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49ers: Thanks for nothing, schedule makers

11/22/2011

The NFL schedule makers showed little regard for the San Francisco 49ers under first-year coach Jim Harbaugh.

The 49ers drew five 10 a.m. PT kickoffs. They drew a Monday night home game against Pittsburgh, followed by a trip to Seattle. And, as Harbaugh pointed out Monday, the 49ers' trip to Baltimore this week requires cross-country travel for a Thursday night game.

"It’s unique," Harbaugh said. "It's the first time in history that two brothers have coached against each other. This will be the first time since they went to a 16-game schedule that a team has traveled three time zones to play a Thursday game."

The 49ers did visit the New England Patriots for a Thursday game in 2002. Oakland visited New England for a Thursday game in 2005. Those games were regular-season openers, however. Neither visiting team was coming off a regular-season game in the Pacific time zone.

In 2008, the Arizona Cardinals played a Thanksgiving game at Philadelphia. And in 1995, the New York Giants played a Thursday game at Arizona one week after Thanksgiving.

However, those visiting teams did not cross three time zones. Arizona is on Mountain standard time; its clocks match up with Pacific time part of the year because the state does not observe daylight savings.