Last night, we pointed out that a lockout that chews into the regular season would result in the loss of multiple significant games in Week One.
That concept provided the meat for our official PFT Live take on the situation.
We think that the decision to drop six excellent games into the opening weekend — Saints-Packers, Steelers-Ravens, Falcons-Bears, Colts-Texans, Giants-Redskin, and Cowboys-Jets — represents a calculated effort by the league office to place maximum pressure on both the players and the owners to work out their differences in time to permit Week One to be played.
While in many ways the league office and the owners are one in the same, the league office can’t do a deal without 24 owners supporting it. But the league office has full discretion to configure the schedule without approval from ownership. And if the league office did so in a way that squeezes both sides toward a deal, then good for the league office.
More specifically, the decision to send the Saints to Lambeau Field on September 8 may have been a nudge to New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who has been heavily involved in the labor dispute but who surely relishes the chance to start the season by doing to the Packers that which the Saints didn’t have a chance to do during the 2010 postseason. And the decision to send the Cowboys to New York/New Jersey on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 for a game against the Jets may have been a nudge to Dallas owner Jerry Jones, who has been driving a hard bargain but who nevertheless can’t pass up a chance be at the center of the NFL universe.
If it helps get a deal done, then it was a brilliant move. But if the lockout chews up the first week of the season, it’ll result in even more fan anger being directed at everyone associated with this mess.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!