NFL schedule for 2010 season unveiled Tuesday night

View of football goalposts during an extra point attempt.

The NFL schedule for the 2010 season will be released on Tuesday night, an anticipated event for starving football nuts during offseason. Flickr photo.

The NFL schedule for the 2010 season will be released tonight at 7 p.m. If you’re a football-starved fan, the release of the NFL schedule is like Christmas, or your birthday, or pay day cash during a bleak, boring offseason. If you don’t care about football, you’re probably scratching your head in wonder over how such a tremendous buzz can be generated over the NFL schedule. You may think the same thing about the NFL draft, which is being hyped so much that the proceedings will be televised live in prime time from the Radio City Music Hall in New York City April 22-24.

NFL schedule: any news is good news

When it comes to the NFL schedule some of the details can be interesting to hardcore fans when there’s nothing on TV. The biggest news about the NFL schedule for 2010 is that the final week of the season exclusively features divisional games. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell insisted upon this change to try to boost TV ratings, which suffered during late season mismatches pitting playoff-bound teams against teams playing for the first pick in the upcoming NFL Draft — an honor awarded to the club with the worst record in the league. Last season the Indianapolis Colts, at 14-0, sat quarterback Peyton Manning and tanked to preserve his health for a Super Bowl pay day.

NFL schedule 2010:  What to watch for

The NFL schedule has plenty of other things for football nuts to watch for. Michael Lombardi at said that when it comes to opponents, finishing strong is more important than getting off to a good start. Lombardi recommends examining your favorite team’s last eight games to see how many tough road trips they will face.

More NFL schedule tidbits

The NFL schedule for 2010 includes more potential stories. One schedule that will stand out is the Pittsburgh Steelers’. It’s a good bet that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has made headlines for sexual assault charges on two different occasions, will be suspended for at least four games. The Steelers’ early season opponents will be licking their chops. And Pete Carroll, who is returning to the NFL to coach the Seattle Seahawks after building a dynasty at the University of Southern California, will be facing two of his former stars: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart and New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush.

NFL schedule: offseason, off the field

Meanwhile, until the NFL schedule for 2010 kicks in, ESPN has graciously provided football nuts with some key dates to get excited about during the long, boring offseason:

May 24-26: NFL spring meeting, Dallas

June 27-30: NFL Rookie Symposium, Carlsbad, Calif.

Mid-July: Training camps open

Aug. 8: Pro Football Hall of Fame Game: Cowboys vs. Bengals, 8 p.m. ET, Canton, Ohio

Aug. 12-16: First preseason weekend

Aug. 31: Roster cutdown to maximum of 75 players.

Sept. 4: Roster cutdown to maximum of 53 players

Sept. 9-13: Kickoff 2010 Weekend

Feb. 6, 2011: Super Bowl XLV, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas

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