Blog Entry

NFL owners to consider 'time-zone travel' rule

Posted on: December 11, 2011 3:21 pm
By Will Brinson

My colleague Clark Judge has been vigilant this season about protesting some of the ridiculous travel scenarios imposed on various teams as a result of the NFL's schedule.

And thankfully it appears as if the league will do something to limit teams traveling across the country on short weeks, as CBS Sports Charley Casserly reported on Sunday that at

"There's an owners meeting this week, and [the issue of travel] is going to be discussed," Casserly reported on The NFL Today. "And what's going to be talked about is eliminating all coast-to-coast travel for a Thursday night.

"One of the concepts that they're going to talk about possibly implementing is having time-zone travel: you can only travel one time zone on a Thursday night. As a general manager I would be in favor of that."

It's simply not fair to ask someone like the 49ers to play on Sunday and come east for a Thursday night game the next week (like they did on Thanksgiving), just four days later. Or to have a team like Philadelphia play on Sunday and then travel to Seattle for a Thursday game.

Fortunately it looks like the NFL understands this and is taking the steps to address the problem beginning as early as next week.

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Since: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2011 9:15 pm

NFL owners to consider 'time-zone travel' rule

It's not necessarily the time difference that matters it's the loss of preparation time that the team travelling cross country has. The home team, whilst technically having the same amount of days between games as their opponent, doesn't have to leave town on the Wednesday to travel and therefore can prepare with extra film and game planning on the Wed whilst the away team is travelling. The away team then only gets 1 day to prepare as typically the Mon is a day off for most teams. That's the disadvantage. In a normal week there's not much happening on the Sat that the teams won't have done already. It does make more sense to have Thur night games with teams within close proximity.

Since: Oct 28, 2007
Posted on: December 11, 2011 7:43 pm

NFL owners to consider 'time-zone travel' rule

For professional athletes, I can't see where this is much of a big deal.  You're talking about sitting on a plane for a few extra hours.   The time of day is irrelevant. If you travel East, it's like playing an afternoon game. If you travel west, you simply sleep later and adjust.
   That said, it is definitely an easy problem to fix.  Plus, more important games late in the season are division games anyway. Atthe most, you're talking one time zone when you play division rivals.  You can line up 6 great games easy: Pats/Jets, Steelers/Ravens, Cowboys/Giants,  Bears/Packers, Saints/Falcons, Broncos/Raiders, etc. Pick two great rivalries, then match the four wildcards from the previous year against the division winners.  That way, you won't end up with St. Louis vs Arizona or other wannabes who didn't quite make the playoffs and may be worse the next year.

Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 7:26 pm

NFL owners to consider 'time-zone travel' rule

If the NFL wants to change any of the rules, how about making the ref's accountable for some of these ridiculoous calls that cost a team a game or changes the outcome of a game.  Officials should be held to the same standard as the players, coaches and owners.

Since: Dec 9, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 4:49 pm

NFL owners to consider 'time-zone travel' rule

Saying you have to adjust to a three hour difference is kind of retarded. Football only plays once a week so you can't compare it to the other sports.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2011 4:39 pm

NFL owners to consider 'time-zone travel' rule

For those saying "it's only 3 hours..", what are the records for MLB, NHL, and NBA teams when they do this?  When I lived in Chicago, it was pretty much of a given that when the Cubs, Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks traveled West, the first game for sure would be an L, maybe the first two.   Keep in mind also that NFL teams usually do not travel until Saturday morning, giving them very little time for the adjustment.  I'm assuming that this is another step in attempting to provide "competitive balance", taking an excuse away from the losing team and fans (and unfortunately betters). 

Since: Dec 9, 2011
Posted on: December 11, 2011 4:24 pm

NFL owners to consider 'time-zone travel' rule

This is completely stupid. It's only a three hour difference in time.

Since: Mar 5, 2009
Posted on: December 11, 2011 4:16 pm

NFL owners to consider 'time-zone travel' rule

borbes, ur an idiot.   u dont understand football as a strategy and physical sport.  man up urself ,boy.

Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2011 4:06 pm

NFL owners to consider 'time-zone travel' rule

Every other sport does this with far fewer days in between. Man up football.

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2011 3:33 pm

NFL owners to consider 'time-zone travel' rule

This should have been "addressed" years ago.

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