The 2019 NFL schedule is out, and it’s super-helpful to know who’s playing and when, so you can make plans. It’s even more useful to have that information displayed within the Calendar app on your iPhone and iPad and Mac so you don’t have to cross-reference some website with the rest of your work and social life, which most likely is stored in your Calendar app.
You’d think you could get NFL calendars onto your iPhone and iPad and Mac by visiting nfl.com, but they don’t have downloadable or subscribe-able calendars there, so don’t bother looking.
It turns out that the best place to go for NFL calendars is the South End Zone website, where you’ll find FREE calendars for every team, and for the post-season, and for prime-time, and more. Before you go there, read on so you know how best to use the calendars at The South End Zone site.
Want calendars for college football bowl games, NBA Playoffs, or March Madness NCAA basketball? Scroll to the end of this article. I take care of that personally, and I have you covered!
The beautiful thing about the South End Zone’s calendars is you can subscribe to them. “Subscribing” to a calendar doesn’t mean you give someone your email address and make an account etc. None of that happens. Instead, “subscribing” means you set things up ONCE and enjoy NFL schedules that update as games are played, year after year, without ever doing anything else. Another beautiful thing: the times shown for the games are always in your local time zone! If you’re in California on a Monday Night, South End Zone’s calendar shows game time as 5:15 PM. If you’re in Texas that night, it shows the game time as 7:15 PM. It’s awesome.
Note: you can put the South End Zone’s calendars onto PCs and Android devices too. If you must.
The Sound End Zone calendars are updated after each game, so when a game goes final, if you’ve subscribed (and not just “imported”) you’ll seen info like so:
Need more reasons to subscribe? Well, consider “Flexible Scheduling,” which allows the Sunday Night game to be swapped out with another more interesting game. Consider the natural disasters that prompt changes (remember the fires in San Diego that moved the Monday Night game to Arizona?). And consider the playoffs, which can’t be in the calendar now, because we can’t know who will be in the playoffs yet… but if you subscribe, all of these changes and updates will magically appear, without you doing anything in the future. AND… if you subscribe, you won’t have to do anything next year either! The games will simply show up in your Calendar app. And it’s free. So, subscribe!!!
I assume you’re convinced that you want to subscribe. Read on and I’ll explain how to do it.
How to add NFL Schedules to your Mac
Adding the NFL Schedules to your Mac is really easy. There are two ways to do it: the “Direct” way, and the “via Google Calendar” way. Each way has its advantages. Either way, you’ll be getting the calendar into your Mac’s Calendar app, and of course you can toggle calendars on and off anytime you want.
Start by going to the South End Zone website’s iCal NFL Schedules page.
You’ll see a link for a calendar for every team in the NFL, and a bunch of special ones (prime time games, post season games, all of the games for the AFC West, etc.). I know what you want to do: you want to click a link and get a calendar. I’m here to tell you not to.
If you click a link, you’ll download the calendar file, which you then can import into your Mac’s Calendar app– but you won’t be subscribing. So don’t do that. Instead, Control-click, or right-click, a link, and copy it. You’re going to paste it shortly.
Each link looks something like this:https://www.southendzone.com/ical/49ers.ics
With the link copied, go to the Calendar, then to File –> New Calendar Subscription…
Paste in the link you copied previously and you’ll see something like this:
When you click Subscribe you’ll see another box, and you should adjust it to your liking (you can fix this later if you need to). Pick a color, pick how often the calendar should update, pick a place to store the calendar. This picture shows how I would do it.
Repeat for every calendar you’re interested in, and you’re all set. Easy. Except for one thing: if you do it this way, even though you’ve put the you will NOT see the calendars on your iPhone, and you will not see the calendars on your iPad. Actually, you’ll see the calendars, but you won’t see the events. It’s not good.
You would think that storing the calendars in iCloud (see above) would automatically make them available to your iPhone and iPad, and indeed the calendar subscriptions do appear on your iOS devices… but the events will not. This is a change from past years, so if you subscribed some time in the past, and it used to work on your iOS devices but doesn’t now, you’re going to have to go about subscribing another way. Sorry about that, but that’s the way it is– and we have an easy work-around anyway. You just have to read a little further.
Of course if you don’t care about having the calendars on your iPhone or iPad, you’re done, you’re all set, enjoy the games.
I have prepared special links to some calendars I think you may like, courtesy of South End Zone, and you can save yourself a copy-and-paste by clicking them. See below. First, here are the calendars:
- All prime-time games (Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football)
- All NFL games (all teams)
- All post-season games
- All San Francisco 49ers games
- All Green Bay Packer games (for my friend Tom)
(Obviously the post-season schedule is unknown until the end of the season, but South End Zone updates its calendars as soon as there is new information, so when the time comes for playoffs, the post-season calendar will have the info you need.)
These links will open up the Calendar app on your Mac, like so:
After clicking “Allow” the rest of the process is the same as described above.
The reason these links open your Mac’s Calendar, and the South End Zone’s don’t, is that the links I’ve made start with “webcal://” instead of “https://”. Everything else is the same. You save some trouble when you use my links but you’re still getting the South End Zone’s calendars.
That takes care of getting the NFL Schedules onto your Mac. But what about getting the NFL Schedule onto your iPhone and iPad? Read on, I have the answer for you. (In fact, if you do it the way I’m about to describe, you can take care of your Mac the same way.)
How to add NFL Schedules to your iPhone and iPad
In years past, subscribing to a South End Zone calendar on the Mac and storing it in iCloud meant you could see that calendar on your iPhone and iPad also. Unfortunately, something about iOS puts a heavy load on the South End Zone server, and starting with the 2019 season, iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads are prevented from directly accessing South End Zone schedules. But, it turns out there’s an easy workaround.
The basic idea: you add the desired South End Zone calendar to your Google account, and then you add the calendar– via your Google account– to your iOS device. It’s easier than it sounds and it works just fine. Here’s how to do it.
Note: you have to do this from a browser. You can’t do it from the Google Calendar app.
First, you’re going to need a Google account. You might have one already; if you have a gmail.com email address, that’s your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, go get one. It doesn’t cost anything and there will be plenty of other times that you’ll be glad you have it.
Now go to the South End Zone’s iCal calendar page, control-click (or right-click) on the calendar you want, and then go to calendar.google.com to bring up your Google calendars.
On the left-hand side, look for “Other calendars” and then click the plus. You’re going to add a calendar “From URL.” This is important– you might think “Subscribe to calendar” is the right thing to do, but it isn’t.
Now paste the URL you copied into the box, and then click the blue “Add calendar” button. Here I’m adding the Rams calendar.
If you use Google’s calendar app on your iPhone, and not the Apple Calendar app, you’re done. Open up the Google Calendar app on your iPhone or iPad and you’ll see the calendar you just added. If you want to use Apple’s Calendar app, you’re almost done. Keep reading.
Your calendar will appear in the left-hand side of the Settings. If you click on it, you’ll get the settings for that particular calendar, as shown below. Click where it says “Integrate calendar.”
You can always get back to these settings– just click the three stacked dots next to the calendar’s name in Google Calendar (still in a browser) and you’ll see the settings.
Clicking “Integrate calendar” gives you a screen with a bunch of long, long, LONG links. The one you want is “Public address in iCal format” (highlighted in blue below). Copy that address.
Now go to your Mac’s Calendar app, then File–> New Calendar Subscription…, and then paste in the URL. If you put it into the iCloud section (yes, do that) you will see it on your iPhone and iPad too. Now you’re done!
The reason this works is Google connects to South End Zone in a nice graceful way, putting very little load on the server. iPhones and iPads in their native way place a very BIG load on the server, and are blocked from making direct connections. So, you let Google connect to South End Zone, and then your iPhone and iPad connect to Google. It works, the server isn’t overloaded, and everyone is happy.
There are no better NFL calendars than the ones provided by South End Zone. They’re the calendars I use. Thanks to Scott Crevier of South End Zone for providing this service to pro football fans, for free.
Please leave a comment if you this article helped you. Or share it with your Facebook friends. That helps me too. Thank you.
Note: all of the above is for pro football, of course. But, if college football’s your thing, check out my article with links to calendars you can import into your Mac or iPhone, for every college football team, and for college football bowl games. If the NBA Playoffs are what you want, I made a calendar for that too. I also made one for March Madness. As far as I know, these are the only subscribable calendars for college football bowl games and the NBA Playoffs and March Madness that integrate with your iPhone and Mac calendar apps. And they’re free. So come and get ’em.