We explained last night that the new NFL schedule will be released at some still-unknown point between now and the draft, and that no one seems to care.
Some of you have agreed with that take, others have disagrees, and a few others have pointed out that ESPN2 has reserved a block of time on Tuesday, April 19, for pulling the sheet off the schedule.
TVGuide.com indicates that the SportsCenter Schedule Release Special will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m. ET on the 19th, with two hours set aside for the show.
We’ve seen similar listings in past years, but the NFL ultimately released the schedule on different days. In this case, however, it’s roughly 48 hours until showtime — and the listing is still there.
NFL Network has offered no similar clues, with a generic one-hour edition of Total Access set for 7:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 19 on NFL.com’s online list of programming.
Last year, the league held the schedule until the week of the draft. But it arguably got lost in the shuffle.
This year, the NFL may prefer that the release of the schedule get lost in the shuffle, given that it’ll be hard to generate much interest in the specific configuration of games given the lockout. In fact, releasing the schedule could backfire on the league and the players, since it will for the first time give the fans a tangible look at what we’ll all lose if any regular-season games are lost to the lockout.
Especially since the first Sunday of the regular season lands on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, with an expectation in some circles that the prime-time game will feature one, and possibly both, of the New York teams.