Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Jets, Giants share the 1 p.m. time slot in Week 17
The professional football schedule for Week 17 includes nine games with direct playoff implications for the NFL and two that present a visual anomaly for New York-area television viewers.
The Jets and Giants both play at 1 p.m. this Sunday -- and not against each other -- thereby splitting the nation's No. 1 media market in two. The 6-9 Jets play at the 5-10 Bills on CBS, and the 8-7 Giants host the 4-11 Eagles on Fox.
"There was not a reason to move either game," wrote Dan Masonson, NFL director of corporate communications, in an email to Newsday. "We try to avoid moving game times and there was not a reason to move the game for fans who were looking to attend Jets-Bills at 1 p.m. in Buffalo."
Since Week 17 represents the end of the NFL's regular season, the league tries to sequence games that impact the playoffs.
Jets fans likely will watch the Jets game, and Giants fans will watch the Giants game. But putting rooting interest aside, the Giants' game holds more interest in that it has playoff implications albeit slim ones. The Giants must win, then hope the Bears and Vikings lose and the Cowboys either lose or tie (in the Sunday night game) to earn the last wild-card spot.
"Leaving the Giants game at 1 p.m. puts it at the same time as Chicago at Detroit, which directly impacts on the Giants playoff scenario," Masonson wrote. "Plus it gives New York fans the chance to watch the 4:25 p.m. ET Green Bay-Minnesota game, which also directly impacts the Giants."
If the Giants were moved to the late afternoon slot, and the Bears had already won their 1 p.m. game against the Lions, the Giants' game would have less significance.
The Jets and Giants have played at the same time on the same day against different teams at least twice before. And it brought about positive results for both teams.
Sept. 27, 2009: The Giants beat the Buccaneers, 24-20, and the Jets beat the Titans, 24-17.
Oct. 14, 1984: The Giants beat the Falcons, 19-7, and the Jets beat the Browns, 24-20.
For those wondering, scheduling is discussed with the network partners, but ultimately the decision is the NFL's to make.