Skip to content

Bin Laden’s death could raise stakes in the lockout

Giants Jets Football AP

We don’t like to stray off topic, even when caught up in the rare sense of national unity and celebration that has arisen from news of the killing of the man who masterminded the 9/11 attacks.  But there’s one thread connecting the death of Osama bin Laden and pro football.

With the NFL schedule carefully crafted to permit several weeks that are missed on the front end due to a lockout to be made up during bye weeks and/or by the tacking of extra weekends onto the back end of the regular season, the finality that has come from the completion of the protracted mission to capture or kill bin Laden makes it even more important that the NFL properly commemorate the 10th anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history.

With 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.

UPDATE:  ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, a U.S. Navy veteran, sent an e-mail on this topic to ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, which they read on the air.  “Now that bin Laden is dead, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is going to be a day of somber national reflection,” Paolantonio sad.  “The NFL better make sure there is football that day.  Empty stadiums on that day now will be an unsettling example of greed and selfishness.”

Permalink 57 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories, Union
57 Responses to “Bin Laden’s death could raise stakes in the lockout”
  1. raider316 says: May 2, 2011 8:11 AM

    One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
    Nice try though.

  2. stubbyjones says: May 2, 2011 8:16 AM

    Hoping, but they won’t. Greed, greed greed. Thanks to all the servicemen and women around the world!

  3. phinheads says: May 2, 2011 8:18 AM

    You really are a lawyer at heart

  4. shackdelrio says: May 2, 2011 8:19 AM

    Don’t worry. There will be a Nats-Mets game that day too.

  5. chc4 says: May 2, 2011 8:21 AM

    Oh please. OBL’s death has no impact on getting an NFL deal done. Of course it won’t stop this site from somehow spinning it as a positive for the players and negative for the owners.

  6. dryzzt23 says: May 2, 2011 8:21 AM

    Praise president Bush and the U.S. military for continuing to focus on the goal of killing/capturing Bin Laden.
    I am so thankful that the U.S. media wasn’t privy to the operation b/c they surely would have warned Bin Laden so he could escape again.

  7. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: May 2, 2011 8:22 AM

    Wow, that’s a stretch. Patriotism does NOT need the NFL in order to flourish.

  8. duanethomas says: May 2, 2011 8:23 AM

    Great job by our military, great job by the CIA, great job by out President to get that mass murderer. Happy Osama Dead Day! In the words of the late great Rick James “its a celebration!”…..

  9. stergersburgernips says: May 2, 2011 8:25 AM

    Tenuous, but got to find a way to mention it somehow I suppose.

  10. 4ever19 says: May 2, 2011 8:27 AM

    Wow. People will be upset if there’s no football on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks? Seriously? Maybe your breathless prose has affected your judgment more than just a little. Get a grip. It’s only football.

  11. jvm127 says: May 2, 2011 8:33 AM

    That makes no sense at all. Bin Laden is dead. Nobody cares if or how the NFL commemorates 911. Way to jump the bandwagon on this news and try to somehow tie it into your blog in a relevant way.

  12. dave0320 says: May 2, 2011 8:34 AM

    Mike, you make a very good point. This historic event should put pressure on everyone at the bargining table to get this agreement finalized.

  13. cmhensl says: May 2, 2011 8:39 AM

    Are you freaking kidding me here? I think some people place way way way too much importance on a game and its significance on the American psyche. Putting aside the incredible insensitive nature of suggesting that a game is important to commemorate the deaths of over 3,000 people and it somehow will be diminished if those games don’t take place is ridiculous. It’s insulting to the memory of those killed. Get over yourself already.

  14. yzguy431 says: May 2, 2011 8:41 AM

    seriously, Mike. it’s football. i do think the nation will go on. hopefully no one gets arrested today.

  15. jasku880 says: May 2, 2011 8:41 AM

    IM pretty such sick of this whole bs right now. IM at the point where both nflpa* and the NFL is holding the game and sports we all love so much as a hostage from the fans. If you don’t know whAt to do with that $9billion why not give some of that to the fans, but then I forgot, the fans are irrelevant to these b*****s….

  16. pooflingingmonkey says: May 2, 2011 8:42 AM

    When you wrote this, were you able to keep a straight face?

  17. east96st says: May 2, 2011 8:43 AM

    “the finality that has come from the completion of the protracted mission to capture or kill bin Laden makes it even more important that the NFL properly commemorate the 10th anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history.”

    As someone who lived in Manhattan before, during, and after, who had his brother in the Towers and is thankful that he lived, had a cousin as a Bronx firefighter and is also grateful that he lived , and attended funerals of friends and neighbors that died far too soon, I can assure we don’t need a football game to remember and/or “commemorate” mass murder. We were there. We lived it. It’s a HELL of lot different when you’re watching it on TV, safe and sound knowing your home is not under attack than it is being part of a very unwilling live audience. To say that a football game even matters on that day shows a stunning level of ignorance. People were killed in cold blooded, premeditated murder. We do NOT need a football game to “make us feel better” about that. Nothing makes us “feel better” about that. Nothing. Most asinine post you ever wrote and that’s impressive given how low the bar has been already set. I understand you’re getting nervous that the lockout will impact your paycheck. I have a wife and family, too. I get your economic anxiety. But don’t use blood to make the case to get the money train rolling again. It’s grotesque.

  18. tinopuno says: May 2, 2011 8:49 AM

    dryzzt23 says:
    May 2, 2011 8:21 AM
    Praise president Bush and the U.S. military for continuing to focus on the goal of killing/capturing Bin Laden.

    ————————————————–

    Thanks for your insight Rush!

  19. pigeonpea says: May 2, 2011 8:51 AM

    This has to be the dumbest article I have ever read on this site. You make it sound as if the sole reason for the existance of the United States of America is to serve as a venue for the National Football League to host its games in. Here’s a sobering thought: America will continue to exist regardless as to whether the NFL goes bankrupt tomorrow, 9/11 is “properly commemorated” by the league or Bin Laden rises from the dead to feast on lo mein in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

    Try reporting news that at has the least bit of relevence in the reality the rest of us inhabit. The rest of the world does not revolve around American football in the least.

  20. bowsi says: May 2, 2011 8:58 AM

    It could be an opportunity for the players to hold one or several all-star games which could eventually lead to a new league primarily owned by the players.

  21. chatham10 says: May 2, 2011 9:01 AM

    I don’t know how one will affect the other but why don’t we have the Seals who did the attack sit in on the meetings and scare the hell out of these lawyers who are running the show.

  22. FinFan68 says: May 2, 2011 9:03 AM

    What a bunch of garbage. Football is entertainment, nothing more. It has absolutely no impact on anything associated with the terrorist attacks that took so many lives 10 years ago. If you wanted to tie this event to pro football you should have done a piece about how Tillman’s (and others) patriotism moved them into action and how UBL’s death brings with it a form of closure to some of the people effected by that event.

    I applaud President Obama, President Bush, the CIA and the brave men and women in the military who helped bring this POS to justice. This is a great day but it has nothing to do with football.

  23. sneaky1632 says: May 2, 2011 9:05 AM

    Red, White and Blue is more important than green… to some at lease.

  24. dienavinjohnson says: May 2, 2011 9:05 AM

    “dryzzt23 says:
    May 2, 2011 8:21 AM
    Praise president Bush and the U.S. military for continuing to focus on the goal of killing/capturing Bin Laden.
    I am so thankful that the U.S. media wasn’t privy to the operation b/c they surely would have warned Bin Laden so he could escape again.”

    You realize that Bush is not president anymore? I give credit to everybody that played a role in the killing of this wretched excuse for a human being. And I challenge everybody to see if they can actually refrain from politicizing this event. This is a great day for all Americans. Great job Navy SEALs.

    BTW, Mike, who cares if there’s football on 9/11/2011. We’ll figure out some way to commemorate the day with or without the NFL.

  25. jw731 says: May 2, 2011 9:10 AM

    I guess you figure, people who usually visit your site, are going to news sites, and this is your way of keeping the hits up..This article has to be the biggest self serving mindless drivel ever…..It’s just a game, why not pay tribute to the brave military who carried this act out?….This has to be the biggest apples and oranges comparison i have ever seen..

  26. dknice says: May 2, 2011 9:10 AM

    dryzzt23 says:
    May 2, 2011 8:21 AM
    Praise president Bush and the U.S. military for continuing to focus on the goal of killing/capturing Bin Laden.
    I am so thankful that the U.S. media wasn’t privy to the operation b/c they surely would have warned Bin Laden so he could escape again.

    ==================================

    Is there an award for most ridiculous comment of the day? You are a winner sir.

  27. chapnastier says: May 2, 2011 9:18 AM

    Is this serious? I mean really? Bin Laden’s status in this world has nothing to do with the lockout. The NFL will still hold ceremonies for the memories of those lost on 9/11. Those ceremonies are the celebrate the heroes and the victims of that day not Bin Laden.

  28. burntorangehorn says: May 2, 2011 9:19 AM

    Can we stop commercializing 9/11, and equating observance of it with patriotism? We’re teetering on the verge of nationalism at this point.

    Hey, can we maybe commemorate Yorktown by digging up George III’s grave?

  29. 3octaveFart says: May 2, 2011 9:23 AM

    10 years to the day when idiot “w” declared “Mission Accomplished.
    No problem, the Tea Baggers can now demand to see the death certificate, until then, he’s still alive.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket!
    Where’s Trump?

  30. nevin999 says: May 2, 2011 9:30 AM

    Mike… Seriously? (eye roll)

    Couldn’t you just make an off topic post about Osama’s death without insulting everyone’s intelligence? His death has nothing to do with Football. Get real, dude.

    Shameful, sir.

  31. gafraidh says: May 2, 2011 9:38 AM

    @dave0320, sarcasm duly noted!

  32. tombrookshire says: May 2, 2011 9:41 AM

    I guesss if you have a divergent opinion, you don’t get to express it here. My previous post censored. Only opinions that follow the political ideology of the establishment (read: NBC) are welcome here.

  33. mviglianco says: May 2, 2011 9:50 AM

    This is probably the stupidest thing I think I have ever read.

  34. garyln7 says: May 2, 2011 9:53 AM

    What??????

  35. 3octaveFart says: May 2, 2011 9:54 AM

    make that 8 years to the day…

  36. lucky5934 says: May 2, 2011 10:00 AM

    Me personally hope they do not have football on 9-11. I am now worried for any major sporting event to be targeted by terrorists. I am glad we finally found Bin Laden. But we are fools to think they won’t retaliate against us. Also, I am fairly certain Bush is not our current president and that OBama should be credited. As much as it pains me to say that.

  37. deconjonesbitchslap says: May 2, 2011 10:01 AM

    Maybe now I’ll get into medical school now that Bin Laden is dead, and the application committee will realize how important quality medical care is.

  38. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: May 2, 2011 10:21 AM

    Now, if we could only inspire the same passion for a crumbling education system…

  39. kmaiarf says: May 2, 2011 10:31 AM

    Doesn’t it seem odd to anyone else that they just killed Bin Laden and they’ve already disposed of the body at sea, now there is no chance anyone can EVER examine the body other than the US military which assures us that he’s dead HMMMMMM………..

  40. bubbabart says: May 2, 2011 10:35 AM

    PS…that puking sound is coming from FOX studio.

  41. bensstinkyfingers says: May 2, 2011 10:43 AM

    Linking this event to the Labor dispute is like comparing Apples to A-holes. It’s just a shame that De Smith, the NFLPA, and the League officials weren’t haniging out in Bin Ladens house when Sh*t hit the fan, That apparently is what it’s going to take to get this debacle finally resolved. GO FANS! AND THANK YOU, U.S. SERVICEMEN / WOMEN!

  42. dcviking says: May 2, 2011 10:44 AM

    Memo To De Smith:

    Today (The Day Bin Laden Was Killed) Is A Great Day For America.

    Hopefully, this will help you recognize one the next time one occurs…

  43. schwartzslaw says: May 2, 2011 10:51 AM

    Sports are a part of American culture. Can anyone doubt the power of the crowd chanting USA in last nights Mets-Phillies game? One of the first things I wanted to do when I returned from my tour in Iraq was to go to a baseball game. I still get choked up watching the Piazza game after 9-11. We were attacked, but we prevailed and carried on. The return to playing sports after 9-11 was a symbol of American resiliency.

    The NFL is tangentially tied to the events of September 11. Lets not forget that on Monday September 10 the Giants played in Denver on a Monday night game. There are people that were not in their offices in the World Trade Center that morning because they had stayed up late to watch the game or had travelled to Denver to see the game. Tell those people that football has nothing to do with September 11.

    Come September 11, 2011 the lack of football will in no way diminish the emotion, importance or depth of our remembrance. But the NFL will be diminished if, because of greed, they’re not there to play their small role on that day we honor the fallen, and celebrate the best of America.

  44. dequan81 says: May 2, 2011 11:11 AM

    I had to click just to see how you could connect the two… Fail.

  45. bubbabart says: May 2, 2011 11:22 AM

    W had 8 years to get this monster and he didn’t try…Thank you President Obama!

  46. ravenution says: May 2, 2011 11:44 AM

    Actually this game could help repair any damage the league has suffered.

  47. chubbybeerswiller says: May 2, 2011 12:03 PM

    Tying Bin Laden and the lockout together is about as ridiculous as the many television advertisements that tie together items and sports. For example, “score a touchdown with Armor All products” or “hit a home run with Craftsman Tools!”

    Mike, that is such a reach that it’s ridiculous.

  48. savocabol1 says: May 2, 2011 12:37 PM

    “UPDATE: ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, a U.S. Navy veteran, sent an e-mail on this topic to ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, which they read on the air. “Now that bin Laden is dead, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is going to be a day of somber national reflection,” Paolantonio sad. “The NFL better make sure there is football that day. Empty stadiums on that day now will be an unsettling example of greed and selfishness.”

    Just because ESPN says it does not justify why this topic would be brought up in the first place. For 90% of Americans, the LAST thing on their mind on 9/11 is football. Shame on you reporters for trying to make a story.

  49. farmermonkey says: May 2, 2011 12:42 PM

    Could we heli-drop some Navy Seals into the next round of arbitration to ensure a compromise?

  50. samlv4 says: May 2, 2011 1:19 PM

    schwartzslaw says: May 2, 2011 10:51 AM
    Come September 11, 2011 the lack of football will in no way diminish the emotion, importance or depth of our remembrance. But the NFL will be diminished if, because of greed, they’re not there to play their small role on that day we honor the fallen, and celebrate the best of America.

    I agree with your whole post.

    At the time Sept 11 happened I was glad that they canceled football for the weekend and thought it proper to do so… But when football returned it was a great diversion and turned very patriotic that day. I still remember the images of NYFD on the field and the crowds going crazy. It a way football brought the country together in a very somber time. It did show that we were and are resilient as a nation.

    Thank you for your post. Well said!

  51. neonknite says: May 2, 2011 1:52 PM

    Dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.

  52. mumakata says: May 2, 2011 2:19 PM

    “3octaveFart says: May 2, 2011 9:23 AM

    10 years to the day when idiot “w” declared “Mission Accomplished.
    No problem, the Tea Baggers can now demand to see the death certificate, until then, he’s still alive.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket!
    Where’s Trump?”

    You are a colossal idiot. Award for least intelligent post of the day goes to you, 30, for you are the biggest tard I have had the pleasure of reading today. You live up to your name, as you are certainly no better than something that squeaks out of someones ass.

  53. johnnyshore says: May 2, 2011 5:12 PM

    @dienavinjohnson
    “You realize that Bush is not president anymore? I give credit to everybody that played a role in the killing of this wretched excuse for a human being. And I challenge everybody to see if they can actually refrain from politicizing this event. This is a great day for all Americans. Great job Navy SEALs.”

    In the same instance that you ask us not to politicize the event, you slam President Bush. This specific operation dates back 5 years, which if you do the math was during Bush’s presidency. It dates back to information gathered in the 06 interrogations, so it’s not wrong for anyone to thank our previous president who was so dedicated to the cause of capturing Bin Laden. Obama continued what Bush started, so it’s perfectly appropriate to thank both of them. Obama handled the operation greatly, and Bush handed off that operation to Obama. Overall, it is probably those who work intelligence and that outstanding Seal team who deserve most of our praise and thanks, but I don’t feel it was fair of you or anyone else to exclude President Bush.

  54. adoz19 says: May 2, 2011 5:17 PM

    This is my favorite place for football news and I think you do an incredible job, but this is easily the worst thing you’ve ever written.

    You minimalize the lives lost and all of the sacrifices that have been made over the last 10 years to even hint that football is of any importance relative to the terrorist acts of a madman and decade long fight to bring him to justice. As a loyal reader, please, reconsider your position in this post.

  55. freedomispopular says: May 2, 2011 7:53 PM

    This gets me thinking you should have a thumbs up/thumbs down option on your articles, so you have a quick glance at what we think of your drivel.

  56. dienavinjohnson says: May 3, 2011 12:07 AM

    @johnnyshore

    you said to me:

    “In the same instance that you ask us not to politicize the event, you slam President Bush. ”

    Where is the slam? dryzzt23 posted a comment thanking President Bush for the operation that killed Bin Laden last night. I simply pointed out that Bush is no longer President. He hasn’t been President for over 2 years. I was just pointing that out. It seemed to me like dryzzt23 was intentionally excluding our current administration from any praise. You and I seem to agree that Obama deserves praise too. I never meant to deny former President Bush any credit for his role in the operation. I recognize that we have been trying to get this guy for almost 10 years (really almost 15 yars if you count the time Clinton tried to kill him in 97.) I know, better than most, what teamwork it takes to achieve a goal like this. I think most of the praise needs to go to the men and women in the military and intelligence community, as I said in my earlier comment.

    As I said, nothing in my comment disparaged President Bush. I was disparaging dryzzt23 for excluding the man who actually sent the order to proceed. It seemed political to me. And that seems unbecoming on a day like this.

    As I said earlier, this is a great day for all Americans. No politics here.

  57. the1vito says: May 3, 2011 12:40 AM

    Just for the record, I respect what Sal Paolantonio says on this (probably the only person from ESPN who I’d care to hear from on it). I believe he’s an ex-Navy SEAL. Along with the fact that it was a SEAL unit that executed the mission, we should at least consider what he says.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!