What fun are sports if they don’t give you stuff to complain about? For football fans, the whining season starts the day the schedule is released. Somehow, every year your team gets unfairly targeted. The people in charge of this decision specifically hate you and want your team to have the most difficult schedule possible. It’s weird how they always manage it, but it probably has something to do with black magic. Who knows how these shady figures operate?
Computers. That’s how. According to Sports Illustrated, the four-person team behind the schedule relies on almost 400 computers to come up with tens of thousands of possible options. Unless AI has finally mastered emotion and decided to use its power to make each Joe Blow in Everytown, USA, unhappy, they probably aren’t actually biased.
If anything, the computers are ridiculously smart. Possible schedules take absolutely every difficulty into consideration. In the past that has included things like visits from the Pope, marathons, concerts, rugby games, even the World Junior Hockey Championships. The TV schedule in each market has to be considered. They even try to honor requests from the teams themselves. In the end, if everyone is a little upset, they probably did their job right.
And they get better every year. Now they throw out hundreds of not-good-enough schedule options that would have been played a decade ago. But, of course, none of this will stop people claiming that they have specifically been targeted.