Saturday, December 1, 2012

I Know I Shouldn't be Surprised, But...

... I am surprised- shocked, really, and horrified- that the NFL is carrying on with tomorrow's Kansas City Chiefs- Carolina Panthers game in the wake of Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdering his girlfriend and then committing suicide in front of Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel and GM Scott Pioli.  I know that the NFL has never been known for its' sensitivity, but this strikes a new low.  Rather then allow an obviously distraught team(not to mention community) a day or two to collect themselves, the Chiefs will take the field a little more then 24 hours after one of their teammates orphaned his three- month old son daughter.  Crennel will have to try and lead his troops through a game with visions of one of them ending his life.  And why?  Because this is a heavyweight game between two playoff-bound titans.  Oh, nope, not that: the Panthers are 3-8, the Chiefs the worst team in the league at 1-10.  But, you see, this game has ramifications.  What if the game were cancelled, and the Denver Broncos miss out on a first-round bye because the Chiefs are only 1-14, and their strenghth of schedule is affected?  Wouldn't that be a tragedy?

No, of course it fucking wouldn't.

So now we know what's more important then football: nothing.  Not even death.  I'm sure that Crennel and the Chiefs players want to play... but they shouldn't.  Just like in every other profession, your place of work would be closed the day after a tragedy, since it's still a crime scene, for god's sake. The NFL has to be the voice of reason here.

In 1963, the week after John Kennedy was killed, the NFL played its' full slate of games to massive national criticism.  Legendary commishioner Pete Rozelle called it the greatest regret of his career.  Well, congratulations, Roger Goddell: by allowing a meaningless game to be played the day after an employee kills himself on your property, you're finally in Rozelle's class.