The Green Bay Packers are opening the NFL season — yes, the whole damn thing — at the Seattle Seahawks in the annual Thursday night kickoff game. They were one of four teams considered for that marquee slot and while it was probably obvious to all of us they’d end up there, it wasn’t quite that much of a slam dunk.
The other teams that were considered were the San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos and, briefly, the Dallas Cowboys.
First of all, let’s just throw away the Cowboys because, A. they fucking suck and B. no one wants to watch the Cowboys on opening night. We’ll assume that’s the reason they were only briefly considered — because the schedule makers came to their senses soon after that initial brain fart.
Here’s the more diplomatic answer from NFL senior vice president of broadcasting Howard Katz. And yes, I sifted through 3,000 words of Peter King’s bloated, bullshit column to find this.
“I guess we could’ve played Dallas, but we really liked Dallas for the FOX doubleheader for Week 1. Dallas also had Texas Rangers conflicts the first month of the season. Putting them on the road in Week 1 might have doomed them for four or five road games in the first few weeks.”
Blah, blah, blah. What that really means is, although they may draw well, no one considers the Dallas Cowboys worthy of a marquee game.
So, what about San Francisco? Now that’s a marquee game and a great rivalry.
“I thought we had a better place to use the San Francisco-Seattle game, because it has become such an incredibly great rivalry game,” Katz said. “It seemed to us that saving that game for later in the season on NBC was probably a smarter move.”
So instead, the 49ers get two late-season matchups with Seattle in the space of three weeks. Those are in week 13 and 15 and, we imagine, will decide the division. Only one of those games is a prime time game and it’s the one in San Francisco (week 13).
Not being biased for the Packers for a moment, you kind of have to wonder about that decision. What if one of these teams has an injury epidemic like the Packers do every year and they’re out of it by the time week 13 rolls around?
The marquee game is no longer the marquee game that it would have been in week 1. The Packers are still going to draw even if they’re 0-10.
That leads us to believe the NFL values the storyline of the Packers-Seahawks more so than it does the rivalry game. We all know what happened the last time the Packers played in Seattle and rehashing that BS is going to create more intrigue for the casual fan than, hey, two teams that play each other twice every year are playing tonight.
And of course, that means more money.
But what about the Broncos? Peyton Manning and his fivehead could go and get some redemption. Everybody knows who Peyton Manning is and that makes one hell of a story too.
Except, the NFL was worried that the Seahawks would roll the Broncos like they did in the Super Bowl. And then people are tuning out at halftime and you’ve got some pissed off advertisers on your hands.
So the league takes a gamble on the Packers. They draw well, there’s a great story prepackaged and we’ll assume that Aaron Rodgers will be upright at that time, so he should keep it competitive even if the Packers are outmatched.
Now, only four months until that game is actually here.
That’s the price you pay when you have a team full of commercialized pretty boys.
Living in Colorado, I can tell you there are 2 types of Denver Broncos fans: Racist white-trash “natives” who are smug & insufferable…& people exiled from California for being too smug & insufferable & pretend to be natives.
Their ultimate fantasy is to Bro-out with John Elway in Vail & do a line of blow with him…& none of them acknowledge football before the year 1983.
They are terrible drivers that routinely stop at on-ramps & always seem to have dirt/filth smudged across their faces &/or jorts. They always seem to look like Kenny McCormicks dad & feel it necessary (for some reason) to talk with a phony Southern accent…& if that’s not the case, they’re usually hipsters with misbehaved children or hippies that are sick of being hippies & just want an excuse to drink alotta PBR at 2p.m. on a Sunday.
Oh & that “In-Com-Plete” chant that you hear in their stadium on Sundays is the lamest crap you can ever hear in an NFL stadium aside from the uber-annoying Minnesota Vikings Norse horn…
It’s a market thing. Chicago has a very large market. Same with Denver. You could argue that on a map, no other NFL spans as much ground as the Broncos. The NFL knows that the Packers are better than the Bears. So they give the Pack thetough game out of the gate & Chicago gets a cupcake (Buffalo Bills at home) rite out of the gate. The NFL wants the Bears to get-off to a hot start to make The Bears more relevant.
No worries… The Packers will be pissed-off & stewing in that locker room before the game. The Seahawks will be coming off of their Superbowl high that night. I say the Pack comes outta that tunnel pissed off (& healthy) & fucks up the Seahacks. Rodgers has a 325 yd. passing game. Lacy runs for 100. Pack gets the dubya. Then we get 10 days off before the Jets at home.
Great post, Tyko, but I feel like I read it somewhere else before.
You right about those Coloradoites. As I meet more of them in my life I hate them almost as much as any dickhead from Bahhstaahhn.
The NFL is idiotic when they schedule a division rival to play twice in 3 weeks.
So, if Kap gets hurt Week 12 and misses a whole 3 weeks, Seattle gets to play San Fran both times without him. Idiotic.
Space the effin games out, you morons.
Peyton Manning and his fivehead
that’s a helluva good read!. And the NFL is most concerned about the moola, so there you have it. Rivalry, schmivalry, they want your dough.
I like the Pack’s chances against the Shehawks, and I think that the fact that we should still be (relatively) injury-free at that point means we should be in a good position to win in. If Eddy Lacy and AR are both healthy, I don’t think we can be stopped by anyone, so if our D can keep people under 30 we should be good to go.
Injury free sounds fantastic. It would be amazing to not have another 2013 Bulaga or 2012 Bishop moment where a guys season gets destroyed before anything meaningful has happened
This is a really smart move by the NFL. Bringing in the gay audience by having Rodgers and the Packers open the season should boost ratings significantly within the the gay demographic throughout the rest season.
Who wouldn’t want to bro out and do coke with Elway?
Double dick muncher..jealous cuz noone wants to watch your purple shitfucks..and that homely cheerleader/ homeless guy singing that stupid high school cheer in primetime? Shouldnt you be more concerned about the next bust of a qb your shit team is gonna draft?