Monday Night Football Schedule 2012: NFL Must Introduce Flexible Scheduling

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 26:  An ESPN Monday Night Football sign at Cowboys Stadium on September 26, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The NFL does a fantastic job when it comes to scheduling, but one area that needs improvement deals with the games slated for Monday night. 

Much like the league does with NBC's Sunday Night Football, the NFL needs to implement flexible scheduling for ESPN's Monday Night Football

After all, do you really want to see the Jacksonville Jaguars play on Monday night twice again? Yeah, I didn't think so. 

According to, teams can play their way into the Sunday night game beginning in Week 11.

The same thing needs to happen for the Monday night games, but instead of starting after the midpoint of the year, the league has to allow the flexible scheduling earlier for Monday night games.

And while we're at it with these changes, moving the start of Sunday night flex scheduling up a few weeks would be a wise decision as well. 

The best of the best matchups need to be featured in prime time, which means on Sunday and Monday night, the NFL must make sure the majority of fans will be pleased with the lineup.

Of course, the changes would have to continue to be made for the weeks ahead so teams and networks can plan accordingly. 

There's no way that ESPN, or anyone for that matter,  would complain about the flexible scheduling, simply because it would allow for a better game to be in prime time. The only people that might actually be upset would be the team(s) booted from the lineup. 

Then again, it's a team's own fault if it's not playing well enough to be featured on Monday (or Sunday) night. 

Playing in prime time needs to be a privilege, and if a team is 1-5 or 3-8 prior to its game on Monday Night Football (see: Jacksonville Jaguars), it doesn't deserve to play under the spotlight.

Forget about being fair and sharing the limelight with each team in the league; the scheduling needs to be about putting the best possible matchup in prime time. Not only will that please the fans, it will also result in bigger ratings for both networks, which means more people watching and getting hooked on the NFL. 

For quite some time, fans have loved starting the week off with an epic showdown under the bright lights. Football is easily America's favorite sport, and giving the people what they want is a must. 

Even if the flex scheduling has to start in Week 11 like it does for SNF, that would be fine, too. As along as changes can be made for at least a portion of the season, then it's a win for the fans, although many would agree that it would be best if it began sooner.

So here's to hoping the NFL plays it smart soon and allows midseason changes to be made to the MNF lineup. 


Update: Courtesy of ESPN, here's the full rundown of the Monday Night Football lineup in 2012. 


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