Pick Six  


No Chargers Girls in costumes, with other gripes and oddities

Denis Poroy/Associated Press

Making the NFL schedule cannot be an easy task. And I would never want to be negative about a group who, no doubt, spent a lot of time and effort getting the schedule done. But how can the Chargers not have a late-October game at home?

As Chargers season ticket holders know, the late October game was a must-see event in San Diego. Why? Five words: Chargers girls in Halloween costumes. Sure, other cheer squads have emulated it, but the Chargers are the best in class.

This season, the Chargers latest October game is on the second. Way too early for Halloween costumes. Bah humbug. Of course, Chargers fans are probably more preoccupied with the notion of starting the season with four home games in five weeks, not the Halloween costumes.

With that in mind, here are six more oddities and gripes about the upcoming schedules.

And without further ado ...

6. Sunday night game during the World Series
Come on NFL, everybody knows that we rule the roost. Do we need to rub it in everybody's noses? This is akin to the Undertaker challenging to the entire cast of "Glee" to a Hell in a Cell match. It's just not fair. And a lot of times it is the true sports fan who suffers. Unless you have a DVR. But still, it's not the same.

5. Colts play host to the Texans in Week 16
All right schedule makers, who has Peyton Manning as a fantasy keeper? And could you be a little bit more subtle about it? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie fooling around during the filming of Mr. & Mrs. Smith (while Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston) were less obvious. Manning is guaranteed for 40 fantasy points in this game. Well played, guys.

4. No Bears vs. Packers for NFL Kickoff
Nobody is going to complain about the last two Super Bowl winners getting the 2011 season started. But having the Bears and the Packers -- the oldest rivalry in the league -- start off the season just seemed like the right thing to do. And who knows, Jay Cutler might have even stayed for the full game this time.

3. Giants get just nine home games
Yeah, yeah, the Giants ninth home game is technically a home game for the Jets. Much in the same vein that the Clippers are playing host to the Lakers at Staples Center. But if one team was going to get an extra home game, it figures to be the Giants, right? Plus the Giants get four prime-time games. The up-and-coming Bucs get two. That doesn't seem fair.

2. I'll be home for Christmas
But  the Packers won't be home for Thanksgiving or New Year's Day. By playing on those three holidays the Packers are the first team in NFL history to accomplish that somewhat dubious feat. But hey, when you win the Super Bowl, this is the price of success.

1. Need better rivalry weeks
The Steelers and Ravens will finish their season series by Week 9. The Browns and Steelers won't face each other until Week 14. (Ditto for the Cowboys and the Giants, who meet for the first time in 2011 in Week 14.)The move to have division games in the final two weeks has been awesome. Maybe the NFL could take a nod from college football and have rivalry weeks already entrenched or at least more evenly displaced over the course of a season.