Well, the NFL officially put the cart before the horse and released the schedule for the upcoming (?) 2011 season last evening.
Apparently undaunted by the fact that there is no labour agreement in place; no reasonable expectation of an agreement anytime soon; or that players would be tased and arrested if they went to their team facility right now, the ever innovative and forward-thinking NFL forged boldly ahead with a schedule for the 2011 season.
I guess they figure if everything works out, they'd better be prepared. Fair enough.
There are some interesting schedules out there, some of them unfortunate. The poor St. Louis Rams, a year removed from being one of the feel good stories in the NFL, may actually take a step back with a better team as a result of what appears to be a brutal schedule.
Predicting the NFL season is a tricky endeavour, as the league has shown herself to be a coy mistress when choosing her playoff partners. With the exception of a few elite teams who win consistently, the NFL playoff party is more seedy dive with no cover than velvet rope VIP. Anyone can get in, usually does, and they don't always look or smell all that rosy.
Add that to the fact that the draft hasn't happened yet, free agency is standing still, and the minor detail of a cancelled season still hanging about, and it becomes an exercise in futility.
But it'll be good times. In four installments. Four games at a time. Here's Act I, which I like to call "From Mile High to the East and Home Again."