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BC Bob

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: November 24, 2006, 07:36:15 AM

Roy Cummings game report in today's Tampa Tribune quoted Jon Gruden as saying that playing three games in eleven days has "never been done before.  Why do you think it's never been done before?  It's a hard deal.  I thought the outcome of today's game had a lot to do with that, yeah." 

I decided to do some quick checking to see whether, in fact, any team had ever before played three games in eleven days.

The result:

I checked the NFL schedule back through 1997.  During that time, there were two other instances where a team played three games in eleven days.  Both times it was Dallas and it occurred in the 2004 and 2005 seasons.  So, contrary to Jon's indication, it has happened before.  However, to be fair to Jon, the Bucs had to go on the road for two of their three games, whereas in Dallas's two instances, it played  two of its three games at home. 

In 2004:  Dallas lost, 49-21, at home to Philadelphia on Monday night, 11/15.  They then lost at Baltimore, 30-10, on Sunday, 11/21.  Then, in the Thanksgiving game on 11/25, they won 21-7 over Chicago.

In 2005:  Dal won 21-20 at Philadelphia on Monday night, 11/14.  They then won at home over Detroit, 20-7, on Sunday, 11/20.  Then, in the Thanksgiving game, they lost to Denver, 24-21 in OT.

yuccaneers

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#1 : November 24, 2006, 07:57:23 AM

Just so you know i think there where 3 team that have played 3 games in eleven days with 2 of the games being on the road with the Bucs being the fourth team to do it.

The Bucs are the fourth team since 1978, that have been scheduled to play three games in 11 days, with two of them on the road.

The previous three - Seattle (0-3) in 1980, Washington (1-2) in 1990 and Buffalo (1-2) in 1994

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BC Bob

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#2 : November 24, 2006, 08:38:31 AM

Excellent information, Yuc. 

I don't understand why our sportwriters don't call him out on his repeated references to this aspect of the Bucs schedule as not having happened before.  They need to do a better job.

I happen to be a Gruden fan (albeit, unlike some, I think he makes a fair number of mistakes), but I was disappointed that he referenced this 3 games in 11 days so much anyway.  I recognize that he needed to leave himself some room at least partially to blame the schedule if things didn't work out, but by overdoing it in my opinion, he essentially gave the team a ready-made excuse for losing which can affect a team's confidence going into a game.  (The same, in my view, holds true when a coach repeatedly references injuries, the strength of the schedule the team faces, etc.).   I would have preferred that Gruden have said something before the three games along the lines of the NFL has given the Bucs a difficult challenge and it is a challenge "we intend to overcome."  Later, after the three games were finished, he could have picked up on the information you cited, complained that, while it was far from the only reason they lost, the Bucs were hampered by a schedule that no team has faced in 12 years, and the Bucs did as well as any team ever has when given this kind of schedule.  That would have given him the ability to blame the schedule while, at the same time, putting a somewhat positive spin on things (as he likes to do).


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#3 : November 24, 2006, 08:40:51 AM

The previous three - Seattle (0-3) in 1980, Washington (1-2) in 1990 and Buffalo (1-2) in 1994

Wow!  Everytime they schedule a team to 3 games in 11 days, they take a beatdown.  1-2 is the best record yet.    You'd think the NFL would have learned not to do that.   At first I thought it wasn't such a big deal.  But it now appears that Gruden has a valid complaint. 
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