Tom Brady Rattled NFL Schedule Makers

May 9th, 2022

The complete 2022 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday and Joe is fired up. It’s like a happy national holiday!

The NFL has teams of computer programmers working on finding a schedule that sufficiently and equally annoys every team.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times got access to the schedule-making kings and penned a feature behind the newspaper’s pay wall. Joe was interested in a few nuggets.

As Joe has been told by Bucs officials in past years, the team spits out a handful of requests to the NFL for dates they want to be at home or on the road. Or when they want to face a specific opponent. It’s a common practice around the league.

The NFL takes every request seriously but leaves just about every team unhappy on some level.

“So every time a team sends us a request and says, `Hey, can you put us on the road in Week 2, we’ve got Elton John or Lady Gaga,’ you think, `Yeah, sure,’” NFL scheduling czar Michael North said, referring to concerts at stadiums. “One week for them shouldn’t be an issue for the league office, right? Just block it out.

“But then the team says, `Don’t ruin our schedule as a result. We still want to open at home. Just put us on the road in Week 2 and we’ll come home again in Week 3.’ But if 16 clubs have similar asks, that becomes a pretty big constraint on a pretty challenging puzzle which is only getting harder.”

The NFL considers matchups to maximize TV revenue while maintaining a balance of fairness.

For example, Denver now has Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan is in Indianapolis. Those icons of their former franchises will draw big numbers in their former cities. So the NFL isn’t going to want to schedule the Seahawks’ opening game when Denver is playing.

NFL broadcasting chief Howard Katz told Farmer that the Bucs have been a wild card and a league priority.

“When Tom Brady retired, we were concerned about the strength of the NFC package because there were so many terrific Tampa Bay games we were looking at,” Katz said.

“Then a month later he un-retires and we sort of started all over again.”

Joe wonders what requests the Bucs have made to the NFL?

Joe strongly suspects (for reasons that Joe will keep private today) the Bucs have asked to host one of the three Christmas Day games in Tampa. Also, look for Tampa Bay to want to open on the road, as the University of South Florida plays a home game at The Licht House on each Saturday before NFL opening Sunday (Sept. 11.)

27 Responses to “Tom Brady Rattled NFL Schedule Makers”

  1. D-Rome Says:

    Nice article Joe. Really interesting stuff. Thank you.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Would love to know more about the computer program where all the data is input……so many variables to consider…..interesting.

  3. GOB Says:

    What infuriates teams the most, is playing multiple opponents coming off bye weeks, or Thursday night games. It doesn’t happen as much as it did, but is still the biggest disadvantage in the leagues formula

  4. K2 Says:

    Great article!

  5. D-Rok Says:

    Here’s something I’ve wondered for my 45+ years watching NFL football: so the experts/prognosticators issue pre-season power rankings, especially now after the draft. Each team is rated whether they will be good or not. I wonder how much the power rankings affect the league-wide schedule? I’m sure they have to ponder “strength of schedule” for each team based on rankings as well as assignment of prime-time games. Or, is it just a random program that the league plugs into their Cray supercomputers? (LOL) Just a few musings from an inquisitive mind…

  6. brooks Says:

    who cares. is what it is

  7. TBfan4now Says:

    Who cares? [Joe cares which is why he paid for the GD story and spent the time typing it up. If you don’t think how the schedule plays out makes a difference in two or three wins/losses or a successful Super Bowl run, you aren’t paying attention. This may come as a surprise but if you don’t like a story, there are thousands of stories available for free in Joe’s archives. — Joe]

  8. gbobucsfan Says:

    let’s open in Charlotte, get that W out of the way.

  9. SOEbuc Says:

    Whatever that idiot was blabbering about Elton John or Lady Gaga. Why have we played the Rams in the past three years? In the NFC, but they are across the country also.

    Pressure is the name of Brady’s morning coffee. Bring it.

  10. DoooshLaRue Says:

    If you’ve ever been in charge of scheduling employees in a large scale (50 or more), then this is pretty much the same thing.
    You can’t make everyone happy, but you do your best and make sure you take care of your best workers first.

  11. Tony Says:

    They really need to stop sending everybody out of the country to play because on the east coast the games would start at 900 at the earliest. So that would mean on the west coast they’d have to get up at 600 or 700 in the morning just to watch a football game. NOBODY IS GONNA WANT TO DO THAT! Yeah just what I wanna do. Drink beer & get drunk while I’m making some eggs & sausage & bacon & waffles & other stuff like that. It’s just not fair to the fans here either. All of us don’t pay so that they can send the teams out of the country to play. Plus even if it were to happen after awhile I’m sure the players would get tired of it also because those are long plane rides.

  12. GOB Says:

    @D-Rok I’ve wondered the same thing. Just look at the horrible Monday night games that have plagued the league recently. The league thinks they’re going to be great games. But, more often than not the preseason power rankings are inaccurate.

  13. Joe Says:


    There are only going to be more international games, not less. NFL’s initial goal is to have each team play on foreign soil once a year. That is one reason season was expanded to 17 games.

    Joe would bet Seattle volunteered to play the Bucs in Germany.

  14. Miller5252 Says:

    I would think Tampa asked for the last game of the season be at home for Brady. Just in case Tampa doesn’t get any home playoff games, I would think they would want to send Brady off in front of the home crowd. Good for Brady and the fans!

  15. Beeej Says:

    Germany: Do we have a bye week on either end of that? Hope so

  16. Its a Bucs Life Says:

    With Brady 4-5 prime time games

    Without Brady 1, maybe 2 prime time games

  17. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    Beej, I think it’s the usual practice to give teams the week after an international game off, but i don’t know if that’s etched in stone. I’m pretty sure Joe has mentioned it at least once and I’d read it online recently.
    Miller, good point although that would mean the aints would be NFC South champions.
    Our schedule is murder this year, but Sean Payton will be golfing with Drew Brees this year.

  18. Buczilla Says:

    Bucs on Christmas day would be awesome!

  19. Razor Ramone Says:

    I’m half expecting at Dallas on Thanksgiving and Bucs /Rams Christmas night.

  20. Donald Says:

    If you’re curious on why there are still season tickets available for purchase, one reason might be is the ticket office is flagging and canceling anyone who sold an unusual amount of their games from 2021.

  21. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Brooks def isn’t a season ticket holder. Trust me when you have season tix it matters a lot. Early in the season you hope for a couple of night games or at the very least 4:00 starts. Hoping for a couple of Sunday night games at home as there is a lot more juice in the stadium for those games.

  22. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Fwiw Joe I think they should go to two biweeks with more and more international games starting to happen. That as well as the fact that football season is by far the shortest season of all the professional sports. Would love to drag it out a little longer anyway because once it’s over Sunday’s aren’t fun anymore.

  23. Crickett Baker Says:

    there are thousands of stories available for free in Joe’s archives._Joe

    Where are these archives? I have wanted to review some from time to time but see no menu option for them. ?

  24. Trey Long Says:

    Love him or hate him, people want to see the GOAT.

  25. DoooshLaRue Says:


    They are there but they are a royal pain in the azz to go through.

  26. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    This is why I read what @joe writes for all of us real Buc fans. We get stuff that we can only get here . Not like the copy cat other websites that steal old news from BSPN . I won’t name the sites but Rob Leeds is the king of stealing old news and writing things that make me call him “CAPTAIN OBVIOUS” . Go Bucs and go Joe !!

  27. Joe Says:

    Thank you DJ82!