Earlier this week, the NFL released the 2012 schedule after months and months of adjustments based on requests and calendar issues. Nobody is ever going to be 100% satisfied with their schedule. There is always going to be a road trip or a specific date that annoys a coach to no end.
The New York Times had an interesting article yesterday in which they spoke with the man who is in charge of coming up with the schedule each season. Although plenty of people and computers are involved in the process, Howard Katz is the man behind the curtain directing everything.
It should surprise nobody that 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh provided some choice comments when he had a chance to chat with at a league meeting last month:
At the league meeting last month, Katz was approached by Baltimore Coach John Harbaugh and told he had to meet his brother. Jim Harbaugh, John's brother and the coach of the San Francisco 49ers, was upset that his team had been sent across the country for last year's Thanksgiving night game against his brother's team.
"I talked to him, then I talked to him the next day and then I talked to him the third day," Katz said of Jim Harbaugh. "He said, ‘Now that I've met you, I don't hate you quite as much.' His brother said to me, ‘That's as good as you're going to do.' "
As we look at the 49ers 2012 schedule, the team has some tough trips mixed in early and late. Week three and four see back-to-back road games against the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Jets. Coach Harbaugh indicated the team would consider a potential stop in Youngstown, Ohio, similar to what they did last year between their matchups at the Cincinnati Bengals and the
After three road games in four weeks to open the season, the 49ers get five home games in seven weeks (bye included). However, that means they come down the home stretch of the season with a run of four road games in five weeks. They will face the Saints and then Rams on the road in weeks 12 and 13. After a home game against the Miami Dolphins, the 49ers then head to New England and Seattle in back-to-back weeks.
The Patriots-Seahawks trip isn't too difficult since they will be coming back to San Francisco and then heading up north to Seattle. However, that Saints-Rams duo could be a tough one. Whatever happens to the Rams this season, there is a better than even chance that they will at least give the 49ers a tough time at home. Does the team look for a short-term home that week as well?