So, how does the NFL follow-up yesterday’s amazing Week 17 Sunday games? By scheduling no Monday Night Football game tonight. It seems anticlimactic, but having no Monday Night Football is probably best for everyone’s hearts and stress level. Seemingly every Week 17 showdown yesterday had playoff implications for the NFC, and even a few AFC teams finalized their NFL playoff spot. Consequently every fan, player and coach nationwide was on edge.
The anticipation for yesterday’s games was sky high, and with good reason. The Green Bay Packers welcomed back quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and just in time. Rodgers guided his team masterfully over the recently returned Jay Cutler and Chicago Bears, earning the Packers a playoff spot against seemingly all odds and in a close rivalry game.
The Eagles beat the Cowboys in a winner-take-all Sunday Night Football game, and it took a last-minute interception to seal the deal. The Chiefs lost to the Chargers in overtime only after a blown call by the referees that would’ve given the Chiefs a second chance to kick a game-winning field goal before heading into OT. And just for good measure, that different outcome would’ve had playoff implications for the Pittsburgh Steelers too.
Perhaps you’d rather look at the Patriots, who only finalized their playoff spot after winning yesterday. Or maybe the Seattle Seahawks, who grabbed their division title. Or maybe the San Francisco 49ers, who won in dramatic fashion in overtime.
Folks, yesterday was an incredible Week 17 Sunday, and no Monday Night Football game tonight could’ve possibly lived up to yesterday’s “opening act.” Would we really feel any more fulfilled if we’d had a bad MNF game rather than having no Monday Night Football game at all? Probably not. In fact, we’d likely have complained just as much.
Part of the reason it feels so odd to have no Monday Night Football on the last Monday of 2013 is because the NFL had already canceled two weeks’ worth of Thursday Night Football. Sticking fans with Sunday-only games for half a month seems extreme, so it’s fortunate that we won’t have to endure it now that the NFL playoffs are near.
The playoff wild card games will feature a mix of Saturday and Sunday matchups, further complicating our internal schedules. That trend will continue through the Super Bowl, just to help you avoid asking “why no Monday Night Football tonight?” for the next couple of months. The only solution, really, if no Monday Night Football is a major hardship, is to go find a DeLorean, drive 88mph and fast-forward to the 2014-15 NFL season. Because both MNF and Thursday Night Football are a thing of the past until next season.