Just days after a new found sense of optimism and distinct possibility regarding a new labor agreement looked certain, the NFL took two steps backward earlier this month, after reports began to circulate regarding a shortened eight-game regular season whilst the lockout still trudges on.
The news comes as a shock to some—especially those who lived in hope of free agent chatter and the usual training camp banter that consumes the months of June to August—but it also spoils the plans of the NFL's regular season schedule, another shot in the arm for fans.
Right now, if the NFL really does cut itself short eight weeks premature, some will undoubtedly say that this year's Super Bowl winner in Indianapolis is tainted.
Still, if this really does happen—and you know, previously below .500 teams actually have a shot at getting lucky thanks to the schedule—there's every chance that the 2011 season could be all the more worthwhile, even with the conference title games taking place just two months down the track from November.
Nevertheless, there's a bunch of games that will be missed, and it's a shame too. The variety of this year's schedule originally left NFL fans with a handful of classic games but also, a select group of cross conference fixtures, or at the very least, some exciting big stage debuts for previously struggling teams.
So, we've compiled a list of the most missed games of a shortened, dimmed down, eight game regular season. (**Note: this list includes games from Weeks 1-8, as an eight-game regular season would take place as early as late November)