Jags history to pass for at least 600 yards in his first three weeks. 

And Beowulf Minshew wasn’t the only Minshew trying to keep the nation entertained last night. His dad, Flint, was putting on a show of his own. A gun show. 

Flint Minshew is amazing. I want a Flint-Cam that just stays locked on him at all times. Give me picture in picture, let’s see him living and dying with every play, because it is electric.

And here we go again, I’m practically talking myself back into loving Thursday Night Football again. I’m thinking about Beowulf and Flint, I’m thinking about Duuuuuuvalllllll and Sacksonvillle. And my main main, Calais Campbell abusing opposing q.b.s. And suddenly, I’m feeling it again!  It’s all good! This is a good night!. 

And then I remember Tennessee’s offense. And that matador offensive line. And all the flags.

Marcus Mariota completed more than half his passes for more than 300 yards. And if that isn’t a case of stats being deceiving, I don’t know what is. Because that was not an efficient or good-looking offense at all.

He was pressured 18 times, sacked nine, and the offense had one penalty after another. They were such a mess that on one play, Mariota was sacked by his own teammate.

There are offenses that don’t fire. And then there’s that. But they weren’t done. They had a 10 play drive that covered 22 yards and ended in a punt. I didn’t even know that was possible. And then they did it again! They had an 11-play drive that covered 28 yards and ended in a punt. Just to prove that one horrible drive wasn’t a fluke

It was so bad that at one point, Titans backup Ryan Tannehill put on his helmet. Because that’s what that game needed – some Tannehill.

Ryan Tannehill throwing on his helmet to potentially enter the game and hit a struggling offense with the paddles is the most Thursday Night thing ever. 

What the hell happened to the Titans last night? I’m old enough to remember when they beat Cleveland in Cleveland by 30 – that was in the season opener. 12 days ago.

And there they were last night, literally tripping all over themselves on Thursday Night Football. That’s what TNF does to you. It’s a vortex where good teams and good players seem to forget how to play the game. Where good teams and good players look like they’ve never played the game. Where good coaches look like they’ve never even seen the game.

That’s Thursday night. It doesn’t matter who you put on that field, it will be bad. You could have the ’62 Packers playing the ’85 Bears, if they’re playing on Thursday night, it will be raining, there will be penalties, and it will be unwatchable.

This is no one off. This is a pattern that repeats itself every single week. And every single week, I’m promise myself I’ll never do it again. Every single week, I tell myself: always remember, never ever forget. Well this time, I’m won’t forget. I’ll remember, that horrific feeling; that horrific night. I mean, it’s sort of like drinking: you go on a crazy bender, wake up the next morning with the worst hangover ever: swear you’ll never, ever drink again. Until a few days later, when you feel great, and forget how horrible it was.  Happens to all. Except that’s not what this is. And I’m not getting chumped. I’m not going back. Ever. For any reason. Punk me once, shame on you. Punk me hundreds of times, shame on me. And I’m no sucker. This is a sucker free zone, and I just got my Thursday night’s back. And it feels goooooooood.