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When Will ESPN and the NFL Get Rid of This Ridiculous Second Monday Night Game?

philip rivers owns your soul after midnight

The Houston Texans beat the San Diego Chargers on a last second field goal tonight. I know this because Chris Berman finally woke me up yelling about the field goal, after I passed out sometime in the second half, laptop teetering, with my head dropped back on the couch, drool beginning to seep down the side of my mouth.

Now, the middle insomnia is gonna kick in, so here goes. Not sure who the wizards are that came up with the following combination, but can we use just a bit of restraint and MAYBE NOT DO THE FOLLOWING JUST BECAUSE WE CAN.

  • At the end of a long weekend of football, let’s have a game that doesn’t end until after 1:30 a.m. on the East Coast;
  • Oh, and let’s have Chris Berman dust himself off, call a game, have dead air everywhere, be five seconds late on describing the action, and be up three hours past his bed time, to keep people tuned in.

I am sure it was a wonderful game. I see that Stephen, God bless him, put up video of Brian Cushing’s diving interception. Michael also pulled this shot of Vincent Brown’s touchdown catch, so here you go.

vincent-brown-diving-td

I owe Michael that one since he stayed up longer than me as well, and at 12:15 central time, his e-mail to my inbox went unanswered. Do you want a shot of that game ending field goal? Sorry, but we don’t do field goals at 1:45 a.m. Company policy. I just instituted it, but in NFL fashion, I’m going to call this a tradition in a few years.

This one was actually a good game, I hear. I mean, remember when they would put the Raiders on in this game? I remember not seeing the end of a Raiders-Chargers game and waking up at like 3 a.m. wondering who I was, because there was no Berman alarm clock going off at about one in the morning.

You know what this game is? It’s the NFL broadcasting version of Tim Tebow and ESPN, where sometimes exercising a bit of discretion is required even though you know you could always throw in another Tebow post or game and do okay on the views/ratings front. (Says the guy who posted on Tebow and KISS, because, well, Gene Simmons and it allowed me to post a funny image of Tebow air mailing a pass).

I know that the NFL and ESPN will not re-consider and stop this game. The West Coast fans of the team involved will stay up. Fans of the specific team, in this case, Houston, will stay up until 12:45 local time (at least most of them). They’ll get better ratings than, say, sticking some random re-run in the midnight time slot. Also, there will be no end to the Berman hate on Twitter, and better to be hated than airing re-runs.

So, they get better ratings than some random show–whoop dee doo. Did they ever stop to think whether they should do it just because they can. I mean, in the not to distant future, there will be a NFL game on at every conceivable point of your day. That 3 am to 6 am time slot on your cable dial, full of infomercials, I’m sure that Comrade Goodell has designs on putting a couple of teams in Lahore to maximize revenue and capture the insomniac market.

But the NFL loves their traditions, a tradition that itself goes back to at least 2004. This is a league that gnashes its teeth over an 8-8 division winner getting a home game in the playoffs because that’s just how it’s done, acting as though it came down from on high, rather than have 1990 as the first year all division winners got the gate revenue of a home playoff game. Remember the nonsense about how the Ravens must get a home game as Super Bowl champions. Yeah, that tradition is so ingrained that I was already a dad when it started. Similarly, this tradition goes back to 2006. In fact, it was Philip Rivers’ first start, so maybe we can reach some sort of agreement that it goes away with Rivers, so it can be his legacy. For his wife’s sake, we need to end this, because he has another child every time he appears in this game.

He may not ever get a ring, but Rivers should forever go down as the career leader in touchdowns thrown after 11 p.m. It needs to be his thing that he owns, his footnote in history. The NFL once had a tradition of bare footed kickers, and that went away. It can be done.

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