SBD/Issue 145/Franchises

Jets Upset Two Home Games Coincide With Jewish Holidays

The Jets yesterday called the NFL office to "complain about their first two home games of the 2009 season being scheduled for Rosh Hashanah and then hours before the start of Yom Kippur, the two holiest holidays in the Jewish calendar," according to Gary Myers of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. NFL Senior VP/Broadcasting & Media Operations Howard Katz, who "oversees the creation" of the NFL's schedule that was released Tuesday, said, "There was miscommunication between the Jets and the NFL office, for which I take full responsibility. All we can continue to do is look and see if there is a solution to this." Myers notes the Giants "requested the NFL put them on the road Sept. 20 and Sept. 27, the second and third weeks of the season," and Katz said that the Jets "also requested not to play at home on those days, but the message did not get through" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/16). FOXSPORTS.com's Adam Schein wrote, "How in the world does the NFL schedule two Jets home games on Jewish holidays in back-to-back weeks against the Patriots and Titans in Weeks 2 and 3?" The league "should have at least made things easier with" a 1:00pm ET kickoff against the Titans instead of 4:15pm, as Yom Kippur begins at sundown that day. Meanwhile, the NFL scheduled Chargers-Titans on Christmas Day, a Friday, and Schein wrote, "Does the NFL really need to play on Christmas on a Friday night when there are never games scheduled on Fridays?" (FOXSPORTS.com, 4/15). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio wrote scheduling the games in conjunction with Jewish holidays "might not be an issue in other cities, but it's apparently a huge deal in New York." Florio: "Look for the league office to be swamped with complaints over this one" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 4/14).

SCHEDULE NOTES: Katz said the league talked to the Bills about playing their Bills Toronto Series game, which will be played against the Jets, on a Thursday night. Katz: "There were a number of opponents that were considered there. We thought the division game was pretty good and the reception that we got from the Bills, the response, was pretty positive. So it is actually the first that I am hearing that they would have preferred not to have a division game up there" (TIMESUNION.com, 4/15)....In Baltimore, David Steele writes "everybody in town wants to know why the Ravens come off an AFC championship game appearance and are on national television only three times." Steele: "Offense sells tickets. Offensive players bring in ratings. Quarterbacks bring more juice than linebackers. ... Defense is why the Ravens are the Ravens, and that has never made any team in any sport must-see TV" (Baltimore SUN, 4/16).

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