Safety Hysteria Wussifies NFL

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Somebody throw something on Vince Lombardi to keep him from spinning in his grave.

The cancellation of the December 26th NFL game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings is stirring up all kinds of name-calling, with most criticisms employing the word “wuss” or “wussification.” The game was cancelled due to ……. a few inches of snow. Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell, who was furious over the action, states,

I mean, we canceled the game and there’s less than three inches of snow in Montgomery County, where a lot of our fans come from. There’s less than two inches in Wilmington, where a lot of our fans come from.

The news release from the NFL started off, “Due to public safety concerns in light of today’s snow emergency in Philadelphia, tonight’s Vikings-Eagles game has been postponed.”

I certainly agree with all of those folks who condemn the hysteria and safety nazi frenzy that dominates American culture nowadays, and made its mark upon what is supposed to be a very masculine sport with a history that is brimming with ice bowls, blizzard fests, blood baths, and even Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant, who denied his players the use of hand warmers and heaters.

Remember the news release: public safety concerns. Many of us have long recognized the safety nazism-wussification-hystericalism that dominates American culture, and not just concerning a sports event. It permeates every aspect of American life, including incessant bathroom hand washing lecturing; hand sanitizer hysteria; weather safety warnings if it’s too hot, cold, humid, sunny, or otherwise; the “don’t ever leave your child unguarded by a Marine battalion” mentality, etc., etc.

Just a few weeks ago, when snow collapsed the roof of the Metrodome in Minnesota, the Vikings-Giants game was moved to Ford Field in Detroit on a Monday night. Well, our weather here was not a whole lot better than in Minnesota, except we had a lot less snow. I work just a couple of blocks from Ford Field, and as I left the office that afternoon, I had noticed a ton of errant vehicles going the wrong way, making u-turns, looking lost, etc. I thought, “what the heck is going on today …….”, until I looked closer and realized they all had Minnesota plates. So they drove the 600+ miles from Minnesota to Michigan through raging snow along the entire route, proving the diehard (perhaps even bizarre) fandom in professional sports. But people in Philadelphia, with a mass transit system, had to be protected from the potential harm of traveling a few miles to a sports stadium, in a snowstorm that might have been (but wasn’t), in a call that was surely prompted by Philadelphia government bureaucrats.

10:03 pm on January 4, 2011