Have you ever complained about the injustices of west coast teams having to travel east and starting at a time of day when bodies simply aren't prepared for football? I know I have. How was I supposed to be able to pay attention to the Oakland Raiders when waking up on about three hours of sleep and being preoccupied with trying to figure out where I was?
Now that I don't have to worry about those kind of Sunday morning circumstances as much I have begin to see how this could also be a problem for the players (hopefully for different reasons). Arizona Cardinals coach had this to say:
From having been an East Coast team that played in the NFC West when I played for Atlanta, it was much easier going East to West than it is going West to East. In my opinion, for what it does to your body and getting ready to play, it is more difficult.
That quote was from this article, West Coast teams' uphill fight with NFL, by Mike Sando, of ESPN, where he ponders this very problem. He has asked Roger Goodell about in the past, and was essentially told it was a non-issue. Goodell was asked this again on his goodwill tour of conference calls with season ticket holders. A Seahawk season ticket holder asked him about the west going east issues and Goodell's answer compared to the reality of the situation shed light not only on this issue, but the nature of Goodell and the bigger issues at hand. Jump over....
I sensed a significant shift when Goodell told Seahawks season-ticket holders the matter is "something we’ve got to try to find a way to deal with." But when I attempted to follow up with Goodell for specifics, a league spokesman said there had been no shift at all.
"It's something we were looking at in 2009 and a factor we continue to be mindful of when constructing the schedule," spokesman Greg Aiello said. "We try to avoid it if possible, but it’s not always possible due to the complexities of the schedule."
So, there was Goodell telling a fan what he wanted to hear even though it was not something they are apparently not dealing with. I don't think this is a shocking revelation to anyone, but it is a little disturbing that this attitude has apparently seeped into all issues.
The other thing that comes up is Goodell's mention of "broadcast patterns." These "broadcast patterns" have found, that since 2005, the Raiders and 49ers with the most early games of all west coast teams. They want to get teams from the same market on at different times.
And after all of that it turns out, since 2005, the Raiders winning percentage is actually better in road games with the early 10 am (PST) start time than the rest. And that is a good thing because the Raiders have six of them scheduled for 2011.