Monday night anticipation

Today, players from both the Packers and the Vikings will sit in their hotel rooms, stare at the clock and count down the minutes until the pregame meal before they head over to the Metrodome.

The anticipation for Monday night from a player’s perspective is unlike any Sunday. The docket of games from the weekend is over, and you know that the eyes of all of your peers in the league will be on you.

I loved Monday night games—once they arrived. The waiting was, well, awful, because you just wanted to get into the flow of that game. Make a play in Monday night, and everyone sees it—and I mean everyone.

On Sundays, players don’t get to watch the other games unless they can catch some of the Sunday night game if they are playing at home. On Monday night, however, everyone is watching—and everyone will talk about it in the locker rooms across the league the next day.

Let’s face it—outside of the postseason, it is still the biggest stage in the NFL. Despite the switch of networks and the overwhelming attention placed on the Sunday night game, more people will watch Monday night.

Especially when Favre and the Packers meet up.

Revenge, drama, storyline after storyline. This is more than a game, and the players and fans know it. There is no chance that these players—getting ready to head down for dinner right now—aren’t feeling that pressure, that Monday night pressure.

I remember from my own experiences under the lights. You sit in that hotel room searching for something to do because the anticipation is just that great. Even the best ones—and that includes Favre—are feeling the pressure, because at the moment this game means everything—almost as if it has a college feel. That same feeling we get when Michigan and Ohio State play, or Notre Dame and Southern Cal.

If you don’t think that Brett Favre wants to step on the throat of Mike McCarthy you are only kidding yourselves, and if you don’t think that the Packers defense wants to hit Favre early, you haven’t been following this matchup.

It is all about revenge and it is all about proving who made the right or wrong decisions.

But can we really get that from one game? One nationally televised game? Probably not, but that doesn’t stop the average fan from talking about this game all day long. Questions, thoughts, expectations—this game has them all. Do you think I would have received the same interest, the same questions if the Titans and Jags were playing?

And that’s just it, and that it why this game could only be played on Monday night. It needs a big stage and it needs that added drama of the players waiting all day long to finally get on the field.

We have to realize that non-football fans are talking about this, and that is why it is special. Yes, it is only one of the two matchups that these teams will play, but there is a reason it isn’t regionally broadcast among eight other early games on Sunday.

Not about revenge? Come on Brett, we all know better.

This game was made for Monday night.

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