Last year the NFL has let me down, and this year it looks to be more of the same. When the Patriots faced off against the Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, something about the game didn't feel right. Not the fact that the Panthers lost. Not the fact that people talked about the halftime show more than the great game the teams played. Super Bowl Sunday lost its luster because the game was played on February 1, 2004.
COME ON, PAUL TAGLIABUE! FIX THIS INJUSTICE!
For the past 20 years, the Super Bowl has been primarily played on the final Sunday in January. Before that the game was even earlier in January. The one exception came when the entire NFL season was pushed back one week in 2001 after the September 11 attacks.
This year, however, is the second consecutive year the Super Bowl will be played the first weekend in February (what used to be the ProBowl weekend). Super Bowl XXXIX will be held in Jacksonville on February 6, 2005. Next year will be more of the same as Super Bowl XL will be in Detroit on February 5, 2006.
That just makes me cringe (no, not the fact that it's in Detroit, but that doesn't really help). Since its inception, the Super Bowl has been in January, but with the season expanding from twelve to 14 to 16 games in a season, the post-season would start later and later until finally NFL schedulers agreed to hold the Super Bowl on the final Sunday in January with the adoption of the 16-game schedule.
Now the season has been starting later and later, so the regular season extends into January with the Super Bowl in February. I hope this problem gets fixed soon. And it is a problem. The Super Bowl's place is the last weekend in January. Any other time just doesn't feel right.