Fleur-De-Lis Fever | Will NFL Schedule Maker Screw the New Orleans Saints Again?

Paul Augustin, Jr.Senior Analyst IApril 14, 2009

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 11:  Scott Olsen #82 of the Chicago Bears makes a recpetion against Randall Gay #20 of the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field on December 11, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears won 27-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Tuesday at 6 p.m. Central Time, the NFL will release its 2009 schedule. 

Fans across the country and the world will be watching with great anticipation to see how many prime time games their team receives and also when the home and away games will be played.

I, for one, will be watching to see how badly the Saints get screwed again.

You see, the Saints were one of two teams to play in London last year. 

I get it.  The NFL is trying to globalize its product, and the best way to do that is to have a regular season game in a large European city that will sell out.

I don't like it, but I get it.

I'm not particularly upset that Saints had to play in London.  I'm upset over how the schedule surrounding that October 26 contest against the Chargers played out. 

Both the Saints and the Chargers had their bye week immediately after the London game and rightly so.  A trip across the pond and back can be exhausting. 

Immediately after the bye week, however, the Chargers were allowed to play four of their next five games at home, while the Saints, who lost one of their eight games in the Superdome because they were the "home" team in London, went on the road to play division arch-rival Atlanta and Kansas City.

Not until a Monday night game on November 24 against Green Bay did the Saints return to the Superdome.

The Saints had not previously played a game at home since an October 12 contest against the Oakland Raiders.

That's not the only time in 2008 the schedule makers were not kind to the Saints. 

New Orleans opened the season with two of its first three games on the road, and they closed the season with two of its last three games away from home.

One of those road games was in Chicago.  How many times do the Saints have to play a cold-weather game against the Bears?

I understand that in 2006 the Bears earned the right to play at home throughout the playoffs because they earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC.  Fine by me.

I cannot understand, though, as to the reason the Saints had to travel to Chicago for a December regular season game in each of the past two seasons. 

Why, instead, can't a cold-weather team come to New Orleans in December and play on the fast track inside the Superdome? 

Thankfully, the Saints will not play the Bears this season.

Anyway, it looks as if the Saints may finally catch a bit of a break in 2009.  Cold-weather teams such as the New England Patriots, New York Jets, and New York Giants all will visit New Orleans.

The Saints must play at Buffalo just as they did to open the 2001 season.  I am hoping that the Saints are fortunate enough again to play at Buffalo in September and not in December.

The Saints' list of opponents is already tough enough without the schedule makers getting in the way.  The Saints have only two road games against teams that finished below .500 last season.

As Who Dats, let's hope that this season's schedule shakes out better than last season's.