NFL should just tell the truth…

September 14, 2008 | Drew Forrester

This is one occasion when the NFL’s well-oiled P.R. machine should put away the “spin book” and just opt instead for telling the truth.

Most everyone – at least those of us with a heart – would understand.

The decision to cancel the game in Houston wasn’t about money.  The decision to not make the Texans play their week #2 game in New Orleans, Atlanta or even Baltimore wasn’t about scheduling integrity.

The Texans aren’t playing this weekend because it’s not the right thing to do.  It’s not right to the players, the coaches or the staff members.  It’s not right for the city of Houston.

Sure, the NFL knew ahead of time that Hurricane Ike had the makings of becoming a wrecking machine.  Could they have put a plan in place to move the game to another city and play it Sunday or Monday?  Absolutely.  But how could you ask an organization to play a football game on Sunday or Monday after what happened Friday night and Saturday in Southeast Texas?

Anyone who stayed up all night and watched the events that transpired between 2am-8am saw one of the most horrific “live” broadcasts ever witnessed. 

Making football players gather their belongings and leave their families right now (even though everyone is safe…) is just not right.  Making football players put on equipment and subject themselves to the physical dangers of their profession with “that” on their mind is just not right.

Now is not the time to play football.  At least not if you’re a member of the Houston Texans.

Now is the time to give thanks for the relative safety of everyone in Houston and, to each player and member of the organization, the health and safety of their own immediate family.

I don’t think the NFL did the wrong thing.

I think they did the right thing.

I don’t think they gave the Ravens or the Bengals much thought at all.  They’re not trying to “screw” anyone. 

This decision is about the Texans and nothing more.

I think they looked out for the well-being of those guys in Houston who have had their entire lives turned upside down in the last 24 hours.

Football will carry on tomorrow across the country.  Games will be played, victories will be celebrated and losses will be criticized.

But while football goes on tomorrow, real life begins again in Houston.  Electricity needs to be restored, first. People need to find new homes.  Companies need to find new locations for their place of business.  Employees who were expecting to get paychecks this Friday might not.  Bills still need to be paid.  How does all of that get handled?  Those are the REAL issues people are dealing with in Houston.

Football in Houston just isn’t that important right now.

I don’t know why the NFL wouldn’t just say that today.

If you have a heart, you understand quite well that they’re right.

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