Every Thursday in the Toy Department brings another installment of "From the Editor's Desk," a weekly dispatch from Tim Wheatley. To ask him questions, register complaints or recommend raises for the Toy Department staff, email him at tim.wheatley@baltsun.com. For previous installments of "From the Editor's Desk," click here.

The NFL has the greatest marketing machine there is. Long ago they turned what used to be a fall sport into a year-round sport. The season expanded, the Super Bowl is later and later, there's free agency, franchise tagging and the scouting combine has become an event that gets nearly as much coverage as the upcoming NFL Draft. There are mini-camps, OTAs, rookie camps and, well, you get the picture. And then there's the NFL Network for around the clock NFL coverage and Thursday night games thrown in for good measure.

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This week they turned another story into an "event.'' The release of the NFL schedule was shown live on the NFL Network at 7 Tuesday night. It was like a Selection Sunday show. And we already knew who the Ravens would play, this just gave the dates and the prime-time games.

Gotta hand it to the NFL brass. They're the best run pro league and they have the numbers to prove it, the most watched spectator sport in the country. There was a time that NASCAR was closing in, but they've dropped back in the pack.

The NFL is able to do this because they have the created a brand that the American people love and we all swallow it hook line and sinker. We see it on the Web, here at the Toy Department and baltimoresun.com. Ravens stories are consistently the highest-read stories on our site.

I still remember the day when I was the Sports Editor at the Indianapolis Star and Saddam Hussein was captured. One of our news editors suggested an "Extra" section that was printed that Sunday afternoon. Their reasoning was it was a HUGE news event and there was a Colts game so they could sell papers. I predicted that the next day the top story on our Web site was going to be the Colts game and not Hussein. I was right. It wasn't even close. And since the Colts beat the Falcons 38-3 most fans left early and we didn't get the papers to the stadium in time to sell many anyway. Oh, the power and draw of the NFL.

I feel sorry for Jamison Hensley, our excellent Ravens beat writer, because he never gets a break. The only down time is a few weeks in June when coaches take their vacations. Right now we're gearing up for extensive and expanded coverage of the NFL Draft. It will begin Sunday and continue throughout draft weekend. Look for coverage in The Baltimore Sun, baltimoresun.com and the Ravens Insider and Toy Department blogs.

And what do you think? Has the NFL reached a saturation point or would you like to see even more? Leave your comments below.

Photo: U.S. Army/Getty Images

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