Monday, September 29, 2008

Should the Seahawks Alter Schedule for 10am Games?

by: Michael Steffes

I think that one idea that will be kicked around this week by fans is whether or not the Seahawks should alter their schedule to accommodate the 10 AM PST start. It is a reasonable thought. Nothing else has worked for the early morning East coast starts, right?

There are a couple of reasons that I think that this approach is not only a mistake, but possibly even counterproductive.

First off, the team needs to put in good, focused practices this week. If the team chooses to start practicing at an early morning hour, it throws the players' clocks off for practice. Even if they start to adjust by Sunday, which is not a given, they may not have gotten an effective week of preparation. A good week of practice, probably more than anything else, positively effects the outcome of a game.

Also, there is a staggering amount of evidence that suggests the Hawks aren't great in these situations. However, they actually fare better in east coast morning games than they do in night games. This suggests that it has nothing to do with the supposed body clock issues, and likely stems from one of the other numerous things going against them on the road in the eastern time zone.

There is one thing I might consider doing if I were the Hawks. This may sound ridiculous, but I would leave later in the week. My experience with travel, and maybe some of you can back me up, is that it is not the first day that the jetlag really hits, but the second. Flying on Friday means they will be playing on that second day. If the team were to leave on Saturday afternoon, they would be able to keep their regular routines a day longer. They would hopefully be tired on Saturday night, simply from traveling all day, and maybe from waking up early to do a walkthrough on Saturday morning before the flight as well. They then can play the game before their bodies even know what hit them.

I am just speaking off-the-cuff here, but in my opinion practicing early is a self-defeating proposition. However, changing the travel schedule could be something worth trying. It will be interesting to hear if Mike Holmgren is making any changes for the 10 AM game this week. Clearly what Arizona tried isn't the answer. Maybe the team just needs to gut out a big victory and stop all the talk about the East coast morning/travel jinx. That would certainly help. ~END~