Nebraska may be 5-0 playing on Thursday nights, but I'm simply not a fan of college football on a weeknight. When it's a random SEC, ACC, Big East game, it's on in the background, but it's just that: background. Busy day at work, pick up the kids from day care, get them fed, and before too long, it's time to get them to bed. After all that, the game is usually in the fourth quarter, and I've probably only watched a third of it. But that's OK because it's almost always a random game that I wouldn't care about otherwise. In that light, it's "bonus football"; a little appetizer, kind of like getting out to the golf course on a 60 degree day in January.
But not this week. This isn't "bonus football"...this is Husker football. This isn't some random game; it's the game of the weekend for me. On Saturdays I can program my day around the Husker game fairly easily...but not tomorrow. It's going to be a full day at the office, and I won't be getting into football mode until I'm walking out the door. Then afterwards, I'll be blogging postgame reaction, so my gameday may stretch into Friday. Which will make Friday a long day after a short night's sleep.
I know that ESPN loves Thursday Night football; football is now our national pastime, and there's always an audience for football. Even a Mid-American Conference game on Tuesday nights. But not for me and my team. I freely admit, I watch Husker football different than any other sporting event. Even when it's on television, I yell at the TV, jump up, high-five as if I'm in the stadium. My wife has to tell me to keep it down if the kids are asleep, even if they are at the other end of the house. When they win, I'm ecstatic. When they lose, I'm disgusted. Either way, it takes me time to wind down and get to bed afterwards...and with a Thursday night game, the alarm still goes off Friday morning no matter what happens.
I know the benefits of Thursday night exposure; most of the nation is watching, though that'll be reduced since the Yankees will be playing during the first half, meaning that one media market is going to ignore this game. Last year's fourth quarter against Missouri launched Ndamukong Suh into national prominence...but what if Nebraska hadn't erupted as the monsoon let up slightly? Remember how despondent Husker fans were at the end of the third quarter with a goose egg on the scoreboard? If you play on Thursday night, there's no place to hide if you don't play well, because everybody knows it.
Television already has too much influence on college football. We don't know when games will be scheduled until days before kickoff. This game was going to be televised in some form at some time, so the "national exposure" claim rings hollow to me. Unless the game is truly memorable (such as last season's monsoon), it likely will be forgotten by Saturday anyway...and if it's truly memorable, it'll get plenty of coverage on Saturday.
So no, I'm not a fan of Husker football on a weeknight. Doesn't mean I won't watch...just that I'll be wishing the game was either last weekend or this upcoming weekend.