Sunday, January 11, 2015

Time Zones and NFL Divisional Weekend

This year's NFL Divisional Weekend games were hosted by New England, Seattle, Green Bay and Denver. Those teams are in the Eastern, Pacific, Central and Mountain time zones respectively - the only four time zones to house NFL teams. This may not seem so interesting except that on Wildcard Weekend or Divisional Weekend, when there are only four games all weekend, no time zone can be repeated. That means if, for example, any two of such AFC powerhouses as New England, Baltimore, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh host games, this condition can't be fulfilled. Possibly the most difficult part is fulfilling the Mountain Time Zone condition, as only two teams are located in that time zone - Arizona and Denver. At least they've both been good recently.

The last time all four games on a playoff weekend with four games were hosted in different time zones was the 2008-2009 season, when all four Wildcard Weekend games were hosted in different time zones. Their cities were Arizona (MST), San Diego (PST), Minnesota (CST) and Miami (EST). Oddly, that season, the Divisional Weekend games were all hosted in the Eastern Time Zone (Tennessee, Carolina, Pittsburgh, New York [Giants]).

The last time all four Divisional Weekend games were hosted in different time zones was the 2005-2006 season. Their cities were Seattle (PST), Denver (MST), Chicago (CST) and Indianapolis (EST). Seattle and Denver both hosted Divisional Weekend games that season, just like this one.

Denver's ongoing prowess is probably to thank for why this phenomenon doesn't occur at some crazily infrequent interval like every 27 years. Still, it's interesting. Time-wise, there's a game for everyone!

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