The National Football League is going to reveal the 17-week schedules for all 32 teams this evening and with it will come more speculation and hyperbole than a presidential debate. I admit it, I love when the schedule comes out but not so much because of where or when we’ll be playing but rather, it means we are one step closer to actual football.
Don’t get me wrong though, the schedule release is important to a lot of people. If you are a fan of the Steelers for example and you live Baltimore (you have my sympathy) then you are probably waiting to see when the Steelers come to town. Perhaps you have a wedding this fall in Pittsburgh and you want to know if the Steelers are home that weekend. I get the excitement in that respect. Football is so different from the other professional sports simply because there are only eight home games and not all of them will fall on Sundays either.
What drives me crazy is when the talking heads at ESPN and the NFL Network start breaking down games that will be played months from now when teams haven’t even drafted new players yet. So Dallas plays at San Francisco on a Monday night in November, big whoop! For all we know the Niners could be 4-8 and the Cowboys could be 2-10 with Tony Romo benched. Gee, that sounds like an exciting game…
Analyzing the NFL schedule is about hope and possibility. The mere thought of Peyton Manning going into San Diego to take on Philip Rivers makes Tim Hasselbeck as giddy as a school girl. How many times will Chris Berman reference the ‘frozen tundra’ of Lambeau Field when he discusses Packers’ home games in December?
It won’t stop there either. Who is going to call the Denver-Pittsburgh match-up a “revenge game” for the Steelers due to their playoff loss? There will be discussions about games pitting new head coaches and how many times will we hear about the first six games of the Saints’ schedule and then the last 10?
Ahhhhhh, the sky is falling!!!!!!
Tired of hearing about Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III? Get ready because you’ll hear about when they play their first home game and have their first ‘road test’.’ Plan on hearing where Cam Newton will start the season and the so-called ‘sophomore jinx.’
The real precipice of today’s schedule unveiling is of course the Sunday and Monday night games. Every one of us will be glued to the TV when those parts of the schedule are revealed. Do me a favor though and think back to last year when the schedule came out. Remember how many epic match-ups were waiting on those nights? Now think to the actual season when Monday nights on ESPN resembled something closer to the ‘Cowboys and Giants’ in the movie “Little Giants.” I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch Curtis Painter lead the Colts on a Monday night showdown in Tampa?
So where will I be tonight at 7pm ET when the schedules are released? I’ll be in front of the TV or computer just like you checking out when the Steelers’ bye week is and when we play our divisional opponents and how many prime time games we have. Ya, I can sit here and slam it all that I want to but the NFL has me hook, line and sinker regardless of how ridiculous all the commenting will be this evening.
Of course the big question is going to be, when do we wear our throwbacks?