I didn’t watch the unveiling of the NFL schedule on TV last night.
It’s not that I thought it was silly to televise it. No, I’ve seen Storage Wars. I’ve seen the last five seasons of The Bacherlor(ette). I’ve seen that show that Comedy Central is airing after Colbert (by accident). I realize that NOTHING is too silly to put on TV.
No, the real reason I didn’t watch the NFL schedule show is that two hours wasn’t going to be enough time for me to get anything figured out. I’d need much longer (say, a workday, perhaps) and access to a printer for week-by-week schedules, maps, and calendar pages.
I wanted to plan out a way to do the impossible: Get to all 32 NFL stadiums in one 17-week regular season.
I tried it on a smaller scale when the ACC football schedule was released, and I came up with a way to get to all 15 ACC schools (including Notre Dame) and even catch a Maryland home game during the upcoming regular season.
If you care, here’s my itinerary:
8/30 UCLA at UVa
9/1 Miami at Louisville
9/6 SC State at Clemson
9/13 Southern Cal at BC
9/20 Clemson at FSU
9/27 FSU at NC State
10/3 Louisville at Syracuse
10/11 UNC at Notre Dame
10/16 Va Tech at Pitt
10/18 Iowa at Maryland
10/23 Miami at Virginia Tech
11/1 UNC at Miami
11/6 Clemson at Wake
11/15 Clemson at Georgia Tech
11/20 UNC at Duke
11/29 NC State at UNC
I thought the NFL would be tougher: Twice as many teams, an entire nation to cross, and only a few extra weeks.
As it turned out, it wasn’t hard at all. The ability to hit three games a week made it significantly easier than the ACC challenge. I even manage to catch one of the games in London, and, like starters on a playoff team, I get to take Week 17 off. Even more amazing, I only have to work seven Sundays (since I assume I’ll need the day to get back from whatever ACC game I’ll be at the night before)
So, here it is: 33 games in 16 weeks.
Week 1: Thurs: Green Bay at Seattle, Monday: San Diego at Arizona.
There wasn’t a good West Coast game to catch on Sunday, and I didn’t want to do too much flying.
Week 2: Thurs: Pittsburgh at Baltimore, Sunday: Miami at Buffalo, Monday: Philadelphia at Indianapolis
Three games in a weekend, but they’re all clustered fairly close together. I could drive it.
Week 3: Thurs: Tampa at Atlanta, Sunday: Washington at Philadelphia, Monday: Chicago at Jets
Again, a doable three-game trip as I could just drive up the East Coast.
Week 4: Thurs: Giants at Washington, Monday: New England at KC.
Week 5: Thurs: Minnesota at Green Bay, Sunday: Kansas City at San Francisco
I get Monday night off, since Washington is hosting again. That allows me to fly west and knock out a California home game.
Week 6: Thurs: Indianapolis at Houston, Mon: San Francisco at St. Louis
Week 7: Thurs: Jets at New England, Mon: Houston at Pittsburgh
Week 8: Thurs: San Diego at Denver, Mon: Washington at Dallas
Halfway through (I’ve seen 16 games through Week Seven), I have my first repeats on the visiting team.
Week 9: Thurs: New Orleans at Carolina, Mon: Indianapolis at Giants
Week 10: My first Thursday off. Kind of. I’ll be flying to England to watch Sunday’s Dallas vs. Jacksonville game in London
Week 11: Thurs: Buffalo at Miami, Mon: Pittsburgh at Tennessee
I get to see both Bills-Dolphins games! Well, *I’m* excited about that anyway.
Week 12: Thurs: Kansas City at Oakland, Monday: Baltimore at New Orleans
Week 13: Thurs: Chicago at Detroit, Sun: Carolina at Minnesota
I get to spend Thanksgiving at Ford Field.
Week 14: Thurs: Dallas at Chicago, Mon: New England at San Diego
Week 15: Sunday: Cincinnati at Cleveland
Other than my trip to London, this is my only one-game week.
Week 16: Thurs: Houston at Jacksonville, Sunday: Green Bay at Tampa Bay, Mon: Denver at Cincinnati
I close with a flourish. If Texans, Jaguars, Bucs and Bengals games can be called a flourish.
So there it is. There are 10 teams that I see three times, eight that I only see once (including the Super Bowl champions). I travel a total of 43,712 miles. That’s not quite two trips around the equator, but it’s pretty close.
I’m ready to go. Now, I just need a volunteer to pay for this.