I actually have a confession to make: I’m not an enormous schedule-release guy.
Doesn’t do much for me. Appears to be becoming an excessively bloated exercise. That doesn’t suggest I won’t be playing along, at the very least to a point (possibly as an official scorer of a Little League game), as Global Football Consumers digest the dump of dates and times and opponents and start assessing who got hosed by the league and who got a straightforward ride.
I’ll have some thoughts to share by Friday, I’m sure … but I’m also sufficiently old to recollect when nobody knew exactly when schedule-release day was, nobody ever considered really talking about when schedule-release day was, and it just form of happened quietly. Some afternoon within the spring the fax machine (you’ll be able to google it, kids) within the sports department on the newspaper (most sadly of all, google it, kids) hummed, someone eventually noticed the paper laying there and browse it. (The beat author wasn’t on the team facility that day, because nobody was, because OTAs hadn’t develop into a media event yet, either). Seems the fax was the local NFL team’s schedule for the upcoming season and someone on the desk cobbled together a 10-inch story (google it) that probably lacked a byline (“staff reports”) and that was it. Life went on.
Very long time, and plenty of, many BlackBerrys ago.
Sorry to go all full Prisco on everybody here, but excuse me if I do not view this as appointment television — the discharge of a schedule that will not be played for one more half-year for games during which we already know who the opponents will likely be. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly concerned about where that is going. Since it could get nice and peculiar.
At the chance of giving any suits on Park Avenue any ideas, how far off are we from the schedule-release show morphing right into a bizarre draft of sorts; a fair more MADE FOR TV exercise? Are you able to too envision a future where one fan is chosen to represent each team (or one actor, wrassler, Reality TV schlub, singer, TikToker, whatever) in addition to one player from that team, for a rotating event held within the spring in a single NFL city (or possibly, down the road, in London or Munich or Mexico City)? Are you seein’ what I’m seein’?
These 64 individuals are held in a green room (some for possibly hours or more because the drama unfolds) during all the pre-show, after which at 8 p.m. ET we’re live, starting with an on-stage lottery to pick the order during which each couplet will begin to be called to the stage. When it’s their turn, they’re called up, two-by-two, to shake hands with The Commish before striding as much as the mic. There’s a two-minute clock (this, together with time for commercials, ensures we go at the very least two hours for TV) to permit for the obligatory time to take a selfie, post it, make a fast FaceTime call. When you go over two minutes, you get sent to the back of the road and lose your turn. Moreover, in the event you cannot resist the urge to go full Marinaro, and do actually run out the clock, the fan and player get yanked off the stage with a cane a la “The Gong Show” style (in the event you are under the age of 35 you would possibly as well bail on this column now).
Our first couplet (in the event you are going to make use of this term in a quasi-football column, then you will need to ride it hard) then reaches right into a large fishbowl, adorned with logos from official league sponsors, which holds 136 plastic balls, each with the dates/times/opponent/rightsholder for one NFL game written inside. Lucky Couplet No. 1 pulls a random ball because the band on stage blares away (in the event you pull a ball holding considered one of your team’s games you get one other go) after which we watch, enraptured, as all the schedule involves life – all 18 weeks – game by game because it’s stacked on an enormous Big Board (just like the draft) behind the stage? Possibly we get really crazy with it and throw in some extra balls which contain the bye weeks for a team or division or something wacky like that?
Would it not really surprise anyone if that is where this thing goes by, Oh, I do not know, 2026? Official gaming sponsors of the NFL could post odds on which couplet will take the longest on the clock, who will pick first, who will pick 127th, who picks the primary bye ball. Which team’s schedule will likely be fully formed on the Big Board first? Who’s the primary person to get Gong Show ganked off the stage? Who gives Rog the longest hug?
Okay, we’ll see where that goes (and if anything like this ever involves pass, I deserve on the very least an Executive Producer/Creator credit so as to add to my resume, right?). Within the meantime, listed here are a number of the things I’m most intrigued to truly see unfold when the large reveal takes place Thursday with sufficient fanfare:
When is the Browns bye? What number of prime-time games in the primary two months of the season?
The NFL is not going to weigh in on Deshaun Watson anytime soon. It’ll probably come pretty near the beginning of the regular season. But there could also be some obvious clues about where this discipline is likely to be going from the schedule itself. Even when it is a lesser suspension, would the league want this QB in prime time early within the yr? My suspicion is they might not want that to be a significant talking point because the season is kicking off, despite the Browns becoming considered one of the more talked about franchises this offseason.
What does the AFC West divisional schedule appear to be down the stretch? Any team at home greater than others in the ultimate month of the season?
This division goes to be bonkers. I’d not be shocked if any of those 4 teams reached the postseason. But we all know the percentages of that really happening are bleak. Are there some inherit benefits and downsides schedule-wise in the ultimate weeks of the season? These teams normally must travel greater than others by the very nature of how unfolded they’re geographically. The margins are slim. Does one profit greater than others from a rest/travel standpoint because the fatigue and attrition mounts?
If the Raiders get shafted by the NFL tomorrow – because in the event you’ve ever spent 30 seconds around a Raiders fan you already know the league office/Big Brother is all the time after them – can they create an Al Davis hologram to project profanities upon Roger Goodell from inside that VIP club next to the top zone? (Hint: When you do that, please be sure that Amy Trask crafts the script. We want authenticity here). I’d totally pay to look at that. Also, Over/Under on what number of more team presidents/CFOs/COOs the Raiders undergo before the schedule is definitely announced? 4?
What do the primary six weeks appear to be for the 49ers? Early bye? When’s the sport against the Panthers?
Trey Lance simply has not played much football the previous few years. And now loads stands to be expected of him. How tough is the early gauntlet? When is the week off? This may increasingly be a Super Bowl team if the QB play is legit. Oh yeah, and if by likelihood Jimmy Garoppolo – the previous 49ers starter – results in Carolina, that date with San Francisco is one value circling. Jimmy G vs. Shanny 2.0. May the perfect stubble win.
Yeah, we’ve entered the REVENGE GAME portion of this exercise. Russell Wilson vs. the Seahawks. Words some thought would never be written. Is Seattle totally lost without him? Can The twelfth Man survive this three-hour endeavor with Russ on the opposing sideline? Would Twitter/Instagram/Cool Social Media Stuff I Barely Know Exists explode if Ciara ran to the Seahawks logo at midfield after a Broncos victory, bust out a few of her best moves and did a fast acapella version of “1,2 Step” until security intervenes? What if she did it with (former Seahawk for a minute) T.O.? Man knows a thing or two about dancing-on-a-logo choreography. Possibly he’ll bust out a push-up or two? Man I can not wait for this season to start out.
How about Ravens/Giants?
Why, do you ask, would I highlight this game after watching Baltimore massacre the NY Football Giants not that way back? Well, for years the Ravens defense, run by coordinator Wink Martindale, faced the Ravens unique offense, run by Lamar Jackson and coordinator Greg Roman, every single day at practice. The Ravens fired Wink after a disastrous 2021 season on defense. Nobody would have more insight about this offense from a defensive standpoint than him. Wink may not have all of the horses he needs in Yr One, but they improved within the draft. Will likely be fascinated to see how he approaches this game, every time it’s.
Because, remember, there’ll one or two jackasses who will take to TV between now and every time this game is played to let you know that THE LEAGUE HAS FIGURED OUT LAMAR JACKSON, I PROMISE, I SWEAR, A MIDDLING ASSISTANT DBs COACH OF A REALLY CRAPPY TEAM WHISPERED IT TO ME AND AN AGENT SENT IT TO ME IN A GROUP TEXT. AGAIN. ONLY THIS TIME IT’S FOR REAL. Can Wink meet the challenge? The rating for this game alone amongst anonymous scouts ought to be record-setting.
Oh, and what about Eagles/Titans?
A.J. Brown revenge game. ‘Nuff said. Do the Titans crumble without his immense physical presence and production? Is his addition putting Jalen Hurts on a path to receives a commission? Is Malik Willis already under center for the Titans? Brown’s press conference after the trade made some headlines. If he blows up the box rating it can generate way more.
When can we get to see A-Rod and Brady go face to face one last time, probably, possibly, possibly?
The Packers and Bucs have a little bit of a history, going back to their Bay of Pigs days (yeah, in the event you do not know, google it.) More to the purpose, the road to the Super Bowl tends to undergo Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers sooner or later Within the NFC playoffs since Brady went to Tampa. In fact, back in January, we thought this was over. Then, notsofast.
Rodgers got around to putting down the binders stuffed with medical research and pharmaceutical literature and vaccine trial data he was perusing hours a day (and heaven knows what else) and got here off his cleanse and declared that He Shall Play Football Once More. And Probably Twice More, Per The Guarantees In That Recent Contract. And Brady retired for roughly 28 minutes and three seconds (sorry Falcons fans!) after which chopped it up with Ronaldo on the pitch at Old Trafford and declared the He Too Shall Play Football Once More (and possibly whispered that It Could Be Twice, Or Thrice, But Perhaps In A More Southern Region Of Florida, Wink-Wink).
(Unrelated note: Has Man U won a match since that grazing of the GOATS? Asking for a Leeds Fan. Come on Jesse Marsch, keep us within the Prem. Do it not for I, but to your country!)
So, yeah, the Packers will meet the Bucs this season. And the world shall watch. Because this might be it between these two. Really. Probably. I promise. Until they meet again within the playoffs. Or not.
When is The Battle of Los Angeles? And may they get ‘Rage Against the Machine’ to play at halftime?
The Rams and Chargers share a house. Okay, well, more to the purpose the Rams have an incredible football palace built by their owner that’s sublet to certain tenants for various amounts of time. The tractor pull probably gets a full week. A Dr. Dre/Snoop Dog co-headlining date could probably fill that place for a whole weekend run. The Chargers get roughly 10 dates a yr, spread apart by various degrees, depending on the yr and what number of preseason and/or regular-season games the are allowed to host. The Rams quickly won a Super Bowl and are the large show on the town (I’m rooting for a “Winning Time”-type adaptation of their championship season to start out streaming on their website soon, after that draft-day Matrix trailer thingy they produced. The casting has already been done for goodness sake).
L.A. went a long time without having a single team and nobody looked as if it would care all that much about that, let alone two NFL franchises sharing a stadium. Would not it’s something if this game was early within the yr and regardless that the Chargers are the “home team” for NFL purposes, with it really being Kroenke’s house and all, think big with me here for a second: What if the Rams got their rings and so they raised the banner before this game? The Rams enjoy a very good laugh and their social media/in house production/James Cameron Knockoff Team is legit. How about they take a full WWF heel turn, temporarily, and switch this game right into a celebration of their 2021 Lombardi Trophy season, even when the Chargers logos are on the sphere that day?
Alas, a man can dream.
The total 2022 NFL schedule will likely be released on Thursday, May 12, at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network, NFL.com and the NFL app. NFL GameDay View: Schedule Release will stream that night at 8 p.m. ET on Paramount+, NFL.com, the NFL app, YouTube and the NFL Channel.