It makes absolutely no sense at all, for a player on an NFL roster to get excited about the season schedule being released yesterday evening. But apparently, the media world wants it to be a magnificent event that gets a two-hour special devoted to a fax or email with a strategic combination of letters, numbers, and some occasional “special characters”.
There are two forms of thought that show up on the sacred ‘Schedule Release Day.
First, you have the fans and the media that jump for joy, and rightfully so. The faithful fanatics can plan ahead as far as December, or even that random Thursday night game and look to get tickets. Or they can wait until after the draft, and see which rookie they want to boo in person and sign up for that game. I’m cool with that.
The media will take this bit of information and, as their job description entails, will run off and start formulating the potential story lines, angles, and relationships the two squads have in common. My biggest issue is them expecting the players to be just as enthused or all about it as they are.
Don’t get me wrong, when I was in an NFL locker room, I would take a look at the newly released schedule, but I was never in a position to start circling dates. Even when I had achieved a small bit of success in Washington, I still didn’t go off making notes in my phone about the 3rd Sunday in October we face so-and-so.
Sure, there are some ‘special match-ups’ that you may keep your eye on. For instance: playing against an NFL legend, or someone you looked up to, and when you play against a friend. All in all, those games pale in comparison to the challenges directly ahead of the athlete.
These guys have to focus on the workouts, OTAs, and then training camp. Some newer players have to get their doctorate in their new team’s playbook. The roster is will be sitting around 90 players in a few weeks, and 40% of those guys will be elsewhere. They had better focus on the task at hand and handle the NFL regular season week by week.