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Mike North discusses the challenges of creating the NFL season schedule

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen
The Truth Network Radio
May 16, 2024 2:08 pm

Mike North discusses the challenges of creating the NFL season schedule

The Rich Eisen Show / Rich Eisen

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May 16, 2024 2:08 pm

Rich breaks down the Chiefs’ 2024 schedule and how it impacts Kansas City’s chances to three-peat as Super Bowl champions.

NFL VP of Broadcast Operations Mike North takes Rich inside the complexity of deciding on the 2024 league schedule of games, reveals how much influence Roger Goodell has on the NFL schedule, reveals how Taylor Swift and Green Day actually factored into this year’s schedule, and says why the league chose to go head-to-head against the College Football Playoff on certain dates. 

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Alexa, play the Rich Eisen Show.

Here's a station you might like. Do you think that Tua should be a 50 million dollar quarterback? Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. Tua Tungo Bailoa is definitely going to have a salary that starts at a four, but this is the interesting conversation to have. Today's guests, NFL VP of Broadcast Planning, Mike North, CBS Sports Lead Broadcaster, Jim Nance, voice of ESPN's Monday Night Football, JOPA, and now it's Rich Eisen.

Yes, it is. Welcome to this edition of the Rich Eisen Show. It feels like Christmas morning if I wasn't Jewish, but I am, so it's like Hanukkah morning because we've got schedules. I've got a full packet. I've got my color-coded schedule, the entire 272 game schedule. It's in my left hand, and if everyone on Roku Channel could see it right now, and for the radio audience, it is pristine, and TJ Jefferson says he's going to get this stuff laminated, because usually by the end of the first week, this thing looks totally beat up. It's a piece of paper I reach for all the time, and I've got schedules, and we're going to go over the schedules with the man who brings you football on CBS, Jim Nance. He will be actually zooming in from Louisville, Kentucky, where the first round of the PGA Championship is up and running.

Xander Schauffele is already off and running. He's seven under in the middle of his first round right now, so Jim will talk schedules in golf, and then in hour number three, joining me from the worldwide leader in sports or whatever they call, I forget what they call themselves now. That's an old phrase apparently now for ESPN and the NFL on ABC. Joe Buck will be zooming in in hour number three, and the gentleman who is mission critical for this at the National Football League, Mike North, who basically heads up the process of whittling down the 120,000 possible playable schedules that were generated computer-wise into the final one. He's going to be joining us in about 18 minutes time to kick things off, and then there's you, 844-204-RICH, number to dial. Phone lines are already lit because you all know out there in the Rich Eisen Show viewing and listening audience, if you listen to us, if you watch us every single day, thank you.

If you haven't, then what's your problem? I don't mean to be aggressive, but you know today is the first day to play the win-loss game where you can go game by game and predict your team's final outcome. Who cares? It's 112 days until the kickoff of the 2024 season from today.

These are very important times for you to get in early and make sure that you get it right right away. And 844-204-RICH is the number to dial on this program. Now then, Chris Brockman is not here today. He is in Jacksonville, Florida at Kevin Rahm's St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Golf Tournament, and he is the sports host that is in this contest in Jacksonville, Florida at Sawgrass.

This is the photograph he provided to Kevin Rahm, and this is also the bio he wrote for himself as the co-host of the Rich Eisen Show, the sports host. Chris Brockman is not here, which means Suzy Schuster is sitting in his chair today. Good to see you, Suze.

How are you? I took some time out of being in the kitchen to come in here, to be by your side, to support you however I can as your wife and the mother of your three children. That's your children, not mine. Uh, I didn't expect you to go split the uprights like that right off the bat today, Suze.

We've been married 21 years. Did you just... Was I hitching that giddy-up on the number right there? How do you not expect that? It took... Hi. I know that.

Yeah. But you went full bucker right out of the gate. I went full bucker. It's my honor, Rich, and my duty in Gilead. The sports Gilead.

To be by your side. Fantastic. Rich Eisen. Oh, that's Suze Eisen.

That's right, Charles. Hi, guys. How are you? I love Suze. It's so good to have Suze here. I'm out of the kitchen, guys. There she is.

The apron's off and so are the gloves. Wow. Suze Schuster here on The Rich Eisen Show. Good to see you, Mikey D. How are you, sir? I love the schedule. I'm excited. I love it. You know me. What do you love about it, Mike?

Because I like... This is when I get to find out what games the Rams are playing, when. Because this is important as a season ticket holder to know what games... Oh, please. What games that you can put on the secondary ticket market. There's two night games, which means I can go.

Oh. And I will go to both of those games because I'm off. And the rest of the Rams home schedule is up for grabs? They are available right now on a site near you.

Just let you know, as I look at the Rams schedule on my handy dandy color coded sheet right here, Rams in week 14, home against the Buffalo Bills. So those tickets will go to our coordinating producer. If you're not going, Mike Hoskins, and they will go free of charge. If anybody charges Mike Hoskins a single dime for their seat in SoFi Stadium that has here the sports host who's away right now. Okay.

What I pay per year... I'm hooking you up, Hoskins. You know. He's just going in your pocket.

I mean, it's like, what are we talking about? It's not his pocket. Are you kidding me?

Well, if you're just saying he's giving stuff away, then you're going in his pocket. Are the Dallas Cowboys coming to Los Angeles this year? No. Let me look it up. Okay. If Dallas was coming, TJ would be. Oh, man.

Where does it go? They're not even having their annual game against Arizona that they started having ever since Rod Tidwell scored a touchdown on Monday Night Football. Yeah. But they're going up to San Francisco. Yeah.

TJ, make that trip. And that game, week eight, baby. And Fox got it.

How about that? No, actually, NBC got it. That's a Sunday night.

Fox got the Super Bowl rematch. That's right. That's a Sunday night. Yeah. I heard that last night.

I heard that story on the scheduled release show. I'm free of my non-disc... How do you read this? I'm free of my NDA. What do you mean, how do you read this? I can't read this. Okay. For anybody out there, guys, watching on Roku, where's the camera? There it is.

I'm used to the main camera, Rich. Oh, gosh. So look at this.

This is a nightmare. No, it's not. It's very easy to read. It's simple. It's like a travel guy in an airport with the planes landing. Well, here's the issue, though, and that's how we're gonna start this show.

Hi, everybody. There's lots of games in lots of different places and lots of different days of the week. And we start this show today with the schedule of the team that is front and center and is 100% the story of the season going in and will be the season long storyline arc. And it's not just because they're the defending Super Bowl champs. It's they're the defending back to back Super Bowl champs. This is the first opportunity for a three-peat season the NFL has seen since 2005. And when the Chiefs went back to back in Las Vegas and were picking the confetti out of their hair after beating the San Francisco 49ers in overtime, it snapped the longest repeat Super Bowl championship drought in NFL history. So we this is the longest we've waited for a three-peat season. We've seen three-peat seasons attempted eight times before. Nobody's made it back to the Super Bowl. Nobody's even taken it to the final game, woken up on Super Sunday saying today could be the day we make NFL history. The last three-peat champ in the NFL were the Packers, who won the NFL championship prior to the Super Bowl's creation in 1965 through 67. Only three teams made it as far as the conference championship. And the last team to do that, T.J. Jefferson, were your Dallas Cowboys who lost in the de facto Super Bowl game of the NFC championship game in San Francisco, a game that we have spoken about multiple times on this program with Irv and Prime and Steve Young, right? And all of those guys who have been here, who played in that 94 game, the 90 San Francisco 49ers made it as far and so did the 76 Pittsburgh Steelers. Two teams lost in the divisional round, the 74 Miami Dolphins and the aforementioned 2005 New England Patriots, three made it, missed the playoffs entirely. The last team that that happened to were the 99 Denver Broncos. Because if you recall, John Elway walked off into the, helicoptered off into the sunset, right?

This one's for John. Right. The 80 Pittsburgh Steelers and the 68 Green Bay Packers missed the playoffs entirely. And that's the setup for the Kansas City Chiefs schedule release last night. Because again, the number of trolling opportunities folks have about how big of a deal we make of the schedule release, yes, we knew that the Chiefs were going to play the Ravens in Arrowhead this year. And we knew the Chiefs were going to play the Cincinnati Bengals in Arrowhead this year. But we did not know that they were playing them back to back until those games got released earlier this week, leading us to go ahead and graphically mark them off of the possible opponent's sheet with a Taylor Swift photograph. Now we know who all the opponents are with all of their entire schedule mapped out week to week, one through 18, which means that was a gratuitous way to put Taylor Swift's face on the screen 18 times, 17 times. What Hoskins, you going to work one in, a floating one in for the bye week in there?

But at any rate, that's the point is we now know the order of things. And we now know, because we were talking earlier this week, who is going to be the week three opponent after that very difficult crucible of a start of a Ravens, Bengals back to back at home start. Would it be at Carolina, which would be with all due respect to the Panthers, the easiest road opponent to place there in week three? No, they're going to Atlanta. And they're going to Atlanta in a prime time game Sunday night football.

Second time they'll be in front of Mike Torrico and crew on NBC with Collins worth in the first three games of the schedule. Then they're at the Chargers, then they're home for the Saints, and then they have a bye before they have the Super Bowl rematch against San Francisco, after which they're at Vegas home for Tampa on a Monday night. And then week 10 is their first one o'clock Eastern kickoff of the season. They're either on at night or they're on in a late window on CBS or Fox because the league wants obviously the entire country to see them or most of the entire country. The game against Buffalo is a late window on CBS in week 11.

We'll talk about that with Jim Nantz later on and so on and so forth. But the anomalies that are out there with the Monday night games into a Sunday, which is what the 2005 Patriots only had to deal with for short weeks because there was no Thursday night football back in 2005, the last three-peat season. The Patriots had only two Monday nighters that year, just two short weeks for those Patriots to play on a Monday night and then turn around and play the following Sunday.

They went one and one in those games. These chiefs have four short weeks and they also have some wild anomalies on their schedule. Because of the advent of midweek Christmas games and a Black Friday post-Thanksgiving game, these are things that did not exist along with Thursday night football when the 05 Patriots had to go for their three-peat, the last again three-peat attempted in the NFL. As a matter of fact, these Kansas City Chiefs, once they complete their season, will have the first NFL season in which a team plays on six different days of the week since the 1927 New York Yankees. Yes, there was in the NFL for two years, a team called the New York Yankees.

And in 1927, they were much worse than the actual 1927 Murderers Row New York Yankees in which Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs. Yes, the only day of the week these Chiefs will not play in or on this year is a Tuesday. They play two on Monday, one on a Wednesday Christmas, one on a Thursday for regular straight-up Thursday night football. That game, let me make sure I get this correct, color-coded, Suze, I got to look for that. What's that?

It's yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow. They are taking on the Kansas City Chiefs. Oh, the Thursday night game is actually not a Thursday night on Amazon.

It's the kickoff, duh. One on Friday, Black Friday against the Raiders. They play one on Saturday, and that's before Christmas. And the reason why they're playing on Saturday, they have to, because that allows them at least the short amount of rest you would normally get playing on Sunday to Thursday because they're turning around and playing Saturday to Wednesday. And that Saturday game is a short week for them because they're playing the previous Sunday. If they win on five of those days, okay, five of the six, they will become the first team in NFL history to win at least one game on five different days of the week in a single season. They're opening up with back-to-back home games, but they finish the season with back-to-back road games, if you wouldn't mind putting up the schedule one more time, at Pittsburgh, at Denver.

And at Pittsburgh is the Christmas game, short week. My goodness, they're finishing the season with three of their final four games against playoff teams from last year. Denver's the only one that didn't make the playoffs. That didn't make the playoffs last year. At Cleveland is what they play before their short week game against Houston, the AFC South champs, on that Saturday short week before taking on Pittsburgh short week on Christmas. And we all know Pittsburgh made the playoffs last year. They finish three of their final four games on the road.

That game against Houston is the only one that's in Arrowhead. And these are the anomalies of the schedule. This is why the schedule matters. You find out the short weeks. You find out it's a six week, for just the first five weeks before bye. It's a week six bye, which is not that great. You find out that one thing that teams hate the most, coaches hate the most, is anything is any disruption of the norm and the schedule and what teams are used to doing. They love to be routinized coaches and teams. How does playing on six different days of the week sound to you? So that's what the league has put on the docket for the team attempting the first ever successful three-peat in the history of the Super Bowl era.

This is why the schedule release matters. And we'll talk about it with Mike North of the National Football League. Let me get his title right here. Oh, I threw out my NDA.

Yeah, it's gone. Oh yeah, he's a VP of something or other. He's mission critical. He's joining us shortly here on the road. He's not zoomed in already for hearing me botching his title.

Okay, great. And he's joining us in just three minutes time. Jared Goff spoke today. Oh yes, he's the VP of Broadcast Planning. Thank you, Mike.

And so he will be joining us in just a matter of moments. Jim Nance in hour two. Joe Buck in hour three. Jared Goff has spoken. Suzie's Celtics have moved on to the Eastern Conference Finals. Kaitlyn Clark has her first home game as a professional tonight.

And the Mavericks are one step away from the Western Conference Finals, which the Nuggets might make them versus the Mavericks by the end of tonight. So there's tons to talk about and the phone lines are already let. People want to play the win-loss game, which means we're having a good time. And Suzie went full butker to start the program. Good to see you, Suzie. Hey there. All right, we're taking a break. 844-204-rich number to dial. Mike North, the only man in the NFL with a man bun in 345 Park Avenue.

Joining us next. It's that time of year, people. Spring has sprung, and that means spring cleaning.

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Call clickgrainger.com or just stop by 844-204-RICH is the number to dial. You want to play the win-loss game. Now that we have schedules, call in and predict your team's final record. Who cares?

As I said, it's 112 days before the Ravens and the Chiefs kick things off in Arrowhead. Congratulations to our next guest because this is some very difficult work by him and his team at the National Football League, the VP of Broadcast Planning, who puts together this schedule with his team, Mike North, here on the Rich Eisen Show. Good to see you, Mike. How are you, sir? Hello, my friend. I'm doing pretty good today. Thank you.

Are you? Okay. Yeah.

Look, this is always the challenging part, right? The teams all saw their own schedules on Tuesday. Okay. The networks all saw their own schedules on Wednesday. Now that it's out to the world, today's the day when they all get to see everybody else's. And so even if on Tuesday they were like, yeah, okay, our schedule is fine. Thanks.

And if the networks on Wednesday were like, hey, thanks, this is great. Appreciate it. Now they see what everybody else got. And so today's the day when with a little bit more time to digest and react, it's a little less emotional, a little less visceral and a little bit more. All right. Now that we've done the forensics and we've done the work, I see what you did there. How could you guys have treated us like this?

Why did you make that decision? You always have it out for us. Today's kind of hold your breath and try to enjoy it, but also just a little wary. How does it come in form of an email phone call? What do we get?

What do you have, Mike? Hopefully it's in the form of a phone call and it's relatively calm and pretty, you know, hey, look, I'm not one to complain, but just want to make sure you're aware of something like this. If it's bad, it's an email and it's usually CCing my bosses and all of our boss. Those are the ones that are a little bit more disconcerting.

Thankfully, I haven't seen one of those just yet today, but that's usually what ends up happening these next couple of days. It's all well and good when they only see their own. Once they see everybody else's, then they kind of reevaluate their own.

They CC RG one, Mike, is that what you're saying? So when does the commissioner get involved typically in this process, Mike? Look, honestly, I've been doing this long enough to know he's more involved now than ever. Quite honestly, you know, you think a guy like that's so busy and obviously so many things going on that, hey, you guys do the grunt work and search through the infinite solution space trying to find the best grain of sand on the beach.

And you bring it to me when you find it. He doesn't work like that anymore. He's really involved almost from the very beginning. You know, what are our big ticket items? What are we going to do with this team or that team? Here's a few things that I think I'd like to see in the schedule. We kind of grind for a month or two. We have a weekly cadence with him, let's say, through about March and April. And then once he gets back from draft, it's more like biweekly. And down the stretch, it was every day we were in his office literally for an hour every day last week, kind of going through the final contenders.

And at that point, I'm not sure the schedules are really getting better. They're really just more flavors. You know, vanilla chocolate strawberry pick one. And, you know, Hans likes, you know, fudge ripple and the commissioner likes rum raisin.

Like those are the ones that we're going to find. So down the stretch, it's daily with him. It was all weekend.

A zoom with the scheduling team Sunday night of Mother's Day and right back in his office Monday morning, didn't get his final approval really until about one o'clock in the afternoon on Monday, even though the schedule was coming out on Wednesday. And plus, I mean, now when you're talking about big ticket items, there's now a Christmas games on a Wednesday with a new partner in Netflix. There's a Black Friday game for second year with Amazon Prime.

You've got Peacock now in different countries. You've got us on the network with international games and then a group of five games in week 17 that'll be whittled down to a triple header. You've got a lot of people with CBS and Fox and ABC and partners.

So how how do you decide what the big you know what the big ticket games are and which partners want them? What how do you go through that hunger game, if you will, Mike? Yeah, it's a lot. It's a lot of mouths to feed. And obviously everybody wants the, you know, juiciest apple off the tree. So you really got to make sure, you know, everybody gets something.

Nobody gets everything kind of art at the top. And you think about, you know, what are the quote unquote games of the year? You go to a game like Kansas City, San Francisco, you know, that game could go Sunday night.

Monday night will be a heck of a gift to Thursday night. CBS and Fox for twenty five Sunday afternoon Eastern Time windows. Those are our most watched windows. You know, that's what we're averaging.

Twenty five, twenty six million viewers every Sunday, almost regardless of the content. So you kind of start at the top and you think about what are we going to do with Kansas City, San Fran? Well, if it lands on NBC, then NBC shouldn't probably then also get Dallas, San Francisco. And if you're going to get the best Dallas, you can't get the best Kansas City.

And if you're going to get a good Kansas City, maybe somebody else is going to get two Kansas Cities and maybe they're not the two best. And so it's kind of this whole. Yeah, Hunger Games is a good way to think about a little Game of Thrones action, a little bit of everybody gets something. Nobody gets everything.

And you kind of start at the top and make sure that that really top tier, really juiciest apples are doled out fairly so that everybody feels like, you know, they got a little something. Then, of course, you have to consider the teams. Right. And so I'm looking at the Chiefs in particular, the VP of NFL Broadcast Planning and Scheduling Mike North here on the Rich Eisen Show the day after the schedule release. You look at the Chiefs. They're playing on six different days of the week.

Last time that happened was 1927 in the NFL. And they're also playing four short weeks. They're playing three out of their first four are again. I mean, you take a look at where they're playing out of their first two at home and then three of their last four are on the road, three of them against playoff teams.

So at any point in time when you're mapping out their schedule, did you take into consideration that this is a three peat season and that the league is not is going to take anything in consideration whether to make it more difficult or not? Mike? No, no.

First of all, I'm not sure any of us know anything, right? It's sports. It's May. This season doesn't even start for four more months. You try to, what, play God and have, you know, this team have a harder schedule or an easier schedule. And by the time you get to that supposed gauntlet, you know, they're playing a team whose quarterback is injured or not having the season they hoped or fired their coach.

It's impossible for any of us to predict. There was absolutely no thought in this building of, hey, let's give the Chiefs a hard schedule. They play who they play, right? Those 17 games were known. They've been known since the regular season ended.

All we're kind of doing is putting an order. And that seems to be a team certainly starts with the coach that, you know, no matter what obstacles they kind of we throw at them, they don't seem to bat an eye. They kind of run roughshod over just about all their obstacles. So there was no real thought to, you know, hey, could we stack up these games in a way that makes it harder for the Chiefs to repeat? I feel like we've given the Chiefs tough schedules over the years and they've blown right through them and won rings. Same thing used to happen back in the Brady days in New England.

There was a year Howard Katz would remember this better than I. But I feel like we gave him maybe like a week four by maybe even a week three by at that point. They had cross country trips somewhere like two over three weeks, and they finished with maybe four straight playoff teams, something like that. It was a brutal, brutal schedule.

And of course, you know, Brady got another ring. So you never know. It's hard to say in May that this schedule is or is not too fair, but constantly monitoring to your point. You can't just make the best possible television schedule and, you know, the hell with the teams. But by the same token, you can't just make every team schedule perfect. And the heck with our television partners, there's got to be some kind of balance in there. So the whole gig here is, you know, maximize fan interest, maximize viewership, maximize ratings and kind of minimize, if you can, any kind of competitive inequities.

And somewhere in this balance between the two, that's trying to find the sweet spot. Well, I mean, defending NFC champs in the 49ers, Mike North, they've got four short weeks, a Sunday after a Monday, a Thursday night twice, and then a Sunday after a Monday to wrap up the season. And even, I guess, for the lack of better word, worse, they take on four teams coming off of buys, including the Chiefs. The Chiefs will be playing them in San Francisco coming off of a buy.

What considerations do you take for something like that, Mike? Yeah, you talk about, you know, short weeks, games against teams coming off the buy. What you're talking about was what we call rest disparity.

And we have been spending a lot more time lately looking at things like rest disparity. And you can kind of go game by game over the course of your whole season. And, you know, if you and I both played the previous Sunday and we're playing each other this Sunday, then the rest disparity is obviously zero. If you played on Monday and I played on Sunday, then I'm a plus one. If you had a buy, you're a plus seven. And just trying to keep an eye on is it week by week?

Is it game by game? Is it total across the whole season? I may not have this exactly right, but I'm pretty sure the San Francisco 49ers might have had the highest total negative. It might have been the Rams, actually, but I think the Rams and the Niners both had pretty big total negative rest disparity numbers last season. They both made the playoffs. The Kansas City Chiefs had, I think, a run of five or six games in a row where they were at a negative rest. They made the playoffs, won the Super Bowl. Like, I'm not sure rest disparity, negative rest disparity is a disqualifier.

I'm not sure if it's a competitive inequity. We've got an analytics team here led by a guy named Mike Lopez, who if you haven't talked to, you should. He's spectacular. You should have him on and you should follow him on Twitter.

He's spectacular. He's the kind of guy who is thinking about, hey, is this really unfair? And how do you even prove that it's unfair? Is it moving the Vegas lines? Is it changing the expected points scored or the expected win percentage?

Like, what truly is onerous to a club? And I think if you ask 32 teams, you might get 32 different answers. Is it a three game road trip?

Is it a road after road Monday? Is it catching Kansas City coming off their bye where Andy Reid seems to never lose coming off his bye? Is it having to play in Florida in September when it's 90 degrees, playing Lambeau in December when it's negative three? What's the worst thing you could do to a club? And are you doing it over and over and over again to the same team in the same way? Bad luck just kind of has a way of moving around.

And hopefully it's not landing on the same teams in the same way over and over again. I'll reach out to Mike Lopez, Mike North. But you'd love talking to him.

He's with all due respect, though. I think he should reach out to me. I've got three kids. I know all about no, no, no. I know all about fighting through negative rest disparity. Mike, I do that every day. Are you kidding me? There you go. Oh, my goodness. Thank you.

All right. So what what were the the anomalies we don't know about rock concerts, tours, things of that nature that you had to plan through amidst all the other traps that we've discovered you have to run? Yeah, honestly, this one was pretty typical for us these days. You know, Taylor Swift is still out there touring. So, you know, weekends in Miami and New Orleans, maybe Indianapolis, Green Day took a weekend out of SoFi. So the Rams and Chargers both had to adjust to that. The usual mix of, you know, baseball teams. For years, we were able to kind of ignore, you know, the Orioles as we think about the Ravens October schedule.

Those days are probably gone now. Nice. Look at you thinking about so badly about MLS teams. We're thinking about MLS teams that share our buildings. We're thinking about NASCAR races, college football games, Army, Navy.

It's always something. And the real question for us always is, can you accommodate all those things without it affecting, you know, the integrity of the NFL scheduling process? And then you factor in things like these multiple short weeks. You mentioned San Francisco playing two Thursdays. Did we spread them out far enough from each other and spread them out far enough from the 49ers by?

So, yes, a couple of short weeks, but also three kind of full rest periods or two mini buys and a full buy. You know, the Wednesday teams playing in that Christmas round. Robin was a unique challenge for us. You had to find four teams that all played each other home and away for each that we could count on here in May that we thought we're going to be able to hold down national television windows in week 16 and 17.

Christmas is its own animal. Obviously, the fans have showed that they'll show up and find those games, hopefully on any platform we put them on. Netflix will be an exciting new challenge for us all. But you're playing Wednesday. You're also playing the previous Saturday.

And as you know, your beloved Michigan Wolverines might be in a first round college football playoff game that Saturday. So it all goes into the puzzle. We're all trying to think about solving for everything. And, you know, if not making everybody happy, hopefully disappointing them all evenly.

Love it. You said three things there that I want to pull on a string here before I let you go. Michigan's not in the first round.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. First of all, you're talking about the Orioles affecting the Ravens schedule. So Adlai Rutchman and the rest of those O's dominating right now the way or they look terrific again. Is that part of the reason why if you put up the Ravens schedule, Mike Hoskins, look at weeks five through eight, those are all October dates. They're on the road three times.

Is that is that really what's up with that right there? Yeah, we got to be cognizant of the fact that the Orioles may well be playing baseball, like hard enough for us to predict, you know, which of our NFL teams are going to be sure playoff down the stretch. Here we are now also kind of handicapping Major League Baseball season and thinking about what it's like between the Orioles and the Ravens in that market. You'll remember not that long ago when the Ravens won the Super Bowl, when Flacco had his magical postseason run, they weren't even able to play that kickoff game that Thursday opener because the Orioles had a game and they just weren't those two teams weren't seeing eye to eye. And so we ended up putting the Ravens on the road.

I think they went to Denver and maybe Peyton threw seven touchdowns, something like that. Like that felt like a horrible way to start the season for the Super Bowl champs. So constantly being cognizant of what's that relationship like between the Ravens and the Orioles and being respectful of the fact, to your point, that the Orioles may well be there down the stretch in October. And should they be working around Ravens games? Are we going to have trouble with the parking lots, with municipal services, with the police? You know, it might be a really fun day in Baltimore to have both of them playing at the same time.

But is that really the right thing for the market and for the fans? So, yeah, no question that the Orioles are impacting the Ravens schedule, the Phillies are impacting the Eagles schedule, the Pirates not yet impacting the Steelers schedule. But one of these years, my beloved Pirates are going to be there in October and we're going to have to think about that.

Yeah, they're right down the street, too. And you take a look at the Chiefs who play right across the street from the Royals. You have only one home game in October for the Chiefs.

They put them on a buy and then on the road for the rest of October. Some of that was also television driven. Like you think about the Kansas City at San Francisco game, maybe game of the year type stuff, maybe, you know, the most anticipated game of the 2024 NFL season.

So trying to find the right home for that one. You could make a case that last year the most anticipated game of the season was Cincinnati, Kansas City and the whole Borough Head stuff and all of that. And we put it in week 17. And by the time we got to it, man, Borough wasn't even there anymore. The Bengals were fading from playoff relevancy.

It was almost like we waited too long to deploy that really good asset. We were cognizant of making sure that a Kansas City San Fran game got in earlier in the season. You do it really early in the season and it's a Super Bowl rematch and you do it really late in the season and maybe it's a Super Bowl preview. You do it kind of like that week seven range.

It's a bit of both. So kind of like that came in week seven. And yes, that's another road game for the Chiefs in October.

You throw the buy in there and suddenly you go whatever it is, four or five weeks with only one home game. You know, they do start the season with two consecutive home games. They are in that Christmas round.

Robin at the end. The Chiefs are pretty constrained. We're using every one of those games, hopefully as strategically as we can.

Yeah, not to put you on a spot. I saw you put Pittsburgh in Denver very early. Is that because maybe Justin Fields gets on the field later on and you want to you want to put Russ in his old spot right off the bat again? None of us are in that quarterback room. I don't know if Russell is going to be the quarterback. I don't know if Justin's going to be the quarterback. You know, Russell returning to Denver, I think is a little different than Russell. Well, there's no question.

I did that one a couple of years ago. It was the first Monday night game of the season. You had no chill on that one, Mike. You just threw that. Yeah, exactly. You put that up for Russell going back to Denver is quite the same. You know, you think about cousins going back to Minnesota, you know, Diggs playing Buffalo again, like we can't put all those storyline revenge so-and-so returns games in the national windows. But there's nothing wrong with holding down a good chunk of the country on a Sunday afternoon. As we always talk about, you put good games in prime time. You still got to have good games for Sunday afternoons as well and good stories for our friends at CBS and Fox to tell on a Sunday afternoon. And yeah, I wouldn't say that, you know, Steelers game going back to Denver was top of mind for us, but don't mind the fact that it's nice and early. And maybe if Russell is playing quarterback, that's the story. Whereas if those two teams play each other later in the season, the story is, you know, how's their season going? What are their playoff implications? What's their record as opposed to being able to, you know, talk about a return game kind of storyline.

The other two things as well that you mentioned before, I'll hit quickly with you before I let you go. I know you've been spending a lot of time with us here. The VP of NFL Broadcast Planning and Scheduling, Mike North is here. Week 16 Saturday, you had to put a couple of games there because you needed the requisite amount of rest for their Christmas Day participants. And that puts you straight up on a day where there's a college football playoff day, and it's the first one with the new expanded format. How did you deal with that? And did you stay off of the late window specifically on that day because you and college football made an arrangement? Mike?

No arrangement. We've been talking pretty regularly, you know, with, you know, Bill Hancock and General Clark. We spoke with, you know, Petiti and Sankey and the commissioners like this was no surprise to anybody. This was no surprise to them when they knew that they were going to expand the playoffs. You know, they were coming into a Saturday where the NFL has played. I mean, we've been on this Saturday in December, right? We don't play the first two Saturdays in December, but we play the third and fourth Saturday in December, and we've been there for decades.

So they knew full well what, you know, they were wandering into. And we knew full well that we were going to try to work together and see if there was a way that we could accommodate each other by playing on Wednesday. We're certainly playing on Saturday. I think the early start times for the Saturday are less about, you know, avoiding any real conflict with the CFP games and really more about what we're doing on Wednesday. We're playing our Wednesday Christmas games earlier in the day, and that's with a nod toward Netflix having this global audience, this global reach, first real true global sports rights deal between one broadcaster and one sports league and Netflix with that global reach. You know, we play at night our time. You're kind of in the overnight hours or the early morning hours in some big international markets for us, whereas we play in the day like that. We play in the afternoon.

You can get into prime time in some of the big international markets that are important, not just to us, but also to Netflix. So by playing in the afternoon on Wednesday, now you look back to Saturday. It's taken a short week. You're making it even shorter if you're playing Saturday night. So the afternoon starts on Wednesday really drove the afternoon starts on Saturday more than anything else. Fortunate enough to have our broadcast partners there and Fox and NBC.

They were comfortable with the early afternoon time slots as well. Again, no surprise to the CFP folks. They knew we were playing games that day. Maybe now that they've seen that we're there and they see our start times, they might want to rethink their first round college football playoff and maybe they play two Friday and two Saturday instead of playing one Friday and three Saturday.

But they've got to do what's right for their business. But they're not going to be surprised by the fact that we've got games there. Last one for you, Mike North. You obviously were looking at Taylor Swift's era's tour dates to see if there was a certain stadium open or not.

Did you match up her tour dates with the chief schedule here to see if she was in town or, you know, maybe she might stop by and might give you a little eye roll, raise a rating or two. Like if she wants to get to a game, she can get to a game. I think that we coincided that Casey Buff game with Toronto. Yes, correct.

No truth to that. Look, the honest truth is you were talking earlier about how are you doling out your Kansas City assets? Think about what we're doing with them down the stretch. They're in Black Friday.

Really important to our friends at Amazon. Really important to us as we try to build a new holiday tent pole for the league. So we're using the Chiefs on Friday of week 13. We're using them on Sunday Night Football on week 14.

That's a Fred Gidelli staple. Give me the big brands in December, a Kansas City, a Green Bay, a Dallas, because it's hard to have flexible scheduling when you get to December and you've got all these more mouths to feed. You've got fewer games that are even available for flex on Sunday afternoon. So give NBC something that they feel like they can count on. And then we talked about the Christmas round robin there in 16 and 17. Those games are gone. So, you know, if CBS is going to get that Kansas City Buffalo game, we're running out of places to put it in December.

So that kind of week 11 is almost as late as you could find in maybe week 12. So did it happen to coincide with Taylor's trip to Toronto? Yes. Was it intentional?

It was not. But if she wants to show up, I'm sure we'll make sure there's a seat for it. OK, Mike North, you got something serious? Could be a package deal. It could be a great package for the NFL to package it with Taylor like a back to back.

I'm telling you, don't you think? I think it's a great idea. And maybe we should go just to see what that's like. I'll meet you there, Mike. Let's try it out this year. Let's workshop it. Great answer, Mike, because you were just talking to somebody who can absolutely CC Roger Goodell in an email literally right now.

She could be for more than I could. Yes. Mike North, you're the best, man. Thanks again. Always a pleasure to see you, man.

I remember I remember that Sports Center commercial when Jay Levy had to send you down to the minor with you now. Thanks for showing that James K. Polk spirit. Mike, thank you very much. That's Mike North, everybody. Great stuff.

Lots of stuff. Let's take a break. 844-204, rich number to dial.

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Power 2023 award information, visit jdpower.com slash awards only at a sleep number store or sleepnumber.com. Afford Anything talks about how to avoid common pitfalls, how to refine your mental models, and how to think about how to think. Paula, while certainly you can mess up on a million dollars a year, it is far less likely than it is on thirty thousand dollars a year. Right. I would meet wonderful people that were struggling with a budget that was super tight. It was 100 percent. You need to make more money, make smarter choices and build a better life.

Afford Anything wherever you listen. Back here on the show, very rarely do social media teams repeat an idea from one schedule to the next. But the Titans had such a major hit last year, they did it again. OK, so Alex Earl's boyfriend.

Oh, Sam would love that. That's the Dallas Cowboys. That's Dak Prescott.

He will go on fourth every time. He just don't care. He's like me if I play the NFL on my phone. I know that they used to kick the Super Bowl's ass for consecutive like maybe like three to four years straight with Tom Brady.

And then what happened? My favorite actor is a fan of theirs. They got rid of Kirk Cousins and they shouldn't have. David Carr is what I know about them.

They got rid of Kirk Cousins and they shouldn't have. I don't know that one either. Oh, man. If you could describe their team in three words, what would it be? Going downhill.

That's pretty much it. I don't know who they are either. I'm terrible at this. I'm so bad. Oh, man. Wow. Oh, man. Back on the Rich Eisen Show Radio Network. We just saw the Titans video.

How great was that? Last year, the girl thought the Chargers were lightning McQueen. That's right. Apparently, though, the guy who didn't recognize the Jaguars when they was the same guy from last year, they brought him back to start a troll on him. What's worse, that or a pile driver on AEW?

Oh, well, the pile drivers, most of them. Okay. 844-204 Rich, number to dial. Let's do a win-loss game. We got schedules.

Dave in Seattle wants to be the first up in 2024 to play the win-loss game. What's up, Dave? What's up, Rich? How are you doing? I'm good. I'm assuming I need to get the Seattle Seahawks schedule ready for you. I think you do. That'd be great.

All right. Mike Del Tufo, play the music. Dave in Seattle, first up. Home for the Denver Broncos.

What happens? Old AFC West's rival, Russell Wilson, not there anymore, but that's a W. That's a W. Okay, at the Patriots. Yeah, at the W. Home for the Dolphins. That's going to be a lock. At the Lions on a Monday night. They play well in Detroit.

They do. I don't know why, but that's a win. The Giants at home. Yeah, that's a win. Mike McDonald is 4-1, and his campaign is the first time head coach against the Niners at home on a Thursday night. That's a tough one. I'll say that's an L. Okay, 4-2 at the Falcons.

Ooh, it was a panic. Seattle would be thrilled, but that's going to be a win. All right, 5-2. Home for the Bills. That's going to be a loss.

I'll go lost. Okay, 5-3 now. Home for the Rams. They have a hard time with the Rams. They always do, but they're going to get them this time. That's a win.

6-3 coming out of the bye at the Niners. They got to split. They have to if they want to make the play.

They have to if they want to make the playoffs. That's a win. That's the first they have to win choice in the win-loss game.

Those usually don't work out well. 7-3, home for the Cardinals. It's going to be tougher than people think. That's a win. 8-3 at the Jets.

They peaked in the 70s. That's a win. Wow, 9-3 at the Cardinals. That's another win. 10-3, home for the Packers.

That'll be tough. Packers always play them, I mean the Hail Mary, that playoff game. Packers are going to win.

There will be regular refs though. 10-4, home for the Vikings. Vikings, but they're going to get a W there. 10-5 at the Bears.

That's tough. That's a Thursday night game. Caleb Williams will be ready.

I think that's a loss. 10-6 at the Rams. I think they're going to get the Rams there and get 11. 11-6 from Dave in Seattle.

Thank you, sir. There you go. That's the first win-loss game. Dave in Seattle. 11-6, I think the Seahawks would sign for that right now.

Yeah, of course you would. That'll put them in the playoffs in the NFC, I think. Oh yeah. So he's got them sweeping the Rams, splitting with the Niners, and sweeping Arizona. That would be 5-1 in division. Wow. At 11-6, 5-1 in division. That's a playoff season.

Yeah, you would think. All right, we're off and running on a scheduled release. Thursday edition of the Rich Eisen Show.

Sue's sitting in for Chris Brockman, Jim Nantz. Next hour and your phone calls at 844-204-RICH. Number to dial right here on a very busy Thursday. We're so psyched to be talking NFL in the middle of May. Hour one is in the books.

It's still here on Roku. How many of those are you going to do? I think you should do as many as the people call in. Oh, I plan on... Last year we did like every team. Yeah. People call in.

Hoskins and Smich and Jordan are building the schedule still as we speak. Because I did not break my non-disclosure agreement. Oh, Rich. That's on you. Mission critical. You got to help.

They were mission critical. No, but they've been working on it overnight. I think we've got every team come and close to it.

So we will try to accommodate. We don't have to get them all in today either. Oh, we got tomorrow. Well, we have 111 days. There we go.

Mission critical, oh my God. You've got Monday and Tuesday too. That's right. Susie's sitting in Monday, Tuesday next week.

I like phone calls. Brockman's back. You'll get the sports host next week. Oh, good. In that chair as you take this chair. Sports host is returning.

He's no longer an actor. With the smug headshot, right? I mean, the headshot's a little smug. Is it a smug headshot? So you're saying it's a smug shot? It's a smug shot. That's Chris Brockman's smug shot?

Yeah, it's a smug shot. He's like, yeah, I'm a sports host. I once was an actor.

But I appreciate him saying the three-hour daily simulcast is based out of Los Angeles. Yesterday you had a problem with the co-host thing, which kind of threw me and Mikey off, because that's what we thought we were. Let me tell you something. I'm the audio executive. I like my title. You were the social media Grand Maester.

Not anymore. No, no, I know. But now you're, I don't know. You're just the Grand Maester, which is great. You're the Grand Maester of the show. Of what, though? Of the show.

Life, TJ. Come up with your own title, then. Yeah. I'm like a co-host.

Welcome to Talkville, the ultimate Smallville rewatch podcast guest star Sarah Carter as Alicia Baker. Although I didn't really work with her a lot. But Tom did, and they had some real big smoochy scenes. Yeah. Should we talk about that? Could there be any more sex? What was the three-page make-out scene that just kept going? Good Lord. We get it. They have chemistry. Jump in now or catch up on any of the past seasons of Talkville on YouTube or wherever you listen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-16 14:22:27 / 2024-05-16 14:45:57 / 24

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