Yesterday the Philadelphia area was in for a snow storm. It’s nothing new to the city considering the 90+ inches of snow they got last winter but it’s still an inconvenience non the less. But even with the snow set to blanket the city the Eagles were set to face the Minnesota Vikings on NBC’s Sunday night game. With the game scheduled for 8:30 pm, and the snow supposed to start at 1 am on Sunday most fans were planning to bundle up and prepare for mother nature’s wrath when heading to Lincoln Financial field, however they’re trip was delayed thanks to the NFL and current commissioner Rodger Goodell.
Around 12 pm on Sunday the NFL announced that they had suspended the Eagles Vikings game due to inclement weather and a makeup game would be made this coming Tuesday. This announcement came just two hours before the cities state of emergency was to take effect. This was just another display by Goodell and the rest of the NFL brass in the wussification of the National Football League.
I like Rodger Goodell, at least I did. I think what he has done with trying to clean up the league’s thuggish image is encouraging for the future. I like what he’s done with the NFL draft giving teams less time on the clock as well. But I’m slowly starting to turn on Goodell as the bad things about the commissioner regime are starting to overtake the good moves he has made and Sunday’s postponement of the Eagles Vikings game was the straw that broke the camels back for me.
Rodger Goodell has turned the NFL into pee wee football. I understand that Goodell has seen the horror stories of former NFL stars like John Mackey and the links to ALS and thus would like to reduce concussions in the sport. The problem that many have seen however is that Goodell has instilled fear into his referees and thus you see the yellow flag fly in the air. Referees are so scared that they won’t throw a flag on a play that results in a serious injury, that when a play looks bad they throw a flag no matter what.
Football is a faced pace game, we all know that, and referees have a tough job. I’m not blaming the referees in this situation but I’m sure by this point every fan of a team has seen one example of a play where it’s clearly just a big hit, not led with the head, and the referees throws a flag. When the Eagles played the Colts earlier this season there was a big hit on Colts WR Austin Collie that resulted in a fumble which was recovered by the Eagles. As Collie lay motionless a penalty flag joined him on the ground and the play was taken back. Upon reply you could clearly see that Collie had possession of the ball and just got laid out. It wasn’t a dirty hit but it looked bad and because of how it looked the referee threw the flag and the Colts were given the ball back. They went down the field and scored a few plays later.
The play in the Eagles Colts game didn’t end up affecting the outcome of the game as the Eagles beat the Colts 26-24 but that game solidified to most fans watching that referrers had become scared. Scared of the backlash that would ensue from Goodell and his henchmen who are hell bent on taking the hitting from a game that has built its fan base around big hits. Once again I understand the long term effects of concussions but you don’t see the NHL trying to take checks out of the league because those too can result in concussions. Unlike the NFL, the NHL realizes that you cant take the hit out of the sport because its embedded into it and trying to limit it can be too difficult and result in games being won or lost on bad calls. Goodell however is going about this situation all wrong. Saying that he needs to eliminate helmet to helmet hits, yet he has no solution of how to eliminate them. Goodell’s idea is to scare the referees into throwing a flag whenever a hit looks bad, and then fining the player for the hit if the hit was indeed helmet to helmet.
While hits are one thing, what took place on Sunday, or didn’t take place, was a completely different story. The NFL were like the post office, They worked in rain, snow, sleet, and rain and it was something they used to pride themselves on. But on Sunday Goodell decided to cancel his NFL prime time game because of snow, in a move he said “was for the safety of the fans.” Funny Goodell because most of the fans that had tickets were adults and I think if you were to ask them they would have rather played the game on Sunday and battled through the conditions.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers once played a game in a hurricane. There is the famous fog bowl between the Eagles and Bears and the last example I will give is the 2005 NFC championship game played in Philadelphia after a snow storm dropped a foot of snow on the city. The 2005 NFC championship game was basically the exact conditions of last night the only difference was in 2005 the storm was over and on Sunday the snow was still falling.
But the fact is it was a weak cop out. Goodell telling me that he cancelled the game for my own safety is a slap in the face. I spoke with a friend of mine who is an Eagles season ticket holder, and would have had to go to the game if it was still played. He said the cancelling of the game was a joke and I think that’s how the entire city of Philadelphia feels. The storm dropped around 12-12.5 inches on the city and the game will now be played on Tuesday. The Eagles have already clinched the NFC East title thanks to a gutless performance by the New York Giants. But even thought the Eagles are guaranteed a spot I’m still mad.
Mad at a man who has taken over the NFL and is turning into something it wasn’t. “If it aint broke, don’t fix it” is a motto said by many but Rodger Goodell isn’t one of them. This is football, this is the NFL, and these players are paid to play in conditions like that, in a game that many were likely to remember for a while. Fans look forward to games like this because they are so rare, yet Goodell cancelled it for YOUR safety.
Next time Goodell wants to start cancelling games he should at least give us an honest answer. I’m sure there was people yesterday who had tickets, and no intention of going to the game because of the weather. But there was also people who were looking forward to it, and look forward to Eagles football all week. This screwed up a lot of people’s Sunday, and now gives the Eagles a short week against Dallas. So do me a favor Rodger, don’t tell me what’s good for me. Because you made it very apparent that you don’t know me, and you certainly don’t know my city.