It’s pretty easy to picture Roger Goodell staring blankly as the Saints told him about this, they surely didn’t ask, like a parent who has just completely given up and is letting the kids ransack the supermarket while they head to the liquor aisle:
A reminder, because you’ve probably forgotten given what a mess this season has already been and will continue to be, is that the NFL stated before the season that it would allow the local authorities to decide who would get to have fans in their stadium or not. Even though it should have decreed that no fans were allowed anywhere (as that would be safest), Goodell couldn’t find the modicum of spine needed to tell owners that they could go without a sliver of their usual gameday income. Goodell commissions in the same fashion Glen from “Raising Arizona” parents.
The NFL didn’t say that teams could just pack up and move their games somewhere more amenable to letting people endanger each other to watch the Saints commit an avalanche of penalties. But perhaps if you never expressly say it isn’t allowed, then anything is possible.
(Is it here where we should point out that Saints owner Gayle Benson herself was diagnosed with COVID in August? Is this where that would go?)
Mayor LaToya Cantrell has not allowed the Saints to have limited fans, so they’re going to find an even dumber municipality that will allow them to. Handy then that Randy Newman once sang of LSU, “Went in dumb, came out dumb, too.” LSU would be the college where the football coach admitted a good portion of his team already caught coronavirus.
Has anyone consulted the Saints players about having to decamp to a new locale that may or may not be prepared to have them? Of course not.
A commissioner with any sort of power would prevent this from happening, but we know how that goes in Goodell’s NFL. While it’s far-fetched, it’s not totally unrealistic to wonder if the Bears wouldn’t go play in South Bend or West Lafayette to get around Chicago’s banning of fans at sporting events. Or the Lions down to Ohio somewhere?
Then again Goodell can’t keep fans out of Nashville after the Titans just had to rearrange two games after an outbreak with their team. He just continues to stare blankly, as everything passes in front of him, registering nothing behind that 1,000-yard stare.