It's not quite a holiday, but let's face it, a lot of people treat the release of the NFL schedule as one.
That happened Wednesday, and fans of all 32 teams got to visualize for the first time how their teams' 2014 campaign might play out.
In Arizona, fans of the Cardinals seem to be pretty happy with the way the schedule makers set up their team. For the first time in team history, Arizona will play prime time games on Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights.
Cardinals president Michael Bidwill is also pleased.
"So many times over history, the NFL schedule makers haven't given us a lot of respect, but there's no doubt this year, they gave us a lot of respect," Bidwill told Doug and Wolf Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "I think we deserved it after going 10-6 and what Bruce Arians, the other coaches and the players did on the field was really amazing.
"So we got a lot of respect from the league. Including our preseason, we've got four nationally televised games. I like our schedule a lot."
The Cardinals open up on Monday Night Football Sept. 8 when they host the San Diego Chargers at University of Phoenix Stadium. The other two prime time regular-season games are NFC West tilts that come much later in the schedule. In Week 15, the Cardinals travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams in a Thursday night affair. That's followed by a Sunday night home game against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
In fact, five of the Cardinals' six division games come in Week 10 or later, including three straight to end the season.
Bidwill has no problem with that, either
"I think it's a positive. I think it's going to be more exciting for the fans," he said. "It certainly puts more pressure on us to do what we did last year, which is finish very strong -- and we did.
"I like the idea of finishing the year at San Francisco. In 2013, they certainly stung us with a last-second field goal. That's going to be a very interesting game because a lot could be at stake those last two weeks of the season."
2014 Arizona Cardinals Schedule
|1||Monday, Sept. 8||San Diego Chargers||University of Phoenix Stadium||7:20 p.m.|
|2||Sunday, Sept. 14||at New York Giants||MetLife Stadium||10:00 a.m.|
|3||Sunday, Sept. 21||San Francisco 49ers||University of Phoenix Stadium||1:05 p.m.|
|5||Sunday, Oct. 5||at Denver Broncos||Sports Authority Field at Mile High||1:05 p.m.|
|6||Sunday, Oct. 12||Washington Redskins||University of Phoenix Stadium||1:25 p.m.|
|7||Sunday, Oct. 19||at Oakland Raiders||O.co Coliseum||1:05 p.m.|
|8||Sunday, Oct. 26||Philadelphia Eagles||University of Phoenix Stadium||1:05 p.m.|
|9||Sunday, Nov. 2||at Dallas Cowboys||AT&T Stadium||11:00 a.m.|
|10||Sunday, Nov. 9||St. Louis Rams||University of Phoenix Stadium||2:25 p.m.|
|11||Sunday, Nov. 16||Detroit Lions||University of Phoenix Stadium||2:25 p.m.|
|12||Sunday, Nov. 23||at Seattle Seahawks||CenturyLink Field||2:05 p.m.|
|13||Sunday, Nov. 30||at Atlanta Falcons||Georgia Dome||2:05 p.m.|
|14||Sunday, Dec. 7||Kansas City Chiefs||University of Phoenix Stadium||2:05 p.m.|
|15||Thursday, Dec. 11||at St. Louis Rams||Edward Jones Dome||6:25 p.m.|
|16||Sunday, Dec. 21||Seattle Seahawks||University of Phoenix Stadium||6:30 p.m.|
|17||Sunday, Dec. 28||at San Francisco 49ers||Levi's Stadium||2:25 p.m.|