The End of a Holiday Tradition?
For decades Nebraska has played football the day after Thanksgiving. So far, the move to the Big Ten hasn't ended that. This season will be no different. However, no official word has been given about 2013 and beyond. In fact, if you look at the schedules as they currently stand, the Huskers are slated to play Iowa in the final game of the season on the Saturday after Thanksgiving instead of Friday. Would that be a welcome change or bad news?
The day after Thanksgiving is like a holiday for many. Children are out of school and if people aren't automatically given the day off, they'll often burn a vacation day to get a long weekend. It's become a famous day for Christmas shopping, but a lot of us have spent at least part of the day enjoying what might be the last Nebraska football we'll see for weeks. Nationwide, there have to be a lot of people who catch the featured Friday games on television that might not otherwise see the Huskers play, simply because NU football hasn't been their priority. That expands the visibility of Nebraska which might be an asset for recruiting.
Putting aside any marketing or recruiting advantages though, is waiting another day to see the Huskers play so bad? Maybe you don't want to burn that vacation day. Maybe you've got some shopping or other errand to do. NU fans would watch the game anyway, so would it matter when it's played?
From the players' perspective, playing a game on six days rest late in the year probably is a bit more painful than waiting that extra day. It might be easier to really enjoy Thanksgiving without a game the next day. Of course, a shorter week might also allow the team to be just a bit fresher going into a conference championship game. So it might be a worthwhile tradeoff.
It's hard to pinpoint any specific recruit that came to Nebraska simply because they caught them playing on Friday as opposed to Saturday. That doesn't mean it might not have been the tipping point. In the scheme of all things that can either help or hurt Nebraska football, this one probably nets out pretty close to zero. Still, it would be a bit of adjustment to see the game move into the Saturday mix with everything else.
What would you like to see, stay with Friday or move to Saturday?