NFL should re-take Labor Day weekend

Twenty-three years ago, the NFL ditched Labor Day weekend.

"People want to stretch those last, lazy days of summer," the league explained in its announcement from August 30, 2000. "That’s why the NFL has decided that this Sunday and Monday (September 3-4) will be the last time that it opens its season on Labor Day weekend. Beginning with Labor Day, 2001, NFL fans will be able to enjoy the unofficial 'end of summer' at the beach, in the country or at the barbecue, and then kick off fall with the opening of the NFL season on the weekend after Labor Day."

On the surface, that fits the whole "football is family" vibe. As we know, however, football is business and they say "football is family" because saying "football is family" is good for business. The NFL abandoned Labor Day weekend because it was bad for business to try to maximize TV audiences when people are doing Labor Day weekend things.

With the NFL considering an expansion of the season to 18 games, possibly with the addition of a second bye week, the NFL might need to reverse course on not working on Labor Day weekend. And that might be a good thing for the league.

The world has changed dramatically since the NFL moved the start of the season to the week after Labor Day. Thanks to the do-it-all portable devices that have rendered twenty different industries obsolete, people will be able to watch games wherever they are. And they will.

And the league could make opening weekend a five-night event. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

The federal prohibition on Friday/Saturday games doesn't start until the second Friday in September. Labor Day weekend would be fair game. As many as five of sixteen games could be in standalone spots.

There's no indication the league has ever reconsidered its position on Labor Day. Maybe it should. Maybe it can do on Labor Day weekend what it has always done on Thanksgiving — and what it recently has been doing on Christmas.

Gathering many millions of eyeballs, and making many millions of monies.