Did the NFL disrespect the Carolina Panthers with its scheduling for the 2016 NFL season? Ron Rivera, the head coach of the defending NFC champions, certainly thinks they deserved better from the league, whether it’s the already bygone opening week, or other problems further down the road, which have to do with little rest and logistical issues.
Forget the fact that you’re the defending NFC champs and you deserve to open up at home in front of your home crowd on opening week. We’re going to make you guys relive it for five more months. That’s how I felt. So for the next five months I’ve got to put up with it, deal with it, answer the questions and relive it constantly over and over and over. Honestly, it became a pain in the ass.
While the NFL is always looking to make a splash on the league’s new season opening night, was a Super Bowl rematch the best thing they should have done? Personally, I feel like both conference winners need to start the season at home, and leave such a big game that would have happened anyway during the season, to a different time.
I struggled with that. I really did from Day 1. There are so many things they could have done to honor us and honor our team, our fans and our city that I thought this would have been a great opportunity to show it. I feel like we were robbed of that. We had to wait a whole week to do it. You can tell, I’m disappointed it didn’t work out that way. I will bring his grievance up at the annual league meetings, but the scheduling is a whole different group of people. There’s not much we can do about it.
Whether or not there will be a moment from the NFL to honor the Panthers for going 15-1 last season and winning the NFC, the Panthers feel like the moment have passed, and there should have been something similar in week 1, not when they’re already 0-1.
Opening week isn’t the only thing the Panthers and Rivera have a problem with when it comes to their schedule, and they may have a point. Things are more complicated than 16 games a season, 8 games at home, 8 games away. There are consecutive road games, some that include two cross country flights. There’s low rest weeks (five days). The Panthers seem to be on the wrong end of the stick when it comes to that.
They don’t like having a late Monday night game against the Washington Redskins before a Saturday night game against the Atlanta Falcons. There’s also the back-to-back road games on the Pacific coast: Oakland and a week later at Seattle, which will force the team to stay in California for the week and train there, avoiding the consecutive cross-country flights. Rivera did have 10 days to prepare for the home opener against the 49ers who are coming off a Monday night game, but he doesn’t include that in his rant about being disrespected. Always hide the facts that weaken your argument.
I mean … we asked for certain things to help us out. We didn’t get any of it. I’m disappointed. Let’s be honest. I’ve got a group of men in there that do the things that we ask the last five years, it’s been a battle to get to where we are … sometimes I feel disrespected.