Obviously, the NFL didn’t learn their lesson after Katrina…how would you fix it?

September 13, 2008 |

First of all, it’s important to remember that people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake here. The last thing on anyone’s mind in the state of Texas is: “where are the Texans going to play this week?” I’ll echo Vince’s opinion that this whole incident goes way beyond a football game. But, many of us are worried about how this will affect our football team. You shouldn’t feel bad about that because it’s a legitimate concern…at the same time, it’s important to keep things in perspective.

I wanted to reserve my opinions about this topic until everything had been finalized, even though I had a feeling deep inside my gut that this wouldn’t work out.

Now that we know the game will not be played in Houston on Monday night, I think that now is the time to evaluate exactly how good of a job the NFL has done to rectify situations like this one.

I think that our sheer geographical distance from hurricane-threatened areas softens our view on the entire situation. We don’t quite understand what it’s like to have our homes, families, pets, and friends threatened by Mother Nature every fall.

It’s one thing to watch floods, power-outages, and hurricane-force winds on television. Living through it and experiencing it is completely different.

But you would think that after the Katrina incident, the NFL would have learned from its mistakes. You would think that people in the front office would be smart enough to draft some sort of contingency plan if this were to ever happen again. And when you combine the Earth’s natural hurricane cycle and global warming, you would be naïve to assume that we wouldn’t run into a similar situation in the near future. Maybe not in New Orleans, but how about Miami? Tampa? Jacksonville? Atlanta? Carolina? Dallas? Any one of those cities has a serious chance of being hit by a big hurricane in the near future if yearly hurricane pattern forecasts are correct…

Basically that means that this is going to be a recurring issue unless a contingency plan is put into place…soon.

It would be nearly impossible to set a policy in stone, because different cities experience different problems when it comes to hurricanes. But you would think that there would be at least a rough draft of an emergency plan.

I understand the NFL’s reason for doing what they did, I just don’t think it was very practical to begin with. They didn’t think that Hurricane Ike would be this devastating to Houston, so they thought they’d push it back a day. This way, the Texans keep their home game and gain the revenue.

But why take the risk? I guess Roger Goodell thinks he’s smarter than meteorologists and Mother Nature.

As we’ve all seen in our lifetime, whether it be the numerous hurricanes that have wreaked havoc on the eastern seaboard, or even something as recent as the great tsunami that wiped out most of coastal Asia, Mother Nature is unpredictable and her wrath is furious.

I’ve studied Biology at the college/graduate level for more than five years now. And if I had to tell you one thing that I’ve taken away from it all, it’s that science is not an exact science. Science is not fact. Most of science is theory, and that includes meteorology and the weather forecast, which is why you hear so many people complain about the weather and curse the weather man for, in actuality, doing the best he can with the information available.

Why would the NFL assume that everything would be A-OK 24 hours after a hurricane hit? Did they learn nothing from Katrina?

Here’s just a rough draft of an NFL Emergency Action Plan that I think could work in the case of hurricanes:

There are fifteen games being played in fifteen stadiums this week in the NFL, not including the Ravens/Texans showdown. The NFL should take 10% of the revenue from each stadium and donate 7% of the original 10 to the hurricane victims. Use the remaining 3% of the original 10 to cover most or all of the expenses of hosting the game at its originally scheduled time in the nearest vacant unaffected stadium.

And don’t tell me they couldn’t have seen this coming. We all saw how Ike was pummeling Cuba on Thursday, and that’s certainly enough time for a huge organization like the NFL to relocate one game.

I realize that may be hard to do because the other schedules would not change and it would take a few days to get the extra revenue to the deserving parties. But something tells me that the NFL wouldn’t have a problem allocating the proper funds to get it done on that day, especially with the promise of having it reimbursed by the other teams later.

Yes, in this case, that would take a home game away from the Texans, but it’s the lesser of two evils. It’s certainly much better than forcing New Orleans to have a “home game” in the Meadowlands like they did after Katrina…that was just absurd. Playing this game in Baltimore would be grossly unfair to the Texans organization and their fans.

Like a lot of crazy things I draw up in the old noodle, this makes sense to ME…but there’s gotta be something I’m missing. It just seems too easy, and I’d like to think that the NFL execs are smarter than I am…maybe I’m missing something and maybe you can help me out…

How would YOU fix this situation?

In any event, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this disaster and I hope that all of your loved ones are safe.

Talk to you later this week.