NFL Thinking About Giving 'Monday Night Football' Ability to Flex Games: TRAINA THOUGHTS


1. The next NFL broadcast rights deal is going to be downright wild.

You already have a strong chance that DirecTV will lose its exclusivity on Sunday Ticket. A streaming service will absolutely get a piece of the pie. And now Sports Business Journal reports that flex scheduling may come to Monday Night Football.

Sources told SBJ that as part of the new rights deal, the league may consider flexing  Sunday games to Monday night in the second half of the season.

SBJ also reports that ESPN has told the NFL that Monday Night Football would then air on ABC if Disney lands the rights. 

This is music to Tony Romo's ears, because ESPN's offer to him is going to be downright obscene for an analyst. ESPN knows its chances to impress the NFL and land MNF will only be helped by having Romo in its booth.

This would also be a big win for all fans, minus those who attend the games. If you spend significant money on tickets to a Sunday afternoon game and then later find out that the game will now kick off at 8 p.m. on Monday night, you're going to be pissed. There's really no way to sugarcoat it. People who want to bring kids and who have to get up early for work the following day, or who have worked a full day on Monday and now have to haul ass to the stadium afterward are going to get screwed to satisfy ESPN and the television viewer.

But NFL fans can't have it both ways. We can't complain about the quality of the Monday Night Football schedule and then complain when the NFL tries to do something to fix it.

One important thing to keep in mind about all of this: The new flex rules wouldn't take place until the 2023 season, so you still have three season of the status quo with flexing when it comes to Monday Night Football.

2. The XFL drew 3.3 million viewers for its debut game on ABC on Saturday.

I was expecting the number to be a little higher since it had the ESPN machine behind it. The true test, though, will be viewership numbers for next week now that the novelty has worn off. The big theme regarding the XFL on Twitter seemed to be that people liked the kickoffs and the in-game interviews. The excitement over those things will wear off if people don't care about the games, as well.

One interesting tidbit: When the original XFL debuted in 2001 on a Saturday night on NBC, it drew 14 million viewers. That shows you how much cord cutting and competition has affected ratings for network television. It also shows you how ridiculously popular the WWE was back then.

Here's some more context for the XFL's viewership number this Saturday.

3. Who knew Dick Vitale was so consumed with Brad and Jen?

4. Bill Murray with a putt for the ages.

5. The Rock posted the eulogy he recently gave for his father, former WWF star Rocky Johnson, and it was pretty damn powerful. 

6. The latest SI Media Podcast features an interview with media writer Bryan Curtis of The Ringer. Curtis spent last week on Radio Row and wrote a story about how guests are booked, why radio shows still bother going to Radio Row and why shows from Radio Row are always awful. We also talked about the Super Bowl halftime show, TV ratings and more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Adam Sandler won the award for Best Lead Actor for his role in Uncut Gems at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday. After being snubbed by the Academy Awards, which didn't even give him a nomination, he made the most of his very NSFW acceptance speech.

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