NBC had a choice to make after the Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game had to be re-re-re-scheduled to Wednesday. The network wanted to broadcast the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in prime time. NBC executives had to decide between 2 entities they love; football or tree lighting.
So, the Ravens and Steelers got the short end of the branch and will now kick off at 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2nd.
NBC loves tradition
Rockefeller Center has been hoisting giant Christmas Trees since the Great Depression. Workers first put up the tree in 1931, and the city established the lighting tradition in 1933. NBC was not going to budge from the tree's 8 p.m. lighting on December 2nd. The program generates millions of viewers.
However, so does the NFL, many times over. It seems peculiar that NBC would side with the tree lighting over the NFL. Granite there are musical performers on the docket, such as The Goo Goo Dolls, Kelly Clarkson, and Dolly Parton, among others. I mean, when you add in those factors, it is obvious NBC had no other option.
A jacked up schedule
There is no way getting around that a Wednesday afternoon NFL game just looks... wrong. It looks like a glitch or a bad joke. Not to mention, this is still technically part of week 12. This long delay threw a monkey wrench into the league's schedule.
The Ravens were supposed to host the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, December 3rd. Even the NFL could not bring itself to make a play team on back to back days. So, the league pushed that contest back to the following Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the league moved the Steelers vs. Washington to Monday night. Another weird circumstance on Monday, the San Francisco 49ers are going to be hosting the Buffalo Bills... in Arizona. Yes, that is correct. With the 49ers practically kicked out of their county, for the time being, they will have to play a home game on the road.
It really is exhausting dealing with this revolving NFL schedule.
In conclusion, there is a lot going on in this league. A tree took precedent over a Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh matchup. Said matchup will be played during the afternoon in the middle of the week. There will be a double-header on Monday night. And the 49ers will have to fly an hour to play a "home game" in a different state.
A great philosophical debate could be had regarding which one of these facts is more incredible. My vote is definitely for NBC executives backing a tree over the NFL.
Story by Chad Jones
Follow Chad on Twitter @shutupchadjones