By Jason Wojciechowski on August 25, 2008 at 2:19 AM
Because I know you care: I made a spreadsheet of the games I'll probably see on TV this year, mainly relying on The 506's maps of last year, combined with their listings of the national games, and Awful Announcing's lists of which games are on which networks at which times so far. There are three uncertainties in my spreadsheet: first, there are the Sunday Night Games that can be flexed out; second, there's the fact that I'm guessing for any timeslot where the Texans or Cowboys aren't involved; third, I think I'm not in Houston's coverage area so that I won't get blacked out of other games while they have home games going, but I'm not entirely sure about that.
As to that last point, I'm about 85% sure that I'm not in Houston's area. In any case, this would affect only six entries in my spreadsheet: in Week 5, Fox would have to go with an afternoon game, which would be Bucs v. Broncos; in Week 6, Fox's morning game would get blocked; in Week 7, CBS's afternoon game would get blocked; in Week 10, I'd get Panthers v. Raiders in the afternoon; in Week 15, I'd get Vikings v. Cardinals in the afternoon; and in Week 17, CBS's morning game would get blocked. I'd only actually lose two games even if I'm inside Houston's market, but there'd be a fair amount of shifting in terms of which teams I got to see overall.
As to the Flex point, Chicago v. Minnesota in Week 13 seems like the only game that has a good chance of being flexed out, except maybe Chargers v. Bucs in Week 17. The other games involve Dallas (twice), Indy, the Giants, and the Patriots, so they seem to stand a good chance of sticking around.
As to my guesses ... well, they're my guesses. But a summary of the results: I will of course get all 16 Texans games; eleven Cowboys games are for sure, and the two SNF Flex games, as I said, seem likely to stick around. The next-highest team in terms of times I'm sure to see them is the Steelers, oddly enough: nine times! Add in two "questionable" times and I think I'll see them eleven times this year. That ranks behind only Indianapolis in terms of total times I figure I'll see them (13), who are not only a marquee team with a marquee quarterback, like the Steelers, but also a divisional rival of the Texans.
Teams I've got no guarantee of seeing are the Falcons, Rams, and Chiefs. Based on my guesses, I think I will actually not see the Chiefs even once this year. Which is fine by me.
As for the 49ers, I've got two guarantees and one more questionable (in Week 17, Fox's afternoon game, where they're matched up against the Redskins). The two guarantees are Week 12 in Dallas (where they'll likely get blown out) and Week 10 on MNF in Arizona. And of course by Week 17, there's a decent chance "Sully" will be down and out, Alex Smith will be retired, and Rich Gannon will have been lured out of retirement to lead the team to an improbable but meaningless victory at home against the Redskins, leaving them with a 6-10 record on the season.