Since 2006, the National Football League has started off the regular season with a game at the home of the team that won the Super Bowl the previous season. With the 100th season of NFL action set to kick off in September, however, the league could potentially be leaning another direction.
And it would mean Minnesota Vikings fans would start the season by watching two of their division rivals in prime time.
Sports Business Journal is reporting that, rather than have the 2019 season opener at the home of the New England Patriots, the league may kick off the year with the NFL’s oldest matchup: The Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. The game would be held in Chicago.
The Patriots, then, would be featured on the first Sunday Night Football broadcast of the year. If I had to venture a guess, that game would be likely to feature an AFC Championship rematch, with the Patriots hosting the Kansas City Chiefs.
Only once since 2006 has the Super Bowl champion not hosted the season opener, and that happened in 2013 when the Baltimore Ravens played in Denver due to scheduling conflicts they had with the Baltimore Orioles. But, in that case, at least the champions were involved in the season opener.
I can understand the league’s desire to highlight the Chicago/Green Bay matchup to kick off the league’s 100th season. I can also understand if fans of the Minnesota Vikings would find other things to do that Thursday night. I know I certainly would.
Do you think the league should go this direction with the 2019 opener?