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Reading the schedule release tea leaves

The NFL traditionally releases its full schedule for the coming season every April. And we typically spend the latter days of every March trying to figure out when the sheet will be pulled off the full slate of 256 games.

The fact that we already know who’ll play whom doesn’t matter. We all want to know when each game will be played, and whether the teams we love -- and hate -- will be playing on Sunday nights, Monday nights, or Thanksgiving.

Here’s what we know -- with the NCAA finals and the launch of the MLB regular season set for Monday, April 5, the NFL schedule won’t be released then. And with the draft starting on Thursday, April 22, the schedule undoubtedly will be announced before the week of April 19 commences.

Throw out Friday, April 9 and Friday, April 16, since the league won’t want the news to languish in the weekend news cycle. We’ll also scrap Tuesday, April 6, given that most of the day will be devoted to discussion of the NCAA championship game and the full-blown return of the game that was America’s pastime in the days before computers, cell phones, televisions, radios, and/or silent movies.

So we can narrow it down for now to Wednesday, April 7, Thursday, April 8, Monday, April 12, Tuesday, April 13, Wednesday, April 14, or Thursday, April 15.

We’ll go with Wednesday, April 14. There will be only four NBA games the prior night, and a relatively light slate of nine baseball games. Besides, it’ll give us all a valid reason to procrastinate on finishing up those tax forms.

UPDATE: A certain much-hyped golf tourney begins on April 8, which likely knocks that day out, too.