Probably not, but if you buy into the logic of Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 represents a unique opportunity for some national sense of closure, one that might be squandered if we’re not actually watching professional football games that day.
With Osama bin Laden still living, the event still would have been incredibly significant, and the league’s failure to play a full slate of games that day — including the Giants and Redskins squaring off in D.C. and the Jets hosting the Cowboys in primetime — would have been yet another P.R. debacle for the NFL. With bin Laden gone, September 11, 2011 will have an even more powerful impact on our country, and the sense of indignity to the American people resulting from a lockout that wipes out the 9/11 games will escalate.
Here’s hoping that the owners and NFLPA leadership realize the potential consequences, and that they commit to finally working out their differences. Especially since the government — whether judicial, legislative, or executive — may be much more inclined to ensure that the 10th anniversary of 9/11 won’t occur without the NFL playing as scheduled its first week of the regular season.
I have to admit, when I first learned of bin Laden’s execution, my initial thoughts turned to matters entirely trivial ; the likelihood of reprisals, whether or not American troops are coming home sooner or later, Pakistan’s role, if any, in bin Ladin’s finding refuge. At no point did it ever occur to me the NFL’s work stoppage had the potential to torpedo the country’s healing process, possibly because I’m not out of my fucking mind. Florio may or may not be aware of this, but on Sunday, September 11, houses of worship will still be open. More importantly, so will 15 Major League Baseball parks.