Sports games are on too late!

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Monday Night Football is a staple in the NFL, now over 50 years old. Nonetheless the start time is too late, with kickoff not until 9 p.m. Sports games are on too late.

It’s time for it to be said: sports games are on too late. NFL Monday Night Football featured kickoffs past 8:30 p.m. NBA Finals Games are consistently slotted for 9 p.m. tipoff times. The MLB World Series Games are always at 8:08 p.m. While it can be hard to admit for many, the truth is there are a lot of people who aren’t night owls (myself perhaps included) and would love to watch games at a more reasonable hour.

The perfect time for a primetime game is 6:30 p.m. The NFL thankfully starts the Superbowl and several playoff games at this time, allowing fans to enjoy the game that will end likely before 10 pm. For students this is especially nice, as staying up late on a school night can have tremendous negative effects on our ability to successfully complete an academic day.

The late games are also bad for people who just cannot keep their eyes open past a certain hour. It can be so painful to fall asleep watching a great game to wake up several hours later on a couch with a sore neck. Furthermore, it is also frustrating to miss an incredible game, and have everyone talking about it the next day, and it can be embarrassing to admit that yes, you fell asleep.

On top of it all, why are sports a night thing? As a Cubs fan, I appreciate the substantial number of day games they play in the season. Wrigley Field always has the most day games compared to other teams, and it is a great summer tradition. In fact Wrigley Field didn’t get lights for years—not until 1988! So prior to then all their games had to be during the day, and there’s nothing abnormal about it. After all, sports for the players should be about getting sweaty in the sun. And for fans, it’s safer as there will be less drunkenness during the day.

Even for those on the west coast time or on central time, the adjustment to earlier games isn’t a bad idea. The super bowl for the west coast is always at 3:30 p.m. and I’ve never heard anyone gripe about that. Furthermore, if a game were played at 3 p.m. eastern time, that would coincide perfectly with lunch time for the west coast (12 p.m.), so it actually benefits them.

So why not have games at 7 p.m., 5 p.m., or earlier? Who’s to say watching a game late at night is more enjoyable than watching it in the late afternoon or early evening.