By Eric Zanzucchi (@ericzanzucchi)
Saturday morning Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend in front of her mother. Afterwards he drove to team facilities and killed himself in front of team personnel including Head Coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli. The NFL plans to have the Panthers vs. Chiefs game Sunday morning as scheduled.
I feel like there’s a complete lack of sympathy here on the NFL’s part. The whole month of October NFL players wore hot pink trim for breast cancer awareness because the ‘NFL cares’. However, when one of their own kills himself on the teams’ grounds in front of the managerial staff it’s no big deal.
Games can be postponed fairly easily. Two years ago a Vikings vs. Eagles game was postponed until Tuesday night because of a snow storm. No one died it was just really cold. So why not double up Monday Night Football or move the game to Tuesday since it’s been done before?
The league wants to maintain “competitive balance”. In other words, it could effect each teams’ ability to win or lose. But the 3-8 Panthers and 1-10 Chiefs aren’t contending for anything. If the game were moved to Tuesday it would create a dreaded NFL ‘short week’ where the teams would have way less rest for their next opponent. However, the Chiefs are playing the 3-8 Browns and the Panthers are playing the 10-1 Falcons. In other words they are playing a team out of contention and a team that is sleepwalking to the best record in the league.
So the NFL is very sympathetic when comes to telling their players to wear some hot pink, but when it comes to filing some paperwork and heaven forbid lose some money sympathy goes out the window. I can’t imagine what it’s like for Romeo Crennel to have to coach his team a day after he saw one of his players’ brains on the ground. It’s not like the NFL is Vietnam, there can be days off.