NFL Cutting off Nose to Spite Face by Nixing Battle of the Bay

Apparently one bad apple does ruin the bunch. At least by NFL standards. But since when does NFL logic pertain to real world logic?

If you’re paying attention then you know the league is walking a thin line of hypocrisy usually reserved to politicians.

When last I checked the NFL and NCAA are two separate entities. Don’t tell that to Terrelle Pryor who saw his collegiate suspension commuted to the court of pro football.

While you’re at it don’t tell the players the league is so concerned for their health that kick offs are effectively being removed from the game. Not when the league is still plotting a plan to insert two more cash grabs…err…games into the regular season.

Which brings us to the league’s reaction to the unfortunate and unnecessary violence that took place during the Battle of the Bay over the weekend. In response to the situation the NFL is reported to be considering cancelation of any future preseason meetings between the two Bay Area teams. That seems to be just fine by Jed York who used the many melees as an excuse to push the 18-game agenda. Someone is going to have to explain that one to me.

Someone in the league office is also going to have to tell me why the Raiders and 49ers will only meet in the regular season from now on.

While what happened on Saturday night was beyond incomprehensible I fail to see how taking a Bay Area rivalry off the schedule is at all warranted. Those few that chose to exploit the game as a chance to settle gang feuds or to simply pummel anyone wearing the other team’s colors should not be held as the standard for all fans in attendance. More to the point, shouldn’t the appropriate league response be to meet with each team and devise more appropriate security measures?

Rest assured if we’re talking the Raiders and 49ers of the 80’s then there is no question this game would be on the schedule. The president of the United States could be taken out in Candlestick and all Goodell and his goons would do is require snipers in the stadium if it meant keeping that park packed.

As usual the league chooses to flex its muscle in the wrong way. If the NFL truly cared about the countless communities it invades then the real goal would be education and not punishment.

Require the Raiders to do weekly community outreach projects with gang members. Force the 49ers to run a citywide ad campaign encouraging fans to celebrate responsibly. Whatever the necessary measures taken the last resort should be the complete cancelation of a game.

Punishing the thousands of responsible fans at the expense of a few hundred unreasonable fans is unfair and bad business as a whole.

As shocking as the events in San Francisco were they are far from comparison when held to the standards of sporting violence in other countries. Not defending the perpetrators, just seeking to find a better approach than the league taking out a machete to circumcise a fly.

In many soccer leagues throughout the world a bold approach is taken to prevent fan violence. Teams that do not take the appropriate measures to control their crowd are forced to play in empty stadiums. That’s right. If you can’t handle your hooligans you won’t get the benefit of revenue.

Now that is a bold approach. An approach the money hungry NFL would never consider. But since we’re talking about a couple of franchises mired in the muck then replacing one game is justified. Somehow I highly doubt the league would take a similar approach if this were the Jets and Pats.  But then again, you never know with this league office.

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Tags: Battle Of The Bay Jed York Oakland Raiders Roger Goodell San Francisco 49ers Terrelle Pryor

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