First of the month rant — February: Show always goes on, just ask the NFL

Posted: 02/05/2011 in first of the month rant, football
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Can it still be called a first of the month rant if the opinions don’t go flying off the fingertips until the first hour of the fifth day of the month?

Well, it can be if I act the like the NFL – meaning I make the rules and the show must go on.

You might have heard that there’s a little football game called the Super Bowl being played this Sunday. It’s a pretty good day for a football game if all you have to do is wake up, accumulate food and drink, find your remote control and watch the telecast.

It’s also a pretty good week if you are a filthy rich NFL owner or part of the league’s hierarchy. It is a week of festive fun for those folks and you wouldn’t believe the excess that goes on – I once attended the NFL’s Friday night Super Bowl party in San Diego and there was enough leftover food to feed every third world nation for the next 25 years. There also were leftovers everywhere after a media party/concert event in the Phoenix area three years ago.

But it’s not always fun and games for the little guys. Thousands of people help out the league during the week leading up to the game. There are volunteers everywhere doing unappreciated grunt work.

Some just want to be associated with a big-time event. Some are out-of-work people seeing it as a networking opportunity. Others just like to donate their time and help.

I’m thinking of all those spare-part folks tonight after hearing that six people were injured when huge sheets of ice rolled off the roof and fell approximately 200 feet to the ground. The people injured were busy helping prepare the stadium for the game between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The NFL trumpets that they have always have contingency plans in place – like in case of flooding in South Florida – for the week of the game. Apparently, they didn’t bring their cold weather experts with them to the Dallas-Fort Worth area during a brutally cold week for the region.

Or perhaps nobody thought about safety and the possibility that having people working directly below a sloped stadium roof full of ice wasn’t the brightest idea.

You know, it has been less than two months since the Metrodome roof collapsed under heavy snow in the Minneapolis area. So it’s not like there haven’t been any reminders of what can possibly happen.

Just because Cowboys Stadium – Jerry Jones’ Palace, if you will – cost $1.3 billion to construct doesn’t mean it is immune to issues.

I get that the NFL couldn’t forecast that the Dallas area would be hit with a fierce wintry storm during Super Bowl week. But it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know that this type of weather can possibly happen during the first week of February if the Super Bowl isn’t in a warm locale.

The worse the weather, the worse for the logistics of everything associated with the game. I covered two Super Bowls in sunny San Diego and every day of the week was a total pain in terms of just trying to get everywhere to do your job. The Super Bowl I covered in the Phoenix area was a disaster early in the week when torrential rainstorms made driving from Glendale to Scottsdale or to downtown Phoenix into a life-risking event. (Yes, I’m able to confirm the rumors that the Phoenix freeways have poor drainage capabilities).

I can’t even imagine the trouble getting around in Texas with Cowboys Stadium being in Arlington and events spread out between Dallas and Fort Worth. Particularly with the freeways looking more like something you would spot in New Hampshire. And how about that picture of the Dallas-Fort Worth area that looks more like somebody carved out a runway path in Antarctica?

Anyway, the parties were raging on Friday night while six regular people dealt with injuries that could have been prevented.

Meanwhile, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was quoted as saying workers would be heading up to the roof to clear it of snow sometime over the next 24 hours.

Of course they will, Rog. The show must go on, right?

Goodell has promised to have his salary reduced to $1 if there is a work stoppage related to on-going negotiations with the player’s union. I think I’d rather see the commissioner drop his odd infatuation of having Super Bowls in frigid locales – next year’s game is in Indianapolis and the following one is in New Jersey – and also write about six difference-making checks to the injured workers (though I suspect at least six lawyers are already positioning to be involved with filing lawsuits).

Hey, sometimes waiting until the fifth of the month for a first of the month rant is good timing. That said, the show – and the Super Bowl – must go on.

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