What I saw on Monday Night Football this week is unlike anything I have ever seen in sports. Since then I have seen nothing but bad decisions by the NFL. Sports are described as a true meritocracy. You get what you earn without regard to race, gender, religion or anything else. The NFL can never again be viewed that way. Now the league gives you a hand out based on your feelings.
I have seen people get badly hurt and even lose consciousness, but I have never seen anyone have a heart attack and have to have their heart restarted on the field. Maybe it’s happened before, but most of us haven’t seen it.
I have heard all kinds of opinions about what happened and how the NFL has handled it. My two cents are that the game should have been stopped sooner, but it was an unprecedented event, so I get that it could take time to make that decision. After all, games always continue, but this was beyond what we ever see. So I get it.
The larger problem is how the NFL handled the rest of the season, especially playoff seeding and game locations. First, the Bills vs Bengals game should be played. There is a bye week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. Push everything back a week and let this game be played this weekend. But the NFL decided to not continue the game Monday night or any other day.
The NFL also decided to do something that is so laughable and almost expected these days. They decided to not follow their own policies/rules. The league has a policy for handling canceled games. It says to continue with the season and determine playoff seedings based on winning percentage as usual. In other words, settle things based on the games that are played without consideration of games that are not played.
This is key. You create rules during good times to not have to think and react to emotions in difficult times. It’s why you know when to sell a stock before you ever buy it. You make the best decisions when emotions are removed. But the NFL did the exact opposite of this, and that never ends well.
So why is the NFL changing its policies? They are doing it because of the way the country (world?) has reacted to what happened on Monday. The league is scared to death to do anything that people might view as unfair to the Buffalo Bills. So, although the Chiefs might earn the top seed in the AFC, they might be punished because the Bills and Bengals decided they couldn’t play that night (completely understandable and I agreed) and the league decided to not make up the game.
I feel awful for Damar Hamlin, his family, and everyone involved in the game that night. But the way the NFL has moved forward is a disgrace.