Breaking news! Exclusive! OMG! It’s almost here! The NFL will release its regular season schedule on NFL Network Thursday at 8 PM ET as part of an aptly named two-hour special, 2017 NFL Schedule Release. That’s right, TWO hours. Does anything underscore the stronghold the NFL holds over our psyches more than the ridiculousness of the schedule release? Two hours to analyze something we could have done in February.
Teams already learned their home and away games for 2017 way back on January 2nd. And they knew most opponents long before that. The Raiders may be relegated to playing in Marshawn Lynch’s Oakland-based store in 2019 but at least they have some idea of their opponents now. The task of pairing an already known game with a particular week is part of someone’s job, albeit a cool part. The fact that this information has turned this into an “event” is pretty lame.
The best weeks, and the best games of those weeks, will be analyzed to the nines on Thursday night and beyond. (Admittedly, probably here as well.) This would be all useful analysis except the consensus Super Bowl pick (a la the Cardinals of last season) could easily become must avoid TV by Week 6. One key injury, one disappointing free agent, or an emergent rookie quarterback or unexpected winning streak and the teams we deem compelling or dull now could flip in an instant. Moreover, there is so much more in life to get preemptively energetic about than the disclosure of the particular weeks in which preexisting NFL matchups will occur.
Now bring on a red carpet and some theorem skills challenges with the math geeks who make the schedule and we have legitimate appointment viewing.
Until then, it is what it is so we might as well get into the spirit.