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Christi Walsh: Why the NFL Needs 9:30 A.M. Kickoffs Every Week

Oct 19, 2018 9:00 PM EDT

Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports Pictured: Fans with royal masks

  • Sunday's Tennessee Titans vs. Los Angeles Chargers matchup in London will be the first of two NFL games with 9:30 a.m. kickoffs this season.
  • Christi Walsh explains why the NFL needs games that kick off at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday.

For the last several years, there has been a stark divide between NFL fans who enjoy London games that kick off at 9:30 a.m. ET and the fans who hate them. I am, without a doubt, one of the former.

Why wouldn’t I want three extra hours of happiness on Sunday? And as a mother of two, I’ll take that happiness wherever I can get it … even if it’s first thing Sunday morning.

While the rest of the world is nursing Saturday night hangovers, I’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6 a.m. with two kids who somehow have their internal alarm clocks set to “ass crack of dawn.”

By 9:30 a.m., I’m two cups of coffee down and already waffling between starting Tarik Cohen or Kenyan Drake as my FLEX. There’s no good reason why I shouldn’t be watching football as well.

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s finding legitimate excuses to booze. I did the laundry? That deserves a glass of wine. My toddler managed to pee IN the toilet? Beer me!

So, if football starts before noon, it’s the perfect excuse to pop that bottle of champagne and throw in some OJ as well because I’m not a total lush [pause for laughter].

Crappy matchups

Let’s be honest here, I’m not going to go out of my way to watch the Titans play the Chargers, especially if it’s mixed in with the rest of the 1 p.m. matchups.

But, as a standalone game in the morning? That’s a completely different ballgame (pun intended).

I’ll let early-morning football distract me from watching my toddler dip his toothbrush in the toilet before brushing our 4-month-old’s hair.

A 9:30 a.m. game is the proverbial fish tank in the room — always on in the background. I check in on it here and there, watch a couple good plays and most likely complain about my fantasy players while still going about my morning routine.

I don’t care about the West Coast

Is the 6 a.m. start time too early for you West Coasters? Aww, I’m sorry pumpkin …

The Pacific Time Zone already gets the best of EVERY F’ING PRIME-TIME GAME.

I haven’t seen the second half of a Sunday, Monday or Thursday night NFL game since “Breaking Bad” was finishing its run as the most overrated show in TV history.

It must be tough to stay awake until 9 p.m. to watch an entire prime-time NFL game three times each week … although not having to suffer through another minute of Jason Witten’s color commentary may actually be a blessing in disguise [insert thinking emoji].

There’s nothing else on

The world needs more NFL pregame like I need another helicopter parent telling me how to raise my kids.

NFL Network’s pregame starts FOUR HOURS before kickoff. To be fair, the only routine funnier than Mitch Hedberg’s standup is Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders trying to provide smart football analysis, but that’s still way too early to enjoy comedy sober.

Solution? Early kickoffs every Sunday.

Let me make this clear: No, I’m not advocating for more international games or an entire division in Europe. The NFL can pull this off here.

The league already forces every team to play at least once on Thursday night, which is dangerous for players and generally a terrible product.

Sure, some will complain at first, but trust me, New England Patriots fans are ready 24/7 for their next opportunity to throw beer in the face of an opposing player.

Packers fans will buy anything. They willingly pay $250 to own a share of the team even though the “investment” is reportedly worth about three cents.

And Cowboys fans will think however the hell Jerry Jones tells them to think. I mean, they still believe they’re “America’s Team” with only two playoff wins since 1996.

Cowboys fans will happily set their alarms for the butt crack of dawn to watch Dak Prescott throw 2-yard outs to Cole Beasley just like the rest of us.

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