If I were commissioner of the NFL, I would make sure the Green Bay Packers would play every one of their 2014 games at noon. That’s because I’m a traditionalist and grew up during a time when all 14 and later all 16 games played by the Packers were at noon.
Those were the days before Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, and Thursday Night Football.
Those were the days when Sundays were meant for football and the days when one could count on kickoff at noon.
It’s not that way any more as the league has become a multi-billion dollar institution that relies on more and more revenue to feed the beast.
So, the question as we count down to tonight’s unveiling of the NFL schedule is how many prime time games will be assigned to the Green Bay Packers? Last year when the schedule announcement came out we were looking at four prime time games. However, that all changed after Aaron Rodgers went down with a fractured collarbone.
The Packers played the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 27 in prime time and followed that win up with a matchup at Lambeau Field Nov. 4 – that fateful night when Rodgers went down to injury.
Because the Packers hit their bottom for the next month following Rodgers’ injury, the league pulled two scheduled prime time games from the Packers: at the New York Giants and at home against the Atlanta Falcons.
We hope that doesn’t happen this year and if Rodgers is healthy for the entire season we suspect that any prime time games scheduled in 2014 will stay that way.
Here’s our guess for games that could be assigned a prime time slot:
• New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers: Who can turn their nose up at the prospect of a Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers showdown? This is a match made in Heaven. Two powerhouse teams in their respective conferences and two of the best quarterbacks in the game. I say this is primed for a Sunday Night Game.
• Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints: Two dominant teams in the NFC with two of the most prolific passers – this is another game that will draw a huge audience. Expect the league to jump on this one … I say it’s a Monday Night affair.
• Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears: This is the annual bloodbath that features the league’s longest-running rivalry. There’s nothing like this in the entire league and probably in all of sports. Yes, this is another Sunday Night Game.
• Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks: While I doubt the league will schedule this game as the kickoff to the new season, but whenever it’s on, expect one heck of an audience. The last time these two teams met, Aaron Rodgers got sacked eight times and yet the Packers were within one bad call from winning. I expect this will be either a Sunday night or Monday night affair.
Here is the home and away schedule that was released months ago. Tonight we find out when and at what time these games will be played.
Home - Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Atlanta, Carolina, New England, New York Jets and Philadelphia.
Away - Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Miami and Seattle.
Get ready for tonight’s big announcement and keep it here as we continue to look at the ins and outs of the schedule in the coming days.