Osama Bin Laden is dead, and people are happy, but if we don't have professional football on 9/11, people will be super-sad. This is Mike Florio's argument today. I am not joking, and neither, that I can tell, is Florio.
With bin Laden still living, the event still would have been incredibly significant, and the league's failure to play a full slate of games that day — including the Giants and Redskins squaring off in D.C. and the Jets hosting the Cowboys in primetime — would have been yet another P.R. debacle for the NFL. With bin Laden gone, September 11, 2011 will have an even more powerful impact on our country, and the sense of indignity to the American people resulting from a lockout that wipes out the 9/11 games will escalate.
Here's hoping that the owners and NFLPA* leadership realize the potential consequences, and that they commit to finally working out their differences. Especially since the government — whether judicial, legislative, or executive — may be much more inclined to ensure that the 10th anniversary of 9/11 won't occur without the NFL playing as scheduled its first week of the regular season.
This is so silly and facile that not even Peter King thinks he thinks it. No one in government — not the Eighth Circuit, not John Boehner, not Hilda Solis or Obama himself — gives any more of a shit today about football on 9/11 than he or she did yesterday. And anyone out there who would feel an escalating "sense of indignity" because his 9/11 doesn't have football is a person best kept far away from sharp objects and the national agenda anyway.
Besides, does anyone else quietly dread the prospect of 9/11 football? Do you realize what we're in for? They cover the sport in so much warpaint and bunting and surly jingoism as is — remember when the country mistook the 2002 Patriots for the 101st Airborne? — that we can't be more than one or two 9/11 anniversaries from ceremonially blowing up a mosque at halftime. If there's football on 9/11, I say it's better than 50-50 that someone puts Emmitt Smith in an Abrams tank and a pith helmet and has him read Federalist No. 10 aloud. It's going to be awful. We're four months away, and my sense of indignity is escalating already.
Bin Laden's death could raise stakes in the lockout [ProFootballTalk]