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Couch Slouch wants to take back Thursdays from the NFL

How could they screw up Thursdays?

For longer than anyone can remember, Thursday has been a soothing stalwart of the calendar * – the next-to-last day of the workweek, occasionally the launching point of a long weekend. The start of the week might drag, yet by the time Thursday rolled around, there was a little pep in your step and hope in your heart.

But then along comes the National Football League – Roger Goodell again – to co-opt, seize and consume Thursday for the sole purpose of selling more Chryslers and hooking more daily fantasy fish.

(* According to a May 2013 USA Today poll in an article headlined, “We Love Weekends,” Americans ranked Thursday as their fourth-favorite day of the week. But advanced metrics – with newfangled analytics measuring “smiles per hour,” “neighbor efficiency rating” and “affaires de cœur per capita” – indicate that Thursday is actually the third-best day of the week.)

“Thursday Night Football” is the worst idea since Red Dye No. 2.

Quite simply, we don’t need football on Thursdays.

In a sea of sporting excess, the NFL’s weekend-to-weekend rhythm had been a rare blessing. We’d watch games all day Sunday, finishing the weekend with “Sunday Night Football” and/or “Monday Night Football.” Then we’d resume the daily drudgery of life, until we’d eagerly anticipate another NFL weekend. It was blissful.

(Trust me – if Louis XVI had the NFL in 1789 to keep the masses at bay every weekend, nobody storms the Bastille and he’s still sitting pretty on his royal butt to this very day.)

But Goodell and Co. decided that enough was not enough, that too much was never enough. So they poached Thursdays – ignoring, among other things, player safety – demanding our fan loyalty midweek and breaking the ethereal flow of our viewing allegiance.

To which I would say to the beleaguered NFL commissioner, with apologies to “Network”:

“You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Goodell, and I won’t have it.”

(Speaking of cultural heresy, look what we’ve done to Thanksgiving, supposedly the most sacred Thursday in the land. This was the one Thursday we had bestowed the NFL, a holiday tradition; you could even argue it was the NFL’s gift to us, an apropos backdrop as we sat at home gorging on turkey and stuffing. But now thousands of retail employees must work on Thanksgiving to allow thousands and thousands of fellow Americans the opportunity to flee their families to buy flat screens and shooter games at JCPenney, Toys R Us, Best Buy, Target, Kohl’s Walmart, Kmart, Sears and Macy’s.)

A generation ago, I used to delight in thinking about “Cheers” and “Seinfeld” on the horizon Thursday evenings; now I get depressed contemplating Titans-Jaguars on the horizon Thursday evenings.

But the point isn’t whether the games are good or not, the point is there shouldn’t be any games at all.

Do you think players want to play on Thursday?

Do you think vendors want to vend on Thursday?

Do you think bookmakers want to book bets on Thursday? Uh, actually they do – scratch that.

Heck, NFL game officials are still part-time; it’s hard for them to get additional time off from their regular 9-to-5 jobs. And how about CBS’s Mike Carey? That fella needs a break – he’s having trouble keeping up with all of Sunday’s replay issues.

But the NFL marches on. The league, I suspect, might even get federal legislation soon to establish the “eight-day week.” The new day will be called Blitzday – likely to come between Saturday and Sunday – to give the NFL another broadcasting window on a brand new day.

(You don’t think this is possible? Hey, the NFL lobbied to get a loophole for fantasy sports in the 2006 federal law that effectively banned online gambling. Don’t underestimate Park Avenue’s money and muscle.)

Still, I’m standing on my coffee table, wearing my NFL Shop Steelers pajamas, pleading with the NFL:

WE WANT OUR THURSDAYS BACK.

I don’t like our chances.

And, frankly, if I were Wednesday, I would not rest easy either.

Ask The Slouch

Q. Given your track record of being a two-loser before finding Toni, a.k.a. She Is The One (And Then Some), should the NCAA be crediting you for making losing teams bowl-worthy? (Ralph Blessing; Washington, D.C.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Did the ’72 Dolphins pop a bottle of champagne after Golden State’s first loss? (Chad Board; Laurel, Md.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Should no NFC East team finish at least .500, will the NFL use Academic Progress Rates to determine possible postseason eligibility? (Tim Kraabel; Mooresville, Ind.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. If someone kicks Donald Trump in the pants, will he have to enter the concussion protocol? (Roger Strauss; Silver Spring, Md.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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