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Monday might be time for a no-NFL evening

The rationale is that changing a kick-off time by a few hours does not terribly inconvenience fans, while altering the day does.

On the most-anticipated weekend of the season, with five compelling match-ups that carry play-off implications for all teams involved, the Monday night game offers this: a team that has been a regular-season bust and a quarterback who has inflicted the public with Brett Favre fatigue.

The NFL introduced flexible scheduling in 2006, designed to assure an appealing prime-time game on Sundays. Last week, the league demoted the December 26 night game between San Diego and Cincinnati to the afternoon.

But flexibility does not extend to Monday games. The rationale is that changing a kick-off time by a few hours does not terribly inconvenience fans, while altering the day does.

So Monday viewers will most likely be subjected to constant shots of Favre on the sideline while the Minnesota Vikings muddle through another defeat.

That their opponents, the Chicago Bears, are in the background of the post-season picture provides some justification to tune in.

Many fans will be coping with football fatigue after Sunday's delicious slate, concluding with the poetry-in-motion New England Patriots against Green Bay. Perhaps this is the week to declare Monday night as a no-NFL zone.

Besides, for those willingly caught up in the Favre soap opera, one missed episode will not throw you permanently off track. The Sunday night game on December 26 that replaces Chargers-Bengals? Philadelphia versus Favre's Vikings.

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