The NFL is releasing their 2012 schedule later tonight, and how are ESPN and NFL Network going to celebrate this momentous event that happens every year and largely signifies nothing? With a THREE HOUR SPECIAL starting at 7PM, of course. The ESPN news comes courtesy of a tweet from Adam Schefter.
I really, REALLY don't understand how the reveal of a schedule (which we already know who is playing whom, just not at which dates) is worth a three hour broadcast. I don't see how ESPN or NFL Network is going to milk a three hour broadcast out of essentially saying "that's a tough stretch that they have right there" for 32 teams.
A three-hour NFL Schedule Release Special on ESPN at 7 EST Tuesday night.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 16, 2012
Then again, both networks willl have 18 different talking heads blabbing nonstop about which team is a dark horse playoff contender because they have an easy schedule, and which playoff team from 2011 is in dire straits because they have a tough schedule.... before the 2012 Draft or training camp even starts.
The NFL is the only sport where the schedule is scrutinized so closely. As a baseball fan, on schedule release day, I look at who my team is playing in interleague matchups, when the ten game homestand over the summer is, and how bad the team got screwed with west coast road trips. It's maybe a two minute process. Hell, it's the same when I look at my NFL team's schedule. It's not as if you can even do analysis about the games, considering that the draft, minicamps, and training camps haven't even happened yet. Is it even worth it looking into these two networks competing over who can analyze something five months in advance the best?
The sad part about this is that people will watch, because this country has an NFL fetish that can't be satisfied under any circumstance. It's become a twelve month sport, mainly due to ESPN and their gargantuan coverage of the league. Credit the NFL, they've managed to turn something as mundane as the schedule release into a national event. When I'm watching the hockey and basketball playoffs in May, or regular season MLB games, the last thing I want to hear about is the non-news that happened with NFL players heading into camp. Yet... it is always there, everywhere you look. Did you hear Tim Tebow was attended a Yankees game...