NFL schedules the Steelers to play on Christmas again
April 21, 2017 12:00 AM
Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward expressed his displeasure with the 2017 NFL schedule on Twitter Thursday. He is not happy the Steelers have to play on Christmas for the second year in a row.
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The NFL turned into a grinch for the Steelers again.
They were the only team to play on all three holidays during the 2016 season, but they did not earn much sympathy from the league, which scheduled them to play at Houston late Christmas afternoon this year.
Instead of playing on Dec. 23 or even Christmas Eve, the league scheduled the Steelers for a 4:30 p.m. game on a Monday, one of only two games to be played on the holiday.
Defensive end Cam Heyward made his displeasure known about the second-consecutive game on Christmas with this Tweet last night:
“Wow surprise surprise let's play Christmas again. Real creative #not”
The Christmas Day game, which requires the Steelers to fly to the farthest point on their 2017 schedule on Christmas Eve, likely will be greeted with similar sentiment by the organization this time. The NFL came to the Steelers last year and asked them if they’d be willing to play on Christmas Day at home, even after playing on Thanksgiving in Indianapolis. They said they would, and the NFL showed their gratitude by putting them in Houston Christmas Day next season.
The rest of their schedule, announced by the NFL Thursday night, is a good mix that features five straight 1 p.m. games to open the season and then four straight prime time games near the end.
The Steelers, who often have played at Cleveland near the end of the season, open and close against the Browns — at Cleveland to start on Sept. 10 and at home in the season finale on New Year’s Eve, also at 1.
Three of their first seven games are against their AFC North division opponents. After opening with the Browns, the Steelers play at Baltimore Oct. 1 and against Cincinati at home Oct. 22. Their off week comes smack in the middle of the season, in the ninth week.
Besides the Christmas Day game, they play only two others which aren’t on Sunday — Thursday at home against Tennessee Nov. 16 at 8:25 p.m., and Monday Dec. 4 at Cincinnati at 8:30 p.m.
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