The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were not the only ones that were forced to rethink their plans for the new season when Tom Brady announced he was coming out of retirement. The people making the schedule for the 2022 NFL season had to change their plans too.
Brady Threw a Spanner in the Works
Creating all the fixtures for an 18-week regular season in the NFL is never easy. Fixture planners have to take into account the number of home and away games each team will play and also think about things like concerts and shows taking place at stadiums.
So, when Brady announced that he was retiring and then announced his ‘unretirement’ a month later, schedule makers must have been a pretty furious bunch. Reports say they had already pieced together most NFL match-ups when Brady announced his U-turn which forced them to tear up those plans and go back to the drawing board again.
Something Similar Happened in 2020
You might think that one player might not be such an important factor to affect the fixture list and TV schedule, but Tom Brady is not just any other player. When the quarterback signed for the Bucs in 2020, they became the first pick for prime-time TV windows and his former team, the New England Patriots, went down that popularity ladder.
So, if Brady had stayed retired, the NFC would have lost one of its main stars and some of its prime-time broadcasts as a result. Match planners are said to have found alternatives and reportedly filled that void when Brady came out of retirement and took them back to the starting point.
NFL broadcasting chief Howard Katz said that they were concerned that with Tom Brady’s retirement, they would lose a lot of “terrific Tampa Bay games” that they were already counting on.
However, Katz ‘complained’ that when Brady unretired, those games came into play once again, but they had to go back to the beginning of the fixture-making process.
NFL 2022 Schedule To Be Released on May 12
Even though fixture-makers had to work overtime to adapt the schedule to accommodate Brady’s return, the NFL had no problems with one of their biggest stars coming out of retirement.
Bucs’ playoff games against the Rams and Eagles a season ago were among the highest-rated postseason duels, and there’s little doubt that the Brady factor will have the same effect on NFL viewer numbers this season too.
One of those games that NFL fans will tune in for is the Bucs vs Seattle Seahawks match-up. The Seahawks game will take place in Germany and is one of several high-profile international games the NFL has already announced the teams will play outside the US.
The 2022 NFL schedule will be released on May 12 (Thursday) at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
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