The NFL has played Wednesdays before. He never played on a Wednesday afternoon because NBC wanted to show off the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center.
This NFL season is weird, and it peaks when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens (hopefully) start Wednesday at 3:40 p.m. ET. It’s a great morning lunch for NFL fans on the West Coast. The game can be streamed live on the Yahoo Sports app if you want to follow a single Wednesday afternoon soccer game. Kick-off has been moved to mid-afternoon to host NBC’s much-loved special “Christmas In Rockefeller Center.”
We got to this point because the Ravens had an outbreak of COVID-19. The Thanksgiving game had to be rescheduled Sunday, then Tuesday and Wednesday. It won’t be Wednesday’s first game in NFL history. But it will only be the second since 1948, assuming it stays on schedule.
Has the NFL ever played on a Wednesday?
The NFL has always been fairly predictable in its schedule. Most matches take place on Sunday. Monday Night Football has a tradition that dates back to 1970. Thursday and Sunday night games followed. The league squeezes in a game or two on Saturday after the college football season ends. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays are generally reserved for the rest of the sports world.
This season the NFL will go for the cycle. If the rest of the games go as planned – that’s a big guess – the NFL will have games on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday this season. For some, it’s a dream come true. It’s a bit of a nightmare for Fantasy Football managers, but they will adapt.
There has been only one game on a Wednesday in the modern NFL. In 2012, the NFL moved its annual season opener from Thursday to Wednesday. The NFL rarely pulls out for anything when scheduling games (except for Christmas tree lights), but they didn’t want to go against President Barack Obama’s speech at the Convention National Democratic Party.
This is how the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants ended up playing an NFL game on a Wednesday. It’s the only Wednesday game in the NFL in the past 72 years.
Some historic NFL games took place on Wednesdays
According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Wednesday matches from 1925 to 1940 were not that rare. Then again, this is when the NFL still had teams like the Pottsville Maroons and the Rochester Jeffersons.
Wednesday’s first game in NFL history took place in 1925 and pitted the Detroit Panthers against the Cleveland Bulldogs. The first night game in NFL history took place on a Wednesday, between the Chicago Cardinals and Providence Steam Roller in 1929.
From 1925 to 1940, there were 38 Wednesday games in the NFL, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1948 there was one more, a season opener between the Los Angeles Rams and the Detroit Lions. This game was also remarkable because that night the Rams became the first NFL team to have logos on their helmets.
Then the NFL took Wednesday off until 2012. Part of the NFL’s popularity is that casual fans don’t need to follow it seven days a week like other major sports. They can binge on a Sunday and attend games on Thursday or Monday if they wish. More serious NFL fans wouldn’t mind games every day of the week.
In this strange season during a pandemic, they make their wish come true.
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