For NFL Week 2, Games of Sunday, September 16th and Monday, September 17th (cancelled)

content below posted 21:00FRI14SEP01 cst

"One choice involves playing the scheduled games during what would have been Wild Card Weekend ... and reducing the number of playoff teams from 12 to eight ... The second alternative is to cancel the week ... leaving a 15-game schedule. The absence of a bye week between the conference championships and Super Bowl XXXVI render these the sole two choices for resolving the schedule." - NFL.COM

Sunday's NFL Games Cancelled

On Thursday the NFL decided, out of respect for the victims of the Sep 11 terrorist attack, to cancel Sunday's football games . Was this a classy move by the NFL? Of course it was. Now another question remains, "How will this decision affect the NFL 2001 season?" The answer hangs in the balance.

As of this writing the NFL remains non-committal on whether or not the games will be played at a later date. It appears to be contemplating a choice between playing the games during the Wildcard Playoff Round and eliminating 4 of the 12 playoff spots, or simply cancelling the games and trying to sort out the playoff teams based on an abridged version of the tiebreaker system. Here at GRIDLINE, we don't favor either proposal, and we don't understand why the NFL would limit their options at this point.

We strongly urge the NFL to make up Sunday's games AND proceed with a full playoff schedule. GRIDLINE proposes that the cancelled Sunday games be played on wildcard playoff weekend, and the wildcard games be played the following Wednesday and Thursday nights. The Divisional Playoff Round may proceed as scheduled. We understand that it is a rough road for 8 teams, but the road to the Super Bowl has historically been a rough one for the wildcards.

Just as the World Trade Center stood as a shining example of American ingenuity and economic power, the NFL Playoff format has been the sturdiest and fairest in all of sports. In fact, the AFL-NFL merger and the wildcard aspect of the NFL playoff system was effected in 1970, the same year that the World Trade Center opened for business. Both of these institutions have served us well for over thirty years. Tuesday, the World Trade Center was reduced to rubble in an incomprehensible act of terrorism. Let us not see the NFL's playoff structure collapse as a result of that same incident.