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Midweek Musings - Friday Night Games are Weird

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Friday night lights = high school, not college

In week 5 of the 2019-2020 season, the Penn State Nittany Lions will take on the Maryland Terrapins in a contest of American football.

This is not strange, as the two teams are both members of the same division in the same conference.

What is strange is that rather than kicking off on Saturday, the pigskin will depart a kickers foot on a Friday evening, under the lights of Byrd Stadium.

Excuse me for sounding like an old man, but there is something wrong with this idea.

Growing up, I went to a high school with a pretty solid football program. My weekends went as follows: Friday night high school game, Saturday Penn State game, Sunday New York Giants game (maybe Monday night for that one, but the point stands). There was a very clear hierarchy of football.

That is until some executives realized that if you play college football on more days, you can make more money! And more money is good, regardless if it means watching two G5 teams play on ESPNNews on a Thursday night.

Friday games throw off a typical week for college players and coaches. One less day of practice, one more day of messed up class schedules. Traveling early, trying to get amped up for a road night game when you’re off your schedule. It’s tough all around.

It’s good for some smaller schools, I suppose, to get more media exposure. Teams like Maryland that may not get as many primetime games, or games as the featured team on Fox or ABC or ESPN or BTN. Games like this can be a chance to show off, so I understand it from their perspective.

But it just feels wrong to me. And yeah, yeah, I’m yelling at the kids to get off my lawn. Regardless of what I think about it, I’ll tune in to watch on Friday just as I would have tuned in on a Saturday.

But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.