Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Owners' Decision Is Blatant Favoritism

by: William P. Tomisser

Hey fellow addicts. I've been really busy playing music lately and haven't had time to post much, and with Chris and Michael doing such a stellar job of scraping up what little Seahawk news there is to bring to every one's attention, I've been laying low.

The decision that was made yesterday at the owners' meeting to allow East coast teams not to have to travel to Seattle and San Francisco in the same year when scheduled to play the NFC West or only having to travel to the Chargers or the Raiders but not both if playing the AFC West just left me fuming when no reciprocal agreement was made for West coast teams traveling East. Here's Mike Sando's story on it in his NFC West Blog.

I felt that I had to rant on this one, and at first I was just posting this as a comment to the article Chris wrote about it when it was just a consideration. After it passed, however, I decided that I had to get it out here where everyone could take his or her shot at it after considering the real ramifications of the decision.

Warning: This one is highly opinionated and has absolutely no balancing argument from the opposing viewpoint. It is pure and simple a homer article and a huge rant. To continue . . .

This decision is the biggest bunch of homer East coast bias bullcrap I've ever seen coming from the owners. If the West coast owners don't complain bitterly, something is really wrong here. It clearly give a competitive advantage to East coast teams over West coast teams.

For an East coast team coming West, it's like an evening game time wise for them and body clocks aren't a real issue just the plane ride. Big deal! When a West coast team goes East, you have the same plane ride AND you have body clocks and body rhythms thrown way out of balance which to me is the real issue here.

An East coast team on the West coast can still get up at normal times according to their established body rhythms, have meals at normal times and in general body rhythms aren't an issue at all. It's just an evening game (from their body clock's perspective) instead of an afternoon game. No different than playing the late game on Sunday or a Monday night game time wise. Absolutely no problem. They can functionally ignore the clocks and forget they're in a different time zone. The only real issue is the long plane ride.

Conversely, a West coast team on the East coast has to get up at the equivalent of 3 AM (according to their body clocks and rhythms) after trying to go to bed at the equivalent of 7 in the evening to get a sufficient amount of sleep. Sleeping in Miami from 10 PM to 6 AM is the same as sleeping in Seattle from 7 PM to 3 AM (which is where your body clock still thinks you are). Try to go to sleep early in the evening sometime and get good restful sleep for 7 or 8 hours.

I suspect the athlete finally gets to sleep somewhere around 1 or 2 in the morning (his normal 10 PM bedtime in Seattle) and then has to get up at 6 AM local time (3 in the morning in Seattle, according to his body clock) to be ready to play a game in four hours at 10 AM instead of sleeping until his normal time of 6 or 7 AM in Seattle, which would be around kickoff time in Miami. That's a huge difference when you're talking about athletes who are otherwise evenly matched and playing a highly competitive game like NFL football -- one is well rested, and the other is fighting fatigue.

How can you expect an athlete to be fully awake and ready to play football at the time his body says it's time to roll out of bed? How fully awake and ready are you to tackle the world when you first roll out of bed and before you've even taken your morning whizz and gotten a cup of coffee? It takes me a good two hours before I'm really starting to get with it. That's just what the Seattle Seahawks look like every time they have to play the morning game on the East coast, too. Usually, they start to wake up around the third quarter, if they wake up at all, long after the game is well out of hand.

That's a totally unfair advantage and it played a big factor in Seattle's record last year when they had to do it three times. Those whiny East coast wimps have now made a rule that says they can't even handle it twice in one season but they can heap it on us three times? They want to call that fair and a shining example of how to add parity to the league? Parity my ass!

That's nothing short of a total unfair disadvantage to the NFC and AFC West teams located on the continental coast, as they are the ones who really have the problem with the cross country travel due to the above discussion on time changes and body clocks and rhythms which don't impact the East coast teams in the slightest. It can totally take a West coast team out of playing up to their potential in a game.

Are the East coast owners getting so so scared of us out here in the West that they have to dream up legislation to give them an unfair advantage by rule? Do Jim Mora's enthusiasm and Tim Ruskell's moves so far in free agency have them so petrified of us getting back to the Super Bowl that they have to do something now to slow us down?

Sometimes I get frustrated with the East Coast bias when it's just reporters giving all their props to the East coast teams, but this is so much more than that because it's a huge competitive advantage to the East and can be a deciding factor in playoff records. Words can't hurt you, but this is getting into the sticks and stones area.

At the very least, just taking the plane ride into consideration. It's the same damn ride to the East coast for us as it is for those teams to come out here. Why should we have to go to the East coast more than once if they don't have to come here more often? I'm so unable to express my outrage at this new rule because words just can't convey it properly even if I cussed a lot. I need to hit something -- hard! Like the side of Goodell's head would be a good start. He really needs a jump start to get his thinking back on track.

What do you guys think? Am I out of line here in my thinking?


Bill T