By FRANK WARD
The infamous “Tuck Rule” game should never have been played. The Eagles 1948 NFL Title should have an asterisk next to it because it was played around a blizzard in Philly.
That’s the message the NFL indirectly sent its fans today when it postponed the Eagles-Vikings contest from Sunday night until Tuesday due to snow.
The NFL also told the world that TV ratings dictate schedules. Let’s take a look at both issues.
First, the NFL postpones a game when past precedent has dictated that games are played no matter what once both teams are in the city. Find me another situation like this in recent history. You can’t.
Here’s the problem with moving the game from Sunday to Tuesday. Now, the league has to do it in every other city. If fans can’t get to games safely, they will look back and point out this situation. But, can the NFL postpone, say, playoff games due to snow?
First of all, snow weather is football weather. Second, some of the classic football moments have been in the snow. Tom Brady against the Raiders comes to mind. Did he tuck the ball? Didn’t he tuck the ball?
There’s also the game where there was two feet of snow in the stands and people threw snowballs. Is it fair that those fans lost money because they couldn’t get there?
Now, the NFL will have to postpone or face possible class action lawsuits for those who miss games or get injured in accidents getting to games played in snowy conditions in cities not as wussified as Philly. (I live here and am appalled at the postponement!)
Think that’s an a total overreaction? Then, you’ve never met a lawyer.
But, will the NFL postpone a playoff game? Or, gasp, the 2014 Super Bowl in New York due to snow? Can you imagine giving a team a short week during the playoffs? Can you imagine moving the AFC Championship game because it is snowing in late January in Foxboro? Could happen now.
Or can it? Will NBC, FOX or CBS allow a game to be moved from Sunday afternoon or evening to Monday night or later and lose ratings?
Ratings rule the world. Don’t think so. Then why would the Eagles game be moved from Sunday to Tuesday instead of Monday? Because ESPN has exclusive rights to national broadcasts on Monday. Think they want to give up that audience when they have the Falcons and Saints on tap?
Think NBC wants to split audiences between that game and Michael Vick? They flexed the Eagles game against the Vikings for Vick. They want the World to see the Eagles MVP candidate exclusively without competition.
Tuesday it is. Who gives a flying you-know-what that the Eagles will get a crazy short week to battle the rival Cowboys while chasing the second seed in the NFC.
Roger Goodell, I hope you are happy. May it snow in Foxboro and Atlanta on Championship Sunday!