SOUTH FLORIDA, November 3, 2012—Some people understandably do not want to focus on football at a time like this. America holds a presidential election only two days after the games. More importantly, many people on the East coast, especially in New York and New Jersey, are still reeling from Hurricane Sandy. People are without power, and there are lines at gas stations that rival the misery of the 1970s. After an outrage directed at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Marathon scheduled for this same Sunday was canceled. So the two questions need to be asked. Should NFL games be canceled, and should the New York Giants home game be relocated?
These are tough calls, but the answers are “no” and “no.”
Former Commissioner Pete Rozelle said his biggest mistake was not canceling the games in the wake of JFK’s assassination. Former AFL Commissioner Al Davis did cancel their games, and it was the right thing to do. After 9/11, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue rightly postponed games for that week and rightly returned the games the following week.
Games were not canceled after Hurricane Katrina and were not canceled after Sandy because in both cases the problems were regional, not national. Only one team, the Saints, was affected in 2005. This week the New York Jets have the Week off. So the only team affected is the Giants. Playing the rest of the games is an easier decision.
Yet moving the Giants game is a tougher call. Dan Graziano has an excellent piece on why the game should stay put.
New Yorkers are tough people. After 9/11, they wanted their Jets and Giants (after the appropriate week off) to play football. Although the Giants were on the road that week, the FDNY and NYPD wanted football. Football has the power to lift the human spirit, and it is a way of healing. For others, it is an escape.
As Mr. Graziano points out, the logistical issues are not as bad as they could be. So the only issue is one of propriety. While some would deem it insensitive to play a game while others are suffering, this discounts that others will turn to this game to ease their suffering.
Football is a game, but it is also what the Giants do for a living. The defending champions would have a competitive disadvantage playing an extra road game. Their entire season should not be tougher because others may have hurt feelings. As long as the game is being played, and the logistics are doable, then it should not be relocated. One other consideration is that home games bring revenue into the city, and everybody from concession stand owners to other vendors could use the revenue and the paychecks. Putting them out of work for the day is adding insult to injury.
For this and other reasons, Graziano is right. Leave the game where it is.
Pray for the victims of Sandy. Donate time and money if you can. As for the presidential race, do your part as a citizen.
If you are blessed enough to do so, let Sunday be a respite from the rest. Let’s play football.
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers (8) was the Thursday night game.
Denver Broncos (4) @ Cincinnati Bengals
(Broncos win but fail to cover)
Baltimore Ravens (3.5) @ Cleveland Browns
(Ravens win but fail to cover)
Arizona Cardinals @ Green Bay Packers (10)
Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans (10)
Miami Dolphins (2.5) @ Indianapolis Colts
(Upset special, Colts win outright)
Detroit Lions (4.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
(Lions win but fail to cover)
Chicago Bears (3.5) @ Tennessee Titans
(Upset special, Titans win outright)
Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins (3)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Oakland Raiders (1.5)
Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks (4.5)
(Seahawks win but fail to cover)
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants (3)
(Giants win but fail to cover)
Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons (4) is the Sunday night game.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints (3) is the Monday night game.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian who is obsessed with the National Football League. There is no offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” When not watching football, his only other hobby is Republican, Jewish women. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog. Read more: NFL 2012 Predictions | Washington Times Communities
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