Sunday, March 31, 2013

Roger Goodell's Opening Night Excuse Not Valid

by Jayden and Jason

"{Roger Goodell} said playing the opener on Sept. 4 has been ruled out because of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah." -

Umm...did I read tha...uh...I beg your pardon?

As has been the norm for several years now, the defending Super Bowl champions are awarded center stage via the NFL season opener on the Thursday night before opening weekend. This year, that honor was supposed to fall to the Baltimore Ravens on September 5th, but the Baltimore Orioles have a home game of their own scheduled that night against the Chicago White Sox and, with the two stadiums sharing a parking lot, the two games cannot be played at the same time.

When the NFL commissioner informed the public that the NFL was having trouble scheduling the opening game because of the conflict, the above quote was the reason given for not simply moving the game up a day.

The positive aspect of this is that on the surface it would seem that Goodell is showing himself to have an evolved set religious sensibilities and to be respectful of the culture and faith of others. After all, there are men of many faiths in the NFL.

When delving deeper into it, though, we find the negative aspect of it: there are men of many faiths in the NFL. That considered, there are actually a few things wrong with his statement.

If Goodell is truly looking to be culturally sensitive, considering the NFL Deportes program has been in place for years, where is the sensitivity toward Mexican Independence Day which is celebrated on September 16th? -

If it is more a matter of religio-cultural awareness by Goodell, why aren't games preempted for Hanukkah? Christmas? Kwanzaa? Though of inaccurate and pagan origins, many still consider Christmas as a religious holiday, yet games are often played and even highlighted on December 25th.

You might have thought to yourself at some point while reading this that it isn't something he can control, though, because Jewish holidays are based on the lunar calendar causing the dates on our Gregorian calendar to change each year. Well, if that is the case, why bother at all?

Rosh Hashanah is a two-day holiday, meaning that even if there wasn't a scheduling conflict, the game would still be played on the holiday. Additionally, in 2012, Rosh Hashanah fell on a Sunday - starting September 16 at sundown (the Jewish day originally went from sunrise to sunset, or approximately 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) to Tuesday, Sept. 18 at sundown.

Where were his evolved sensibilities then?

Whatever the real reason was for not moving the game back to Wednesday, we don't know. We must assume, therefore, that what the commissioner said is what he really believes, that he is being culturally sensitive in not scheduling the opening night game that day. Because he certainly couldn't be using it to veil an ulterior reasoning. I mean, Goodell has never done that. Has he?