By Releasing 2011 Schedule, NFL Playing More Mind Games

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Rather like the end-of-the-world kook who nevertheless brushes his teeth, the NFL has released the full 2011 schedule. And have they ever ... the pretty & colorful interactive team-by-team chart is chock full of nuts and nuggets.

Are we to assume that the league organization is a many-armed octopus, and that the scheduling people are just doing their job without being influenced by the current lockout?

The other possibility is the NFL's desire to tighten the vice by dangling the luscious fruits of the next season just out of our grasp. For example, the season kickoff would be Saints at Packers. I want it!

Tantalus indeed. The DC Skins would have one of their easiest schedules in recent memory, ranking 29th. Even better, our out-of-division games are either against pushovers or (Jets, Patriots) are at home. Sure would be a shame to miss out on a season which has a realistic 9-7 look.

By contrast, the Panthers have the hardest schedule in the NFL which just seems intentionally cruel. They may have a hard time reaching two wins.

Of course, it's all rather pointless if there's no 2011 season. You losers.