Postponing A Football Game For Snow? The NFL Is Getting Soft
Thanks to all of the head injuries that players have been suffering from the last few seasons, the league stepped up quickly earlier this year and made sure that those injuries would be limited moving forward. They put new fines in place, made sure players were aware of the dangers of improper tackling techniques and had NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speak out publicly on several different occasions to show that the league was not taking the rash of concussions spreading amongst its’ players lightly.
While some would argue otherwise, that was the perfect example of the NFL going soft in a good way. By implementing changes, they helped protect their players and proved that they were willing to sacrifice the profits of a few of their NFL Biggest Hits! DVDs in order to keep their players safe.
However, is anyone else getting the sense that the NFL is getting a little too soft in other areas? Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell sure thinks so. After the NFL postponed the Sunday night game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings until tonight thanks to—get this—snow, the governor joined plenty of NFL fans out there in calling the league out for making such a soft decision.
“It’s an absolute joke,” he told FOX News. “I was looking forward to this. It would have been a real experience. This is what football is about about. We’re becoming a nation of wussies.”
In the NFL’s defense, the tri-state area was projected to get up to two feet of snow on Sunday afternoon into Monday morning. And holding an NFL game in Philly could have put a lot of lives at risk. In theory, at least. But in this case, we have to side with the governor of Pennsy. Are we really becoming a nation full of wussies? Should to NFL have cancelled a game because of snow in Philly when, almost every other week, there’s an NFL team in Buffalo or Cleveland playing in a snowstorm? And is the NFL actually hurting itself by missing out on a real moment by choosing to play it safe?
The truth is that it’s hard to fault the NFL or Goodell for the decision they made. While a Sunday night NFL game in the snow would have been great for the league, a Tuesday night game will also be an experience for NFL fans in Philly. But we have to fault them in this instance because it sets a bad precedent moving forward. The NFL has, in a way, sold itself out and become about more than just pleasing its’ fans anymore. They didn’t care that thousands of people wanted to see the Eagles play the Vikings Sunday night. They only cared about a series of ‘But, what if…?’ questions that involved everything but the outcome of the game.
The bottom line is that the NFL is getting soft right now. In some ways, like when it comes to concussions, that’s a good thing. But in just about every other way, it’s a bad idea for the league to continue down this path. The league shouldn’t have just played a game in Philly on Sunday night—they should have celebrated the fact that they had a blockbuster game in the snow. They should have embraced the opportunity and used it to further their fan base. It’s what the old NFL would have done to keep its’ fans happy.
Instead, they took the high road, played it safe and rescheduled the game. It probably isn’t the worst decision the league has made in recent years, but it sends a very clear message to players, fans and anyone who follows the NFL: The game is changing. And we’re not sure that’s necessarily the right message to be sending out right now, especially with a labor lockout pending and a ton of negative PR about to besiege the league.
Because, right now, there’s only one question running through our minds: What, oh what happened to the old NFL? The NFL that wouldn’t let a little snow stop the show. That is the NFL that we all know and love. Let’s just hope the current NFL doesn’t get any softer.