26 October 2006

Is the NFL "Flex Schedule" Going to Screw the Saints?

The T-P article I got my information from can be found here.

The NFL.com article comes from here.

For those of you who don't know what I mean by the NFL's "Flex Schedule," I'll let NFL.com explain it to you:

The NFL this season will implement for the first time in its history a primetime "flexible scheduling" element on Sundays in Weeks 10-15 and in Week 17.

Flexible scheduling will ensure quality matchups on Sunday night in those weeks and give surprise teams a chance to play their way onto primetime.

Hell, the headline of the NFL.com article even says that it "Allows teams to play their way onto NBC Sunday night schedule." In other words, the "Flex Schedule" meant that the NFL wasn't locking any teams into the NBC Sunday Night Football primetime schedule. It was done to ensure that you wouldn't have a matchup featuring a 3-9 team in December. If a team came out of nowhere (such as the Saints), it would be given just as much chance as anyone to get a primetime game.

Well, apparently (and not surprisingly) THE NFL LIED.

Now, let's turn to the T-P article that talks about how the "Flex Schedule" has already basically been determined.

The NFL has not released NBC's tentative schedule for the remaining six flex weeks -- Nov. 19, Nov. 26, Dec. 3, Dec. 10, Dec. 17 and Dec. 31. However, The New York Times reported that NBC has penciled in Washington-Tampa Bay on Nov. 19, Philadelphia-Indianapolis on Nov. 26, Seattle-Denver on Dec. 3, New England-Miami on Dec. 10, Kansas City-San Diego on Dec. 17 and Pittsburgh-Cincinnati on Dec. 31.

Hmmm, don't see the Saints anywhere on there, do you? What a shock.

The first game chosen was the Bears and the Giants. That should come as a surprise to no one. And it deserves to be played in primetime. They're both probably playoff teams, and they come from big markets and have huge followings. No problem there.

Apparently this same weekend, the NFL is also throwing the Saints a "kind-of" bone: the NFL and Fox are "shifting the starting time for the Saints' game at Pittsburgh that day from noon to 3:15 p.m. as part of a national doubleheader on Fox."

NATIONAL DOUBLEHEADER? Are they implying that the Saints game is being nationally televised too? I live in Missouri right now. I won't be getting it. The Rams are playing at the same time. Some "national doublheader."

But look at the next week's "penciled in" game: The Redskins and the Bucs. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT????????????????? Look at their current records and their schedules the next three weeks. If everything goes as planned, NBC will be aring a matchup between two possible 2-7 teams in primetime.

That same weekend, the Saints are playing the Bengals. Yeah, NFL. The Saints are really getting a chance to "play their way into primetime." You'd rather show a bad Redskins team in primetime ONE MORE TIME than give the Saints a chance. I guess shots of Daniel Snyder and Tom Cruise in his box are more attractive ratings-wise than showing a Saints team that deserves it.

Then, turn to December. The NFL has "penciled in" a Dolphins game. The 1-6 Miami Dolphins. A Dolphins team that probably has to run the table from here on out to even be considered for the playoffs.

I turn now back to the statement in the T-P article:

"This is for the fans," Katz said. "All of our games are meaningful, but you don't want in Week 15 or 17 to have a 2-11 team in prime time. That doesn't help anybody. We want to give teams that weren't on our radar screen a chance to play their way into a meaningful game. We're trying to make sure that the most number of fans have an opportunity to watch games with the greatest implications.

The Saints are playing the Cowboys that weekend. We can't even get a sniff from the NFL when we play the freakin' Cowboys????????????????????

Now look, I'm grateful to the NFL for doing everything it could to keep the team here. It could have easily turned its back on us. It's giving us a chance to keep our team instead of just giving it away. But look, we DESERVE a primetime game or two. And not just when we reopen our stadium after an unprecedented MAN-MADE (that's for you, Seymour) disaster.

So come on, and put your money where your mouth is. Give us a chance to show the nation what we've got one more time.


At October 26, 2006 11:57 AM, Anonymous ashley said...

I want that last Sunday night game.

In the Dome.

New Year's eve.

Versus the Panthers.

Hopefully, we'll be able to get a new roof put on by the playoffs.

At October 26, 2006 5:47 PM, Blogger Big__Shot said...

I'd be patient Fitch. I've read a few other articles (forget where) that seemed to indicate many of the penciled in games, such as Washington v. Tampa, were merely placeholders and that the New Orleans v. Cincy game was a likely candidate to take its place given the seasons the Skins and Tampa are having.

At October 26, 2006 5:52 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

I hope to God you're right. There's a pretty good chance I'll be in for Thanksgiving week, and I'd get to go that game. That would be huge

At October 26, 2006 11:06 PM, Blogger Mr. Clio said...

I spent three missourable years in Missourah, starving for the Saints.

I'm wit' ya, cap. I feel your pain.

If you get to the Cincy game, post your section. We should clink Dome Foam cups.

At October 27, 2006 7:32 AM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

Fortunately, I've found a good sports bar over here with Sunday Ticket. Plus, there are a lot of relocated Louisianians here because of job relocation. So 5-10 of us watch the game together every week. That eases some of the pain.

At October 27, 2006 9:58 AM, Blogger Zihuatanejo said...

Now is your chance:

It is ashamed that this country has lost focused on what is important during these election debates. On every major media source, on line, radio and tv talk shows, everyone is talking about the war this, or the war that.. Here is what I am going to be posting at these sites:

"Some people might consider all this "stay the course" and other Iraq war talk debatable. But, when you look at how this administration handled Katrina and the Gulf coast it becomes very clear how incompetent they are at governing and taking care of the real important issues. The issues at home. More than 750,000 people lost their homes. Many of them still have no relief and the billions spent on recovery was mostly sucked up by Halliburton and other middle companies that were not from the devestated areas. Small businesses that were ruined in the disaster areas have not received the relief they were promised. Why should Halliburton and other cozy companies, recieve the lion's share of relief dollars? Why were people left stranded for days?

The biggest thing these gusy want to do right now is stere the national debates away from this foul up. lets not let them do this. You guys should go to these web-sites and help keep these important issues allive in these discussions. Speak up New Orleans! Call in on these national radio shows and ask the question "Why aren't we talking about Katrina, Fema, and Global warming?"

At October 27, 2006 7:49 PM, Blogger bayoustjohndavid said...

If Big Shot isn't right about the penciled in games, something is very wrong. I have to play devil's advocate on the afternoon game. Are you closer to St. Louis or K.C.? As I understand it, the national doubleheader game is the one that everybody whose "home team" isn't on watches. That's why I'm sure we'll end up seeing some national games in New Orleans in Dec, as opposed to the games involving North Carolina or whoever they are fighting for the division lead.

At October 27, 2006 9:14 PM, Blogger Fitch N. DarDar said...

I live in Columbia, and it's equidistant (100 miles from both). We get both the Chiefs and Rams, and they alternate when there's a conflict. It's already happened twice, and once we got the Rams and once we got the Chiefs. The way I understand it, it's at the discretion of the local station if it's not the home station. And the Columbia station always picks the Chiefs or Rams for the late game, even if there is a huge "national" game. I'm sure it's the same for the Baton Rouge market if there's a "national" game and the Saints are playing at the same time.

The same thing happened on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the mid 90s. I worked for the NBC affiliate at the time. When Steve McNair first came out, our station petitioned the NFL to get the Oilers games no matter what, and they agreed.

At November 06, 2006 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calm down Beavis!

Did you fail to see the 'penciled in' part of the story? That means at the time of the 'pecilling in' there could be other teams that make it in.

I would bet that the eraser comes out and the Saints will be given one of those games...probably the Cowboys.

At November 27, 2006 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cowboys/Saints selected as primetime game for Dec. 10th:


Guess that 'pencil' had an eraser.

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