On Wednesday at 3:40 p.m., a professional sports contest between the teams from Baltimore and Pittsburgh occurred. No, this was not Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles playing the Pittsburgh Pirates in the middle of the summer. It was the National Football League’s Baltimore Ravens playing the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 2, 2020. Because of this rarity, This Week in Real Estate must take a time out from its regularly scheduled program to discuss.
The game between the Baltimore Ravens and the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers was originally scheduled for a prime-time spot on Thanksgiving. The game was later moved to Sunday afternoon because of a coronavirus outbreak among the Ravens, then pushed to Tuesday night when the outbreak spread to affect over 20 people and finally ended up on Wednesday.
Traditionally, NFL Football is played on Sunday, having 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. games, respectively, and since 1987 – a Sunday night game. There have been regular season Saturday games since 1952 (but not conflicting with College Football), and playoff games are played on Saturdays and Sundays. Normal weekday NFL Football games are as follows:
- One Monday Night Football game, which has been regularly scheduled since 1970. Recently, since 2006, two games have been scheduled on the first Monday of the season.
- On Thursday nights since 2006, one game has been played on the weeks, including and after Thanksgiving Day. Also, during the day on Thanksgiving, the NFL has played Thanksgiving Day games since 1920; by tradition, the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions always host these afternoon games, and in recent years there has been a night game as well on Thanksgiving.
Other than the non-weekend games listed above, an NFL game on a day other than Saturday and Sunday is not common. Until Wednesday, there have only been five games played on Tuesday or Wednesday.
There have been three Tuesday games.
- October 1, 1946 – The Boston Yanks and New York Giants were scheduled to open the 1946 NFL season under the lights at Boston’s Braves Field on Monday, September 30, but a “deluge of rain that drenched downtown Boston throughout the morning” forced the postponement of the game until Tuesday. From the New York Times: “Waiting until early afternoon for a change in conditions, Owner Ted Collins of the Yanks and Stout Steve Owen, the Giants’ coach, agreed to put the contest over until (Tuesday) night.”
- December 27, 2010 – Citing public safety concerns related to the forecasted winter storm that ultimately dumped more than a foot of snow on much of the Philadelphia area, the National Football League postponed the Sunday night’s Philadelphia Eagles-Minnesota Vikings game until Tuesday. The Vikings beat the Eagles 24-14 (although the Eagles clinched the NFC East that weekend).
- October 13, 2020 – yup, 2020, again. The Tennessee Titans beat the Buffalo Bills 42-16 on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. That game was originally supposed to be played on Sunday, October 10, 2020, but it got moved to Tuesday after a COVID-19 outbreak hit the Titans.
Before Wednesday, there have been 2 Wednesday games since 1940. Before 1940, it was relatively common. The two games after 1940 (other than the current Steelers v. Ravens game) are as follows:
- 2012 – With President Barack Obama scheduled to speak on the Thursday of the Democratic National Convention in 2012, the NFL’s traditional season opener was moved one day earlier. The defending-champion Giants hosted Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. They promptly had much of the enthusiasm for the previous season’s triumph fade away with a 24-17 loss to their division rivals.
- 1948 – As part of a spread out start to the 1948 season, the Los Angeles Rams played the Detroit Lions on September 22. However, far more significant than the day of the week was a uniform innovation that came courtesy of Los Angeles halfback Fred Gehrke. Thanks to Gehrke, who had been an art major in college, the Rams became the first NFL team to play a regular-season game with logos on their helmets.
2020 is not done yet and is giving us another oddity. For the first time in more than 10 years, the NFL season will include a Friday game, and that game will be played on December 25, 2020, in New Orleans between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints.
Wait, it gets better. Assuming the Christmas Day game occurs as scheduled, this will be the first time in history that an NFL game was played on every day of the week within the same season. Way to go, 2020.
ABOUT JAMES LANDON
Jim Landon has practiced real estate law since 2002 and has been involved in real estate investment and construction for most of his life. Jim’s practice focuses on real estate transactions and land use.
Jim represents individuals and privately and publicly held companies in the purchase, sale, leasing, financing, and development of real property. He also represents title insurance companies on commercial purchases and refinancing transactions, as well as providing third-party legal opinions regarding Delaware law related to Delaware entities.
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