Early risers

Not all the questions NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took during his session with Seahawks season-ticket holders on Friday dealt with the league’s work stoppage. One was about what has become a victory-blockage issue for the Seahawks and other West Coast teams when they travel, especially to the Eastern time zone.

James from Seattle asked the commissioner if the league was planning to address the topic of West Coast teams playing games with 10 a.m. kickoffs – noon in the Central time zone and 1 p.m. in the East.

“Well James, I know Pete Carroll and a lot of other coaches on the West Coast will appreciate your question,” Goodell said. “Because they’ve raised it with me several times before.”

It’s topical again, because five of the Seahawks’ eight road games are scheduled for 10 a.m. kickoffs, Seattle time – Sept. 18 at Pittsburgh; Oct. 9 at the New York Giants; Oct. 23 at Cleveland; Nov. 11 at Dallas; and Dec. 18 at Chicago.

Last season, the Seahawks were 1-1 in games with 10 a.m. kickoffs – losing at St. Louis, but winning at Chicago. But things haven’t been as even in previous seasons: 1-5 in 2009; 1-3 in 2008; 2-3 in 2007; 3-1 in 2006; 2-2 in 2005; 2-3 in 2004; 0-6 in 2003.

Carroll and his predecessors – Jim Mora (2009) and Mike Holmgren (1999-08) – have tried everything. They’ve left a day early for those games. They’ve left the day before those games. They’ve tried not making it an issue. They’ve tried making it an issue. They’ve extended curfew the night before the game. They’ve almost needed extensions after they’ve tugged at their hair because of it.

And the Seahawks are not alone. The 49ers, Raiders and Chargers also have had issues while playing games that start at 10 a.m., body time.

“It’s something that we’re looking at to see how we can address when a team comes back from the West Coast and plays in an early time slot – 10 o’clock on their clock, if you will,” Goodell said. “It’s something we try to address as best we can in the scheduling format.”

One option is having those games involving West Coast teams start at 4 p.m. in the East, so it’s 1 p.m. body time.

“It’s difficult to do, because we have a lot of factors that go into that scheduling – including the broadcast patterns,” Goodell said of needing a certain number of games for each time slot. “But it is something we’ve got to try to find a way to deal with. We’ve been working with the clubs – the Seahawks, in particular, and the 49ers have raised this issue with me.

“I actually have a memo sitting right here on my desk on that front.”

When moderator Steve Raible said that he wouldn’t ask the commissioner to read the memo, Goodell offered, “It came from (the Seahawks). So it’s OK, you guys have it.”


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