Mike Sando had a post yesterday discussing an intriguing topic: the issue of travel for teams and who might be getting screwed. Apparently the owners voted so that teams playing at Oakland would not play at San Diego in the same season. This apparently was in response to the Patriots having to play back-to-back games on the West Coast last season.
As Sando put it:
West Coast teams were entitled to a collective roll of the eyes when NFL owners passed a resolution sparing East Coast teams from hardships associated with playing on the West Coast. The Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals, Raiders and Chargers have long dreaded playing East Coast games with 10 a.m. PT kickoff times. From their perspective, the rest of the league has largely shrugged.
Poking through the comments in that post indicates West Coast folks who are not pleased with this switch.
The stats show a big problem for West Coast teams playing 10am PT games on the East Coast. It's been discussed over and over again. Is there a reason the NFL has not addressed this end of the scheduling issue yet? Jed York commented on the issue:
"I understand the inequity of the Patriots playing two games back-to-back on the West Coast," 49ers president Jed York said. "We need to come together as a group of West Coast teams. You've got [five] teams that are literally traveling 3,000 miles for one game two or three times a year. If it is playing a later game, I think it makes sense."
So are we going to get a West Coast cabal led by Jed? Maybe young Jed and old Al will form a mighty union of West Coast power brokers! Ok, just kidding on that one. But seriously, will this issue be rectified in the upcoming 2009 schedule? We'll find out very soon (early April), but for now, is there a bias and will it continue to hurt the West Coast teams?
After the jump I've posted the specific wording of the resolution, per Sando. Nothing big, just more specific info.
The wording of the resolution according to Sando:
Be it resolved that commencing with the 2010 NFL season, the League Office will realign the pairings of teams within the AFC West and NFC West as follows:
Denver and Oakland will be paired together and Kansas City and San Diego will be paired together so that teams within a division playing games against the AFC West will have either:
- (a) road games against Denver and Oakland and homes games against Kansas City and San Diego, or,
- (b) road games against Kansas City and San Diego and home games against Denver and Oakland.
Arizona and San Francisco will be paired together and St. Louis and Seattle will be paired together so that teams within a division playing games against the NFC West will have either:
- (a) road games against Arizona and San Francisco and homes games against St. Louis and Seattle, or,
- (b) road games against St. Louis and Seattle and home games against Arizona and San Francisco.