NFL Schedule a Contingency-Planning Masterpiece, Schefter Reveals


Adam Schefter has powers. Not only can he sense what Donovan McNabb wants to do (possibly before Donovan himself even knows), he is also a master at figuring out what the NFL schedule tells us about the league’s lockout-related contingency plans.

I’m beginning to think Schefter is a wizard. Before I thought he was a Hobbit but that was just a height thing.

And what does Professor Schefter’s big-brained schedule decoding tell us? The NFL is crafty, for one thing. And for another thing: they’re very worried about the lockout causing a schedule reshuffle or even wiping out games.

It gets a little complicated here, so I’ll just let Schefter explain it himself (via ESPN):

"The recently released NFL schedule leaves open the possibility that there could be no games the first three scheduled weeks and all 16 regular-season games could still be played.Every game in Week 3 has teams which share the same bye week later in the season. That means the teams could make up that week’s games on what was originally scheduled to be their bye.The NFL also could lose the week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, and has secured hotel rooms in Indianapolis — site of the Super Bowl XLVI — for two weeks, meaning the Super Bowl could be played a week later than its originally scheduled date of Feb. 5, 2012.The NFL season is scheduled to begin on Sept. 8, with a full slate of games on Sept. 11-12. That means the league could start the season as late as Oct. 2, 2011 and still finish the Super Bowl by Feb. 12, 2012."

But that’s not all. Today, with a little help from the ESPN research department, Schefter worked out a second part of the Great Lockout Schedule Plan. This one goes farther than rescheduling games – it actually allows for the schedule to be reduced from 16 games to 14.

“The Da Vinci Code of schedules continues: Each team @ home in week 2 is on road in week 4; each team on road in week 2 is @ home in week 4,” Schefter tweeted. The wizard’s conclusion: “Bottom line: Weeks 2 and 4 can just be dropped. Every team is home once and away once, and there are no division games.”

So, by Schefter’s reckoning, the league has worked out a way to postpone the season for five weeks and still play a 14 game schedule with a complete slate of division games. I can’t even begin to imagine the brainpower of the people who devised that schedule. Why are they being wasted on such frivolous activities? They should be designing rockets or fixing the economy.

And Schefter? He may be a shrimpy little bugger with an annoying mouth, but he’s way smarter than I’ll ever be. Way to go, Tiny.

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