Blog Entry

Eagles latest victim of bad scheduling

Posted on: December 2, 2011 9:43 am
Edited on: December 2, 2011 2:05 pm
The Eagles' loss Thursday reiterates what I've been saying all along -- namely, that having teams travel two or three time zones on a short week is more than just a competitive disadvantage. It's downright wrong.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out it gives the home team given an enormous edge.

Nevertheless, that hasn't deterred the NFL. It has San Francisco travel to Baltimore for a Thursday game, and it loses; it has the Jets travel to Denver for a Thursday game -- after the Jets played Sunday night,  no less -- and they lose; now, it sends Philadelphia to Seattle with predictable results.

Granted, the Eagles are a mess and a loss waiting to happen no matter where they are. I get that. But I also get that going from one end of the country to the other for a Thursday night game is downright wrong, and the NFL should know it by now. The evidence is everywhere, with the 49ers, Jets and Eagles this year's casualties.

They are not the exceptions. They are the rule. In fact, according to the National Football Post, over the last 15 years there have been 13 instances where a team that played Sunday had to travel more than 1,500 miles for a Thursday night game. In all 13 cases, it lost.

That's not a coincidence, people. It's a trend that needs to stop.

I've been saying for months that the league should wrap Thursday games around byes, and it should. Have a team coming off a bye play its next game on Thursday -- meaning it would have 10 days before that game and another nine before the next. That way, no one holds an advantage because of travel.

Plus, it would work in the interests of player safety. You wouldn't have two teams playing two games each within five days.

"That's your opinion," one high-ranking NFL official told me.

He's right. It is. It's also a logical solution to a problem the NFL won't acknowlege.

Category: NFL

Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:56 pm

Eagles latest victim of bad scheduling

The NFL's scheduling is very, very poor. One day long ago the NFL practiced parity and it made the schedule tough for defending champions. This year, it has Green Bay play on Thanksgiving and the NY Giants play on Monday night before sending GB to NY for a Sunday afternoon game. It should have been Green Bay's toughest road game of the year but the NFL gave GB the advantage by having NY play on monday the week before. 

That is essentially cheating. 

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:09 am

Eagles latest victim of bad scheduling

Here's a thought....get rid of the Thursday night game all together.  It sux all the way around.  First it does not do much for the "casual" fan since they may not have NFL Network to watch it.  Second, there is little to no time for the fans of the team to make it to the stadium and have the usual tailgate atmosphere that is normally done on game day.  You only get 8 home games a year for that and to lose one is not fun.  Last, I know I will get reemed for this, but it really affects the fantasy football realm, having to make lineup decisions by Thursday really throws off the balance of it.  People may say this is pointless, but think how popular the NFL is and how much of that is tied to fantasy leagues.  Plus, I do agree with Judge that the travel of over 1500 miles is a bit extreme for a team to endure on a short week.  They should limit these games to the same time zone and not have someone play a MNF, Sunday and then Thurs in that order.  I think 2 teams have done that this year already.

Since: Jul 1, 2007
Posted on: December 2, 2011 10:59 am

Eagles latest victim of bad scheduling

It could have been 2 weeks off since their last game, the Eagles are just a disaster this year. Very poor decisions on selecting coaches (Defensive coordinator with no track record), major issues with players contracts (Desean Jackson), overvaluing Mike Vick (injury issues and other teams adjustments to take away his strengths and exploit his weakness), continued exposure of Andy Reid's coaching flaws (clock management and poor game plan adjustments). The point about travel is very valid on a short week but the Eagles are a poor case in point. May be a time for change. Reid has a great overall record but Eagles commitment to winning is in question. Spent a lot of money at Corner but really undervalued the importance of linebackers. Released better talent than they have now.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 10:55 am

Eagles latest victim of bad scheduling

Although your point makes sense, you are missing something very important. The NFL starts to have Thursday night games in earnest towards the end of the season, primarily after the period of the byes. There are no byes the last six weeks of the season, so it is impossible to schedule Thursday night games after byes. Your proposal, logical as it is, would require extending the byes til the end of the season. There is no way the NFL will ever agree to that.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 10:40 am

Eagles latest victim of bad scheduling

Clearly the statistics support the premise that the game's outcome is impacted by the rigors of traveling under those conditions.  They need to review their scheduling practices to prevent this from happening again.  I'm not a Philly fan so I'm not responding just due to the Eagles loss.  I'm from Ohio... hence the screen name bfootball fan.... apparently in Ohio we like our football team's name to begin with the letter 'B' (Browns, Bengals, Buckeyes, Bearcats, and even the OU Bobcats). UnBelievable?

Back to article.... Excellent point made and the league needs to take heed.  I hope to see further discussion on the CBS TV coverage this weekend. Great observation!

Since: Sep 23, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 10:28 am

Eagles latest victim of bad scheduling

Player Saftey? Like the NFL has ever cared about player saftey. The NFL PR machine wants you to think it cares. But do the owners care? No. The owners want money. NFL network is money in the bank, even if it still can't be found half the time. Putting your team on a thursday night game on the NFL network lines that owner's pocket with money. This will not change. Why would it? Its too "American" to do this way to change.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or