Jets vs. Dolphins: Explaining the Unusual Occurrence of an NFL Game on Black Friday…

In a historic move, the NFL has scheduled a game on Black Friday for the first time ever, featuring the Jets and Dolphins in this inaugural event.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving games have been a staple in the NFL, with the Cowboys and Lions playing at home on the last Thursday of November.

However, the Friday following Thanksgiving has typically been reserved for holiday shopping, making NFL games on this day a rarity.

This departure from tradition in 2023 raises the question of why the NFL has historically avoided Friday games. In the early days of the NFL, Friday games were relatively common.

However, since the merger of the AFL and NFL in 1970, there have been only 11 games scheduled on Fridays, most of which occurred on holidays.

The last non-holiday Friday game took place in October 2005, when the Dolphins and Chiefs faced off due to the threat of Hurricane Wilma disrupting the originally scheduled Sunday game.

The most recent Friday game occurred in 2020, with the Saints defeating the Vikings on Christmas Day. The Jets vs. Dolphins game on Black Friday is not technically a holiday game, maintaining an 18-year streak since the Chiefs-Dolphins game in 2005.

The scarcity of Friday games in the NFL is attributed to the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, which prohibited the league from scheduling games on Fridays and Saturdays.

This legislation aimed to protect attendance at high school and college football games during those days. While the NFL has made efforts to introduce late-season Saturday games in recent years, especially after the conclusion of college football events, the tradition of Friday games remains limited.

The decision to feature a Black Friday game was prompted by the Bengals’ proposal to host an annual Black Friday game.

Despite consideration, the NFL opted for the Jets vs. Dolphins matchup, and there is no indication of establishing a yearly Black Friday tradition akin to the Cowboys and Lions on Thanksgiving.

The Black Friday game between the Jets and Dolphins is set for 3 p.m. ET at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The game will be broadcast nationally on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., with local channels WNYW and WFOR airing the game in New York and Miami, respectively. Canadian viewers can catch the matchup on DAZN, which carries every NFL game.

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