The NFL is filling the Christmas holiday with games.
It is Christmas Eve and in the sports world, it is pretty quiet or supposed to be quiet. The National Hockey League has shut down for two days, The National Basketball Association is quiet. There is one college football bowl game in Honolulu featuring Fresno State and the University of Houston but there is also something else on the schedule. Almost a full slate of National Football League games. There are 12 of them. There are nine games starting with the 1 eastern, 10 pacific slot, one 4:05 ior 1:05 start and there are two 4:25 or 1:25 contests. But the league did not schedule a Sunday Night Football game this year. Instead there will be two Christmas day games starting at 4:30 eastern, 1:30 in the Pacific time zone and Monday Night Football. The last time there was no Sunday Night game was Christmas Eve 2006.
The NFL generally avoids playing on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. But times and TV commitments have changed. The NFL in 1955 pushed the Cleveland-Los Angeles and in 1960 Green Bay-Philadelphia league championship games to Monday, December 26. The NFL was stung by political criticism in 1971 having playing a pair of playoff games. It was the second game, a long overtime affair between Miami and Kansas City was the problem. Allegedly families missed traditional Christmas Day dinners because people were too concerned with the game. The issue became so heated that one Kansas state legislator who apparently represented a perfect district that did not have one problem introduced a law calling on the NFL to ban Christmas Day games. The NFL reworked the schedule and did not have any Christmas conflicts for years. No politician has introduced legislation barring the NFL from playing on Christmas. Sports does not take days off.
The NFL has 12 Christmas Eve contests.