NFL schedule-maker admits Buccaneers have right to be unhappy
The NFL released its full schedule this week, and it was met with the usual complaints about which teams have it easy and which got a tough draw. While the league can’t do anything about the fact that the New England Patriots get to play everyone in the AFC East twice again, the way the season is mapped out for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seems downright cruel.
And at least one league official knows it.
Mike North, the NFL’s senior director of broadcast planning and scheduling, said on Sirius XM NFL Radio’s “Late Hits” Thursday that the Buccaneers and their fans have a right to be angry about the schedule, which has the Bucs on the road for seven straight weeks.
“If we had to do-over, if we had a redo, I’d love to take another shot at that Tampa Bay schedule,” North admitted. “I’m not sure that’s really fair to their fans. I’m hopeful that we didn’t do something to the Buccaneers that they feel like was really unfair.”
The Bucs have a home game against the New York Giants in Week 3 on Sept. 22. From there, they travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams, New Orleans to face the Saints, and then all the way to London to take on the Carolina Panthers. They have their bye week after the London game, but they then have back-to-back road games against the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks in Week 8 and Week 9.
That is too much travel, and it should not have happened.
“I know we’re not allowed to root for anybody,” North said. “But I’m kind of rooting for the Buccaneers through October.”
North said teams typically don’t complain publicly about schedules because they don’t want to sound like they’re making excuses, but no one would blame the Buccaneers for being upset. While we may not have listed them as taking part in any of the best revenge games of the upcoming season, the Bucs could be playing with plenty of anger in the middle part of the year.