There they go again.
The Massachusetts football coaches, none of whom can ever seem to come together on a true plan that works, presented on Thursday a plan to the MIAA’s Tournament Management Committee.
According to reports, it would feature an 11-game regular season that included Thanksgiving followed by eight teams making the three-round playoffs in each division. You don’t have to have 20/20 vision to know what comes next. Since playoff fields would be sliced from 16 to 8 per division, there will be a massive outcry for more divisions. Eight is NOT enough, they will say.
The football coaches in Massachusetts need to stop. They need to get into this century and get in line with a more sensible approach.
All over Massachusetts on Monday, student-athletes who were still nursing soreness and wounds from Thanksgiving football were forced to try out on wrestling mats, hoop courts and rinks all over the state. Some had played a state semifinal on the Friday or Saturday before Thanksgiving and were forced to bounce right back five days later.
And they were the lucky ones. Super Bowls are still waiting to be played. Other athletes are having the start to their winter seasons delayed.
Folks, enough is enough.
There is one simple solution to all this madness. Nearly every other state in our union has figured it out.
It’s time to end Thanksgiving football, once and for all.
Football season is too long and too taxing on student-athletes and their bodies. Soccer and field hockey don’t play till Thanksgiving. Neither do cross country, golf or swimming.
The time has come to stop torturing football players, the most physically taxed of all fall athletes.
Thanksgiving football needs to go.
Play a 9 or 10-week regular season that ends in the final weekend of October.
Then, pick your playoff format. Eight teams, 16 teams, whatever you wish.
I have been around the Bay State and Granite State football scenes for over three decades now. I’ve watched both closely.
In Massachusetts, they tweak and tweak and tweak some more, attempting to overcome that massive Thanksgiving road block.
The New Hampshire format is clean and crisp. Yes, even with 13 teams making the playoffs in Division I for some reason.
They play a safe, sensible slate, with all but the Division I state title game completed before Thanksgiving. and they find a way to make it special without Turkey Day football.
Look. I’m old. I should embrace Thanksgiving football like the misguided coaches, many of whom I consider friends, do.
Do what is best for the student-athletes and do away with Thanksgiving football once and for all.
Its time has just passed.
There they go again.