The NFL starting its season on a Thursday is about as American as apple pie. For as long as anyone could remember, the defending champs would take the field the day before the best day of the week and reluctantly host challengers that would do their very best to dethrone them on Day 1 of Week 1. It’s a beautiful tradition, no doubt about it.
Too bad it won’t happen this year.
No, this year, for the first time since 1948, the NFL will kick the year off on a Wednesday. According to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the decision to move the first day of the football season to Sept. 5 (from Sept. 6) came to avoid conflicting with President Barack Obama’s nominating speech at the Democratic National Convention.
President Obama, of course, is due to make his nomination speech at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday, Sept. 6.
Some have wondered whether the league would have made a similar sacrifice for a Republican candidate. The answer: yes. In 2008, games were rearranged to accommodate John McCain’s nominating speech at the Republican National Convention.
Still, you get the feeling that President Obama’s people know that some folks will be unhappy about their football schedule being out of whack thanks to something as stupid as the American political system. That would explain why this statement was made to CBS:
"The decision to move the NFL season opener was made by the league alone, not at the request of the [Democratic National Convention Committee] or Obama Campaign," and official told CBS.
Yup, they better not have.