Reason No. 1: NFL loves the Steelers way more than the 49ers, 30 other teams
Remember that part about East Coast bias? Well, it rears its ugly head again in 2021.
The Pittsburgh Steelers should be entering a full-on rebuild phase after watching quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retire. Yet two things conspire against this: head coach Mike Tomlin’s mastery of avoiding such, and the reality the NFL simply has an affinity for the black and gold that’s inexplicable.
Prior to the 2022 NFL schedule release, ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke down the mileage each team would have to travel this season. Not surprisingly, San Francisco is in the top 10 of most miles having to be traveled with 20,792.
Alright, West Coast teams typically have to travel more almost by default, given the congestion of East Coast cities and teams. Nothing too crazy there.
But here’s the kicker.
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The Steelers, who went 9-7-1 last season and were a Wild Card-embarrassing elimination loss last season, somehow get rewarded for it all by having to travel a mere 6,442 miles over the entire regular season, which ranks the absolute fewest out of all teams.
And the best part? They stay in their time zone the entire time. No kickoffs an hour later than the biological clock would suggest, no back-and-forth trips across the country.
Sure, the 49ers can be pretty upset about that. So should the rest of the league, though, as every other team at least has to visit another time zone at least twice.