NFL schedules were released last week and because an agreement couldn’t be worked out with the Baltimore Orioles, the defending Super Bowl Champion Ravens will start the season on the road Sept. 5 against the Denver Broncos.
Kick off for the Thursday night season opener is set for 7:30 p.m. while the Orioles game against the Chicago White Sox will begin at 6:05 p.m.
Since the two teams share a parking lot that cannot accommodate the combined crowd the events would draw, that leads to a bit of a problem.
Much of the football world has been in an uproar over this and it seems with good reason. Major League Baseball teams play 81 home games every season while NFL teams only play eight home games.
Therefore, it seems like the baseball team should have the ability to be more flexible with scheduling.
Plus, think of the Ravens fans that were excited to celebrate their Super Bowl win at the season opener that will now have to wait until the second week of the season when last year’s success has already been lost in the shuffle of story lines of the new year.
It also seems that the first game of the season is more important for postseason implications than some fans might think.
In the last 10 years, the team that went on to win the Super Bowl has only lost the season opener three times.
However, it was right of the Orioles and MLB to stand their ground.
When the O’s open the series against the White Sox, they will be in the final month of the season when every game seems to matter a little bit more.
Last season, the race for the AL East title came down to the final day of the season when the Orioles lost the game to the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1. That game was on the road.
Of the last 24 games of the season, the O’s get to play two more at home this season than they did at the end of last season.
For a team that hopes to be in the thick of the postseason discussion at the end of the season, those two games could prove to be huge.
Professional baseball teams play almost every day while football teams play once a week. Of course football is a more grueling sport and it would be dangerous to play more often and ridiculous to compare the scheduling of the two sports.
However, when it comes to travel, football teams have no room to complain.
Baseball teams are constantly on the road and throwing in an extra road game and the travel that goes along with it wouldn’t be fair to a team that could be fighting for a chance to play in October.
Haley Markle is the assistant sports editor for the Arkansas Traveler. Her column appears every Monday. Follow the sports section on Twitter @UATravSports.