With Hurricane Irma just off the coast of Florida, the NFL had to make a quick decision on the status of the Week 1 match-up between the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The league made the decision that the game would now take place in Week 11, which conveniently, was the bye week for both teams.
This decision has bothered many media members, fans, and players. Both teams are now expected to perform in 16 straight weeks during the regular season. This is truly a tough task for the human body to withstand. That one week of rest may seem like a short period of time, but it’s time to for the body to recover from the daily beat down it takes at practice and the weekly one it takes in a game.
It seems there could have been other options for the league. Moving to a neutral site would have been the most logical option for the opening match-up, even though it would be difficult on short notice. There could have been other NFL or college stadiums that are empty this weekend that could have been used as a site for the game.
Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive end Chris Long, who has been known to share his opinions with the world through social media, chimed in on this discussion on twitter.
Should move the game to a neutral site, sell affordable tickets to benefit hurricane recovery. Am I being naive? https://t.co/SvJZHBPjMl
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) September 5, 2017
This is certainly an option that should have been looked into. The NFL loses some money, but they get the good PR of helping out those in a time of need. Long was asked about the lack of time to make the move to a neutral site and went on to say that “anything is possible logistically (with) NFL teams”.
Looking at this from another side, the players of both teams will be able to be with their families and communities as the hurricane touches down. This is certainly a different side of the business that not many people (the fans) look at. These players are all people, and they all have those they care about. In most businesses, if there were a potential natural disaster on the horizon, you would be allowed some time off. I also understand that some of these players prepared for this and have evacuated their families and loved ones. They wanted to play.
Either way we hope that the people affected by Hurricane Irma stay safe. The damages will come, but we are here for you.