Almost April: The draft and Schedule release coming soon

Personally, I think April is a good month to hold the draft.   The Super Bowl was a couple of months ago, and it takes a few months for the 2016 memories to fade into the 2017 anticipation.   Except for the Atlanta Falcons, who I hope never ever forget how much the world hates them for handing a free Super Bowl to the Patriots.

So an April draft makes sense.   Releasing the NFL schedule in April, however, is a horrible and unfair idea.   It should be released the day after the Super Bowl.   I comment on this every year, and I want to explain my thoughts on this.

To begin, let me explain what most of us already know.   By Week 17 of the 2016 season, every NFL team knew who they were going to play in 2017.   Same thing every year.   The NFL figures out your opponents for you, but not the When/Where part. So far so good.

So beginning in December, the league knows who is playing whom.  It then takes them 4 full months to announce where and when.  Ridiculous.

First of all, the NFL is a multi-billion-dollar industry that can surely afford basic schedule-planning software that you can get at Target for about $19.99.  Granted, getting 32 teams organized for 17 weeks can be complicated, but the NFL has the money and staff available to un-complicate matters.

Second, I feel teams have a right to know their schedule as far in advance as possible.  The logistics of traveling with 100+ people a week on chartered planes is staggering.  It’s unfair that some teams have to wait until late April to know what to expect, while other teams have a huge advantage of early planning.   Dallas and Detroit, for example, know they don’t have to travel on Thanksgiving.   That simply is not fair.

This year, the Dolphins already know one date:  October 1.   The Dolphins will have a “home” game on October 1 in Europe, thanks to Stephen Ross throwing away home-field advantage as if it were yesterday’s newspaper.  Teams fight like mad to gain every possible advantage.   Stephen Ross fights to give away his advantages.

It’s made even worse by the schedule makers giving unfair advantages purposely.    Dallas had a home game last year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and then another home game 4 days later. After their Sunday game, the Cowboys went home and relaxed and got ready.   Its opponent, Baltimore, had to miss a day of rest and/or practice to fly to Dallas.  If the NFL clings to this absurd notion of playing games on a Thursday, they have to schedule in travel for both teams.   Mandate that the Cowboys and Lions have to play road games the week before their privileged Thanksgiving dates.

The NFL also has a recent tradition of  allowing the Super Bowl champions to open the season on a Thursday night.  Again, this gives one team early knowledge of when they play one of their games that other teams don’t have.   After Atlanta and Seattle both handed the Patriots free Super Bowl victories, you’d think the Patriots wouldn’t need any more favors.   But no.

I think the worst aspect of this is for the fans.  Many fans plan vacations and other family outings around going to see football games.  I know that I myself try my best to coordinate my travel schedule around Dolphin games.  Sometimes it can’t be helped, and I’m forced to miss games.  Other times, I enjoy traveling to away games, depending on the city.   It gets harder and harder each year, because the NFL announces it schedule so late.   I was very interested in seeing the Dolphins at Seattle last year, for example, but that game ended up being Week One.   Getting airfare to Seattle in September when it was already early May proved problematic.  Sorry, but I am NOT one of those people who books a plane ticket at the last minute and can afford all the extra costs of doing so. Plus, it wasn’t enough time to get an international friend to meet up in Seattle.

This year, I want to build a vacation around the Dolphins game in Los Angeles.  Obviously, thanks to the NFL, I cannot yet book airfare or hotels, coordinate with friends who also want to travel to L.A., plan other L.A. activities, etc.   Again, I know others don’t see this as a big deal at all, but I don’t like booking a full vacation only a few months in advance…not when you can have so many more options available the earlier you decide.

The problem is, the NFL is taking its time in allowing me.

Dear NFL…your attendance and ratings are down.  Way down.  I am a paying fan with one hand on my wallet, ready to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on your product.  But yet you’re making me wait?  That breaks every rule of business!   Fix it.

 

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29 Comments

  1. Yes good article and there has been talk that teams playing on Thu should have a bye the week before. I guess tough early in the year but do something anything to help. Seems like the patsies get those advantages most of the time it’s frustrating.

    I would love to go to Miami for a game but guess what I can’t plan it early either. Things book up and it makes it difficult pisses me off…

  2. This is a very interesting article with good insight. In a business where the alpha-male owners are the likes of Jerry Jones and Bob Kraft, Mr. Ross is, well, you know. I can’t say for sure, but, I guess his business acumen doesn’t translate well as an NFL owner. At any rate, I remember reading somewhere recently that we have the 6th toughest schedule this year- in a season where we have one less home game. All I can ask is why? Why does he allow this junk to happen? I can’t recall the patsies ever having to go to Europe or even Mexico to play. Or the cowgirls for that matter. I would hope that Mr. Ross would finally get it, but that is just a pipe dream.

    1. The Fins are always one of those teams that play a late Sunday game then have to go on the road to play Thursday night. Patsies are the team that always get the Thursday night home games or its the first Thursday of the year which actually helps them. It’s just ridiculous and their fans still whine which really pisses me off.

      1. @Flyerfinfan

        I’m surprised that the NFL hasn’t somehow figured out how to have Miami play a Monday night game and then play the SB champs the next Thursday night.

        It seems right on par with playing a home game on another continent every other year!

        1. You know if they could do it they would! Ridiculous….someone said that you should only get a Thursday night game if you had the week before. Just extend the schedule by a week and they could do it. Makes too much sense…

          1. Author

            They need to start the season sooner if they do stuff like that, and they refuse to do so. I hate February football. All those bye weeks, plus a mid-September start have caused this.
            And the NFL still maintains this ridiculous notion of not having games on Friday night or Saturday night because they don’t want to upset college and high school football fans. Who cares!

  3. So how do you guys feel about Ross wanting to bring Tennis to Hard Rock Stadium?

    Admin, I think we all know how you are going to feel about it.

    I have mixed feelings about this.

    Part of me is saying, “Yes let’s do this!”

    Why? I love the idea of expanding the facilities at Hard Rock, and I love the idea that Ross wants to pony up hundreds of millions to do so. To me, it solidifies Rosses investment here in South Florida and brings another huge chunk of his cash from New Jersy and Michigan here.

    I also love the idea that a chunk of that new facility would be used during Dolphins games. (Think bye bye entertainment tents hello real ballrooms and inside concerts!)

    From what I have seen with the renovations to Hard Rock Stadium (Which I was against in the beginning but that I really like, now that I see the completed product) Ross is exceptional at property development. So with this move, he would be doing something he excels at (Land Development) and less of what he isn’t so good at (running an NFL franchise.)

    BUT

    Part of me is saying, “NO STAY AWAY FROM THIS”

    Why? While I like the idea will it divert money away from the Dolphins? To this point, Ross’s checkbook had seemed like one of those endless cups of sweet iced tea that used to be so prevalent before chain restaurants took over the landscape. Could that all change with another hundred million dollars project?

    Or how about Admins continual point that Ross would again be investing his time and interest in yet another project NOT Dolphins related?

    What do you guys think?

    http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/tennis/article140899053.html

    1. Author

      Brian, you are absolutely right, and you know my opinion on the matter! But just to be clear, I don’t care about how Ross spends his money. Whatever he spends on tennis or soccer or stadium renovations does NOT take away money from the Miami Dolphins. We never lose players because Ross is broke or he lost too much money on his anti-bullying carnival. It’s not about the money.
      It’s about the time.
      It’s about the concentration.
      It’s about the dedication.
      Every single day that Stephen Ross spends worrying about tennis is a day he could be indoctrinating himself into the Miami Dolphins. He could very easily shed his reputation as an absentee owner, but he chooses to remain absent. Granted, there is only so much he can do. It’s not like there is a magic button he can press if only he showed up in Davie. His attendance won’t automatically make the Dolphins better. BUT…. his attendance would show that he cares. It would show interest. It would breed camaraderie.

    2. Ross is the arguably the very WORST owner in sports! Pray for new ownership!

      1. @Jay

        That is only because of Tannehill if he had Matt Moore as his starter the Dolphins would have won the SB the last three years and Ross would be the best owner in the NFL!

      2. Author

        @Jay…did you see genius Greg Cote’s article about how the Dolphins and other NFL teams should be ashamed for not giving Colin Kaepernick a job? Just because he’s a distraction and uses his job to make political statements…that’s no reason to bend over backwards for him, is it?

  4. I’m not sure about that but if it made the current facilities better it can’t hurt. I also don’t think Ross will touch a shovel haha!

    On another note Brown is apparently choosing between the Fins and raiders may still get another LB….

    1. Author

      Brown doesn’t strike me as a guy who’s dying to win a championship. The Raiders seem a lot closer to a title than Miami, so if he picks Miami, you know it was all about the Benjamins.
      Either way, the Raiders already did us a favor by taking Jelani Missed Tackle Jenkins off our hands.

  5. Author

    Also saw several media outlets reporting that the Dolphins will NOT be drafting woman-beating Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon. This is one of the biggest NON-stories of the year. It’s like saying the Dolphins are also not drafting a shortstop or a goalkeeper. Miami never was interested in him, and we certainly don’t need more RBs. So why is this even in the news?

    1. @Admin

      Great point!

      I have another news flash **** Dolphins Not interested In Adrian Peterson *****

      That will blow the sports reporters minds!

      1. Author

        Our current RB backups are Storm Johnson and Senorise Perry. I wouldn’t say NO to Adrian coming here!

  6. The Raiders were approved by NFL owners to move to Vegas with a 31-1 vote. The only vote against was Ross. Anyone know why (besides being the worst owner in sports)?

    1. Author

      Ross voted no for this reason: “My position today was that we as owners and as a League owe it to the fans to do everything we can to stay in the communities that have supported us.”

      1. Honestly have to say I like that. Ross has spent millions of his own dollars on upgrading the stadium, and isn’t afraid to spend big in free agency. He might not have the best football sense, but last year he did a good job letting gase run the show. Pretty much what I’m saying is there are way worse owners in the sports world.

        1. Author

          I have to imagine that all 32 owners feel the same way. They know damn well that moving their team will make the fans hate their guts, but they do it anyway.
          I think the other owners were like, “I don’t like this move, but it’s the Raiders’ right to do so. So I vote yes reluctantly.” Maybe Ross is just standing with his principles, which can be commended,

        2. ZACH, anyone who comment on this site saying “Ross is the worst owner in the NFL” is a dumbass idiot who just wants to “sound smart.”

          The Rams are moving, the Chargers are moving, and the Raiders will be moving to Las Vegas…but “Ross” is the worst owner in the NFL?

          Some people really need to get a clue or STFU.

  7. Author

    Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’s ring tone is the fight song of which football team?
    If you guessed the Miami Dolphins, you’d be wrong. He has the U. Michigan song on his phone. it rang 4 times during his last press conference.

    1. Ross only cares about the money from a zillion ventures. His concentration is clearly NOT on his team winning!
      Pray for new ownership!!

  8. If you missed it Gase bassically said he allowed all the taunting and excessive celebration penalties to slide that season because he wanted to see passion from his team.

    1. I would rather have a few penalties from passionate guys wanting to play hard then the teams that we fielded under show no emotion Philbin!

      1. Author

        I know most of you disagree with me, but I think Gase needs to enforce more discipline on his team and NOT accept this behavior. I don’t care how vulgar or childish the celebrations are. The ONLY thing I care about is the 15 yard penalties that come with the celebrations. You’re guaranteeing that the opponent will start its next drive at its 40 yard line or better. Gase CANNOT tolerate that.
        If there was no penalty for Jarvis Landry humping a goalpost, then I’d still think it was trashy, but I wouldn’t care. I DO care when his selfish act costs us 15 precious yards…and I care even more when the head coach says, “I don’t mind.”

        1. I agree. The great Don Shula would NEVER put up with that unsportsmanlike behavior!

  9. He’ll reel it in next year he just wanted to see a pulse on this team after philbin left a rotting corpse. I’m not concerned…

  10. I think Gase looks at it like in order to get an excessive celebration penalty you have to score first. So in other words the more the merrier.

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