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This Week in the NFL

Guest Author - Mona McKenzie

As if the lockout didnít exist, the NFL released its 2011 regular season schedule. NFL Network devoted two hours to the new schedule, getting comments from coaches and pundits. Since divisional and conference match-ups, like AFC East vs. NFC East, as well as team home and away games were already determined, there wasnít much ďexcitementĒ regarding the schedule. The season kicks off on September 8th with former Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints taking on the current Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers.

Seemingly, many people were interested in knowing which teams would get the home field nod on September 11, 2011. Three marquee games on that date are Giants vs. Redskins, Steelers vs. Ravens, and the Jets vs. Cowboys in prime time. Letís see if the Ryan brothers actually tone down their antics leading up to the game, due to the significance of the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against our country. Itíll be a somber yet celebratory day for me...Iíll have a huge chocolate birthday cake for my son, who will be a newly minted teenager.

I liked how the NFL continued the trend from last year of scheduling divisional games in December/January. In most cases, this will guarantee that teams will have to play, not rest, their starters at the end of the regular season. Great and intense football should be played during this time, which is one reason why I oppose stretching the season to 18 games. While I wish NFL games were played all year long, the game is just too taxing on a playerís body. There really isnít enough money in the world to compensate a player long-term for all the ailments to come because of football. NFL: Just keep the schedule at 16; Players: Make each and every game the best game ever!

Because the lockout does actually exist, Judge Arthur Boylan mediated four days with both sides. Unfortunately, Judge Boylan will not be able to resume mediation until May 16th, due to scheduling conflicts. Meanwhile, Judge Susan Nelson is expected to rule on the lockout in the near future. Further, Judge David Doty is expected to hear the NFL Playersí request for damages since the NFL was found to have illegally obtained $4B in revenue from their television partners. Whew!

Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall was stabbed by his wife in an apparent domestic dispute. Marshall was treated and released from the hospital. He is expected to have an approximate two or three week recovery period. We wish Brandon a speedy recovery.

Will Cam or wonít Cam be drafted Number 1 in this yearís draft. His stock seems to rise and fall within the first 10 picks. QB Blaine Gabbert, DT Marcell Dareus, OLB Von Miller (a lead plaintiff in Brady v. NFL), and WR A.J. Green are all in the hunt to be #1. With five days to go until the draft, it will be interesting to see who is actually drafted first. Thatís a wrap for this week; letís talk after the draft.
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