THE NEW NFL SCHEDULE IS HERE! THE NEW NFL SCHEDULE IS HERE!
The NFL released its '96 schedule yesterday, typically of
more interest to network execs than fans at this time of the
year. Fox immediately began hyping its October 27 match-up
between Jimmy Johnson's Dolphins and the Cowboys. Also, for the
third straight year, Fox will have a Cowboys-49ers matchup in
November (Fox Sports). USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke notes Fox "won
out" over ABC's "Monday Night Football" in getting the Jimmy-
Jerry rematch. The only "frowns and shrugs" came from Turner,
where they will show a nine-game Sunday night schedule. TNT's
teams combined for a .472 winning percentage last year, compared
to ESPN's teams, which averaged a .503. Turner Exec Producer
Mike Pearl, on their draw: "It's not pleasant to look at."
ESPN's Chris LaPlaca accused TNT execs of having "too much time
on their hands." NFL broadcast head/schedule-maker Val Pinchbeck
said of the networks' overall reactions: "You'd like to go 5-0.
I'll take 4-1" (USA TODAY, 4/25).