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Packers at Bears will open the 2019 NFL season, but it should've been the Browns.

By Jimmy Traina
March 26, 2019

1. The NFL announced Monday that the Packers and Bears will open the 2019 season Thursday, Sept. 5 on NBC. Why did the league go with this storied matchup for opening night? Because the NFL will be celebrating its 100th season in 2019 and this will be the 199th meeting between the two teams. Yawn.

No disrespect whatsoever to the Packers and Bears, but this is a bad choice. Yes, Chicago will be one of the more fun teams to watch in 2019 and Aaron Rodgers is always fun to watch, but the league should've passed on history and embraced the Browns here.

After becoming a real franchise last year thanks to dumping Hue Jackson and elevating Baker Mayfield, Cleveland games were wildly entertaining. It also helped that the Browns had some Hard Knocks juice that carried over throughout the season. Now they've added Odell Beckham Jr. to the mix and are expected to be one of the best offense in the league. 

They Browns haven't been on Sunday Night Football since 2008. The Browns haven't played on Monday Night Football since 2015. This was the perfect time for the NFL and NBC to showcase a new and improved Cleveland team that has as much buzz around it as any team in the league.

The Browns are scheduled to play the Patriots in 2019, but the NFL will have New England play on Sunday night opening weekend. Cleveland is also scheduled to play the L.A. Rams in 2019 and they would've been the perfect opening night matchup. The up-and-coming Browns with a high-octane offense against the Rams, who have their own lethal offense, but need to erase the stench of a horrible Super Bowl.

Yes, Cleveland's primetime drought will end this season and it will get a few Sunday and Monday night games, but the nation should've been treated to Rams at Browns on opening night. 

2. Eminem is apparently a big AAF fan and wants the league to allow fighting.

3. Monday Night Raw was in Boston on Monday night, so the easiest way to get some heat for a heel was to take a shot at Gronk.

4. In addition to feuding with Mets management, Noah Syndergaard is battling Mike Francesa. The WFAN host ripped Syndergaard in an interview and the Mets pitcher clearly took notice.

5. Meanwhile, Francesa's old partner Chris Russo, went off on Dr. Dre on Monday, but struggled mightily with the rapper's name.

6. Paul Lukas's very popular "Uni Watch" column previewing the 2019 MLB season is here for your reading pleasure.

7. Upcoming SI MEDIA PODCAST guests include: Darren Rovell, Taylor Rooks, Robert Flores, Lauren Shehadi. Recent guests include: Bill Raftery, Roman Reigns, Stugotz, BizNasty, Steve Carrel. Listen and subscribe on iTunesSpotify or Google Play.

8. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: The WWE is getting a lot of attention, and rightfully so, for making the Becky Lynch-Charlotte Flair-Ronda Rousey match the first-ever women's main event at WrestleMania. For those of us who grew up in the '80s, the biggest women's star in the then-WWF was pop star Cyndi Lauper, who held her own against a pair of the greats.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustarted Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina. You can also follow on Twitter and Instagram.

IN CLOSING: Michael Avenatti and college basketball are a match made in hell.

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