The NFL is part of the leisure trade. Whereas many might concentrate on the leisure facet of that assertion, the enterprise of the NFL has at all times been the first focus. Not parity, not equity, and never “doing what is correct.”
There’s a ton of proof that the NFL has put the underside line over virtually anything time and again. Merely wanting on the rule modifications made to present offenses extra freedom to be enjoyable and harder for defenses to regulate video games is sufficient proof, however it may be present in different refined methods as nicely.
Certainly one of them occurred in the course of the Wild Card playoffs. Really, earlier than the playoffs when the schedules had been determined for the video games that weekend.
In an effort to garner extra consideration, the NFL scheduled one recreation to be performed on Monday night time with the opposite 5 video games happening between Saturday and Sunday. The choice to have a standalone recreation on Monday created an unfair scenario within the divisional spherical the place one workforce would have a big benefit in relaxation over their opponent.
Lo and behold, the concentrate on the underside line ended up hindering a good matchup within the NFC.
On Monday night time, the Dallas Cowboys completed off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a recreation that ended at 11:26 p.m. EST. The win units Dallas as much as face off with the San Francisco 49ers, a renewal of a traditional rivalry. The Niners made it to the divisional spherical by defeating the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday in a recreation that ended at 7:31 p.m. EST.
The easy math tells us that San Francisco has a whopping 52 hours extra relaxation earlier than this week’s matchup.
Whereas not the fault of the NFL, the 49ers had been additionally at house on Saturday whereas the Cowboys traveled to Tampa Bay for his or her matchup on Monday night time.
Sadly, the answer for the NFL might not have been as worthwhile as seeing Tom Brady sq. off with “America’s Crew” on Monday night time. The advertising of that recreation was easy for the informal fan: “Will this be Tom Brady’s final recreation ever?” “Will the Cowboys have the ability to return to their former glory?” “Will Dak Prescott take the torch from Tom Brady?”
The result’s the inequity we see for the divisional spherical.
It didn’t must be this fashion. The NFL might have had all six video games happen on Saturday or Sunday. If the cash to have a standalone recreation on Monday was too nice, the NFL might have scheduled the opposite two NFC video games as Sunday video games to attenuate the distinction for the winner of Sunday’s recreation.
As a substitute, the league made positive that there was one thing for everybody on Saturday and Sunday. One AFC and one NFC recreation on Saturday with two AFC and one NFC recreation on Sunday, alternated all through the day in fact.
A “schedule loss” is a hardly ever used phrase within the NFL however is commonplace within the NBA. When a workforce is coming off a protracted highway journey or has a brief turnaround from an away recreation, dropping is anticipated for that workforce. It isn’t an excuse, it’s an understanding that how the schedule performed out set that workforce up, for that night time, to have a tricky time profitable.
A schedule loss in the course of the common season of an 82-game season isn’t necessary and, typically, balances out with most groups experiencing them at an identical clip. There may be nonetheless equity total.
For Dallas (and their followers), equity was nowhere in sight within the NFL’s planning. The workforce landed at house someday on Tuesday and can fly out to the west coast for Sunday’s kickoff whereas their opponent was house Saturday night time and can drive to the stadium for Sunday’s recreation.
It might be irritating if that occurred for a regular-season recreation. NFL schedule-makers have tried to keep away from that as a lot as doable within the common season these days. For the playoffs, cash talked, which suggests Dallas has an uphill battle even earlier than speaking concerning the expertise on the sector.