The NFL’s scheduling problem isn’t the Orioles’ scheduling problem

March 18, 2013 | Drew Forrester

I understand the celebratory nature of opening on Thursday night.  It’s a rite of passage these days, mainly because the NFL just decided a decade or so ago it was going to be that way.  The fans, naturally, feel like they “deserve” to see the Ravens in the everyone-is-watching-us magnitude of opening night, but the truth of the matter is the game itself doesn’t change anything about the actual schedule.  It’s just a cosmetic appearance for the city and the organization.  Hell, the way the Ravens off-season is going, you all might only recognize seven players next season.

The excuse of the league not wanting to play the 2013 opener in Baltimore on Wednesday, September 4th because of Rosh Hashanah is a complete load of garbage.  The NFL played on the first night of Rosh Hashanah last season, remember, when San Francisco hosted a game in week two on Sunday evening.  With no disrespect intended at all to our Jewish friends, the NFL has played games on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, etc.  They’ve clearly never been concerned about Christians and the true meaning of Christmas.  Why, suddenly, are they ultra-concerned about the Jewish community and their religious holiday?  Answer:  They’re not at all concerned.  They just don’t want to play on Wednesday in Baltimore because it’s not as attractive as playing on Thursday.  That’s the answer, of course.  I’m a dummy and I can figure that one out.

Oh, one other thing:  The moving of the September 5th game would also have to be approved by the Chicago White Sox.  If they say “no” as a team, the game can’t be moved.  Blaming the Orioles in Baltimore might be the chic thing to do, but in reality the White Sox have just as much say.  Start flooding the Chicago sports talk stations in the morning with your complaints.  I’m sure they’ll care.  Or not.

What continues to strike me as odd is how the NFL just arbitrarily decided they were going to start playing their opening game on Thursday night and, somehow, everyone in baseball and around the country is just supposed to sign off on that as if it’s perfectly fine for the league to tell us how to watch football and schedule our lives.

The Orioles have a home game on Thursday night, September 5th against Chicago.

It’s been scheduled that way since October of 2012.

This is not the Orioles issue to solve.

And, by all means, the baseball team shouldn’t be criticized or ridiculed because they choose to stick with the schedule that was implemented last October and the one they’ve been planning for since spring training started a month ago.

The NFL needs to figure out how to make this “whole” and do so with the thought in mind that when the league poops, people walk in the bathroom and say, “Ooooh my, that doesn’t smell very good.”

Theirs stinks too.

Even if they act like it doesn’t, it does.

And blaming the Orioles – in this situation – stinks just as much.



19 Comments For This Post

  1. eric s Says:

    it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. the orioles and mostly peter angelos will be blamed for this happening. I love both teams but the ravens,the city and the fans deserve to have the opening game here in Baltimore. it is a big deal. the orioles need to make this happen. all the goodwill they built last season will be lost unless they win like they did last season but that’s very unlikely. (DF: “The Orioles need to make this happen…” Hilarious. What if the White Sox say “no”? They have to approve it too.)

  2. matt Says:

    another blogger said that since the o’s were scheduled first, that they get the rights to the parking lots.

    do you have to show an orioles ticket to park in those parking lots?

    because if it comes down to a competition, the lots will be packed with ravens fans and OPACY will be crickets. so i say they just play the game

  3. matt Says:

    o yea, also, it would be horrible to play denver first game of the year. steelers we can beat first game, denver would be hellacious because the team chemistry is going to be way off

  4. eric s Says:

    ok drew,if the orioles cant fix this,then I should have included the white sox and MLB. it will be hilarious if the ravens get blown out in Denver to open the season,while Camden yards is 25% full that same night. (DF: So what if they get blown out to open the season? That’s not the Orioles or the White Sox fault. They don’t have to open the season in Denver. The league would just want it that way for their own greed and TV purposes. Let the Ravens open in Cleveland or Miami. You people are hilarious. Somehow if the Ravens can’t beat Denver on opening night that’s the Orioles fault? Lord…)

  5. eric s Says:

    but I do agree with drew about playing the game on wednsday night.i’m not jewish but I don’t see why that would be a problem.

  6. Eric Says:

    Is there some legal reason, some city ordinance, etc. that says the two teams can’t play at the same time downtown? I’m being serious.

    See, the Orioles and MLB have “right of way” here I suppose. Their schedule came out first. Maybe the White Sox will balk, or did? They probably will, or did. Who knows. Nobody with the Orioles has commented yet, or tried to explain their / MLB’s position. Your good friend Greg Bader basically gave The Sun a useful “no comment”.

    And with that, again, the P.R. battle is lost on Eutaw Street immediately. Regardless of whether they’re “right” or not, the ground swell local public opinion is not on their side. No explanation from the Orioles on the record… “Well, we asked the White Sox to come in and play early and they’ve declined”. Nope, just a no comment.

    You know P.R. Drew. That’s where they lose. Every single time.

    And again, if there’s no “Court of Law” enforceable reason that they can’t play on the same night… what the hell? Why not?

    We all know an Orioles Thursday night game in September, after the kids are back in school, against a team nobody here cares about from a “rival” standpoint… and one that doesn’t bring their own large following… will sell maybe 25K in tickets, and maybe 17,000 actually show up. Maybe. Even if the O’s are in the playoff hunt again (a big IF), look at their September schedule. Bet the farm that either that game, or a mid-week affair against the Blue Jays, will be the smallest crowd of the month.

    We also know that from a “gate” standpoint, the Orioles would likely draw a larger crowd if they COULD make it a noon-ish start and tie it in to the Ravens kick-off. The cross-over promotion is endless. A fly-over from the A-10s. Maybe have Ray Ray throw out the first pitch. Invite the Ravens to put the Lombardi Trophy on display in a case and let fans take pictures. Offer some incentive for discounted tickets or concessions to anyone wearing Orioles and Ravens gear together. Let some former Orioles and Ravens sign autographs. Advertise the hell out of it, they might actually come close to filling the place at noon instead of being at 33% capacity at 7:05. The goodwill and good P.R. that could come from just “being a good neighbor” is something the Orioles could always use more of. No, they don’t have to do any of it. Fine, but then they lose the P.R. battle. And how they don’t see that… it’s beyond me. Fair or not, they lose. Just whining about losing the unfair battle becomes nothing more than whining to the vast majority of the public. And throwing out a “No Comment”, or not taking time to explain their side of the situation… well… they lose.

    If some combination of the Orioles, the White Sox, and MLB / the union can’t make a once-in-a-decade adjustment, then just go on and play the NFL game the same night. Want to get nasty, make sure the blimp cameras zoom in on Oriole Park around the 7th inning. 😉 Ravens ticket holders will fill up the lots well before the Orioles ticket holders do. We all might even get to take advantage of Orioles game parking prices instead of Ravens game parking prices. Honestly, unless there’s something that legally prevents it from happening… if I’m Bisciotti and Goodell / the NFL, I think I choose to just go head-to-head and be done with it.

  7. Hodge Says:

    Football is America’s Game now not baseball. That IS the Orioles problem. When the big boy on the block wants your lunch money you give it up or take a hit. They either dont care or forget that they have Baltimore on their jerseys too. The ones who get screwed in the end are the fans.

    Baltimore fans deserve a day long city-wide celebration kicking off the new season. The free concert alone will bring thousands downtown… But instead a few hundred will be treated to Tilman vs Floyd…umm that is unless it rains… than they can find a way to move the game.

  8. calvin@jhh Says:

    I agree with your Drew. The NFL need to man up and move the game to Wednesday night. This is not the Orioles problem

  9. Nick Says:

    This is about one thing for me: Respect and embarassing Pittsburgh, Boston, and our other rivals by forcing them and the rest of the country to watch us party on TV on a Thursday.

    For YEARS I’ve had to suffer watching those cities party on that night. Now I wants mines. I want Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 and whatever Pop Stars the NFL brings in to play out Power Plant and force these other fan bases to choke on the Ravens. I love the Orioles, but nothing is sweeter than throwing it in the face of the Steelers fans.

  10. pgavin Says:

    What a courageous article. To go against the editorial policy of the station shows guts. The NFL leaked the story and was using propaganda to rally the community against the Orioles. Anyone who can’t see this… is just blind. The O’s are an easy target, Angelos is an easy target, but the Ravens(and the NFL) are just innocent? Makes me laugh how the sheeple fell for this canard.

    The league has told the fans that we “deserve” the Kickoff game.
    Good Job Drew and I applaud you for your courage.

  11. BudIce05 Says:

    November 1, 2009

    South Philly Sports Complex:

    Eagles-Giants 1:00 Start

    Game 4 World Series Phils-Aholes 8:20 Start

    What a great day that was !!!

    Hope Balmer gets the same on 9/5 and being an O’s Fan I may just play hooky and get to that early afternoon game

  12. Steve From Sandpoint Says:

    Just play the damn game on Thursday and let the chips fall were they may.

  13. August Says:

    Great article Drew and I support your view 100%

  14. Pat Says:

    Play on Wednesday. End of story.

  15. Pat Says:

    Good news is that this will not be a problem in 2014 after the Ravens go 5-11.

  16. Nick Says:

    Somebody needs to resolve this and ‘Free the Birds’ from this conflict

  17. The Armchair QB Says:

    “For every problem under the sun, there is a solution or there is none. If there be one, try and find it; if there be none, never mind it”! Like the “clowns” in Washington, both sides are playing the “blame game” instead of trying to turn a “lemon” into……lemonade! Arguably, neither side is to blame – circumstances were dictated by fate. Stop blaming each other and resolve it! Frankly, I’d like to see Baltimore show-cased by having BOTH games played on Thursday, with the “O’s playing at noon followed by the Ravens at night! But, obviously, that makes too much sense…….

  18. m Says:

    There is not enough took.for both teams fans. Even if they do a noon pitch, there is no end time to baseball because all we know it could go 20 innings and plus with o’s fans leaving and ravens fans coming in, traffic would be hell. I am a fan of both the O’s and Ravens and really could care less if the Ravens opened on the road because it just one game. I can wait one more week for the home opener

  19. m Says:

    *parking for both teams fans

Leave a Reply