The 2011 NFL schedule might have been released this past week knowing full well that there could be the distinct possibility that the regular season could be delayed due to the labor issues remaining undecided. Most people have been insisting that the league will start on time, as there is $9 billion at stake and neither side wants to jeopardize any part of it. With the next time the NFL owners and players getting together scheduled for mid-May, the continued delay in getting a deal done is getting closer to the point of affecting off season regimens and ultimately Training Camp, pre-season and regular season games.
However, the NFL schedule-makes are no dummies. They have concocted a full 16-game schedule for the 32 NFL teams, complete with Bye weeks and a post season schedule that obviously includes the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, Indiana the first weekend of February 2012. But looking at the schedule, it appears to have been "built" with the possibility of a delay in starting the season on time.
Between the way the schedule was set up in the first three weeks of the season, as well as the Bye weeks, plus the fact that apparently the NFL has reserved hotel rooms in Indianapolis for the week following the Super Bowl, it sure looks like this is no coincidence. With this in mind, there is every indication that the regular season might be delayed, yet be able to still have a full schedule with only minor complications.
See the related story on BusinessInsider.com.