This Year’s NFL Schedule Is Out

After several days of rumors and leaks, the NFL put on a press extravaganza last night and released the regular season schedule for all 32 teams in 2023.  Because the NFL schedule is formulaic, we have known for months which teams would play which other teams overall; what was revealed yesterday is the order of the games and their venues.  Last week, Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot quite accurately predicted the hullabaloo that surrounded the announcement:

“Up next: In its ongoing quest to eclipse all other sports news and conversation, the NFL will grab headlines again next week with the release of its regular-season schedule. As always, media will treat it like the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

Because we have known the opponents for all teams for months but not their order, one of the themes about the scheduling for 2023 is that the Philadelphia Eagles have the “toughest schedule” in the league based on the cumulative record of all their opponents in 2022.  Once the schedule was announced, I went to see what the “toughest schedule” looked like when it stared me in the face.  Here are a couple of impressions:

  • The Eagles – like all NFC teams in 2023 – play 8 home games and 9 road games.  Of the 8 opponents who will visit Lincoln Financial Field, 6 of those visitors made the playoffs in 2022.
  • The Eagles have a 7-game stretch between November 5th and Christmas Day where all 7 opponents made the playoffs in 2022.  Here is what that schedule looks like:
      • Vs. Cowboys
      • BYE Week
      • At Chiefs
      • Vs. Bills
      • Vs Niners
      • At Cowboys
      • At Seahawks
      • Vs. Giants

There was another event related to the NFL earlier this week that did not receive nearly the same amount of attention as the schedule release or the amount of coverage that the start of the story received.  About a year ago, Matt Araiza was a rookie punter for the Bills until the team released him in the wake of an accusation that he had participated in the gang rape of a 17-year-old girl at a party while he was in college.  In retrospect, the coverage at the time represents a black mark for journalism.  At least 90% of the coverage/commentary assumed that Araiza was a loathsome creature from whom great punishment(s) should be extracted.  Far too many commentators generalized this purported kind of behavior and placed it on young testosterone-fueled athletes.  Here is the not-so-minor problem:

  • After months of investigation, the authorities in San Diego announced that there would be no charges brought against Araiza and that a witness at the party in question said that Araiza left the party an hour before the alleged gang rape happened.

There were volumes of opprobrium hurled at Araiza about a year ago over this; this week, there was not a similar wave of apologies for jumping to conclusions without evidence.  Journalists are highly vocal when any behavior that might limit their freedom of expression arises; there is no reticence then in wrapping themselves in the First Amendment.  Well, here is a situation where those proponents of the Constitution rode roughshod over the Fifth Amendment which is the basis of the American tradition – – innocent until proven guilty.

Switching gears …  The NFLPA is scheduled to name a successor to its Executive Director, DeMaurice Smith.  The union’s rules require that there must be at least two candidates for the position and potentially as many as four.  The union president, former Browns’ center JC Tretter, announced that there would be a meeting in June of this year focused on finding Smith’s successor.  What makes this interesting is this:

  • The meeting is scheduled for next month but there is no news on who the candidates for the job might be.
  • The slate of candidates for this position is hardly TOP SECRET/DESTROY BEFORE READING information and with the meeting scheduled sometime in the next 6 weeks, one would think that at least some applicants for the job would be identified.

For the record, I am not implying that there is something dastardly or nefarious going on here.  I do think it is unusual to shroud this sort of thing in any level of secrecy and that makes me wonder why Tretter and the rest of the NFLPA officers would go to the trouble of holding on to that information.  It is not as if the new Executive Director will do the job opaque to the public and the press.  And in the spirit of full disclosure, I am not one of the potential candidates for the position.

Finally, let me close today with this observation by Edward Teller – – widely known as the “father of the hydrogen bomb”:

“A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes.  It is innocent unless found guilty.  A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe.  It is guilty, until found effective.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “This Year’s NFL Schedule Is Out”

  1. In 1987, Richard Rhodes wrote “The Making of the Atomic Bomb.” Edward Teller was not shown in an especially good light.

    1. TenaciousP:

      Dr. Teller is viewed very differently in various parts of society and in the scientific community.

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