The NFL moved Sunday’s game between the Browns and Bills from Buffalo to Detroit, due to a snowstorm resulting in amounts measured in feet, not inches.
Some Browns fans are crying foul. As the argument goes, playing in the snow benefits the Browns and their run-heavy offense. Thus, the NFL decided to “help” Buffalo end a two-game losing streak by moving the game to a dome, where Bills quarterback Josh Allen will operate the offense far more effectively.
That argument has so many flaws, we need to number them.
One. There likely wouldn’t have been snow on the field during the game. A cover would have remained in place until Sunday morning. By then, there’s a very good chance the snow will be over by then.
Two. Josh Allen knows a thing or two about playing in wintry elements. He played college football at Wyoming. He has the arm to throw through whatever Mother Nature throws at him.
Three. Snow doesn’t hurt the other part of the passing game. The receiver knows where he’s going. The defensive back doesn’t. It’s harder to react and keep up with a receiver in the snow.
Four. Does anyone really think the Bills want to issue refunds for all tickets to the game, swapping out the revenue for whatever they manage to get in Detroit?
Five. This isn’t a football decision. It’s a public-safety issue. Chief NFL Spokesman Brian McCarthy, reacting to a Twitter remark that this situation proves every team should play in a dome, made this point: “This has nothing to do [with] the stadium, but ensuring we’re not diverting resources from the community. Also concerned for safety of fans, players & personnel traveling to/from game the next few days. Sports [with] indoor arenas sometimes postpone games due to weather concerns in town.”
Related to that point, some are connecting the team’s inability to practice on Friday to the absence of a domed stadium. That. Is. Stupid.
It’s not about snow in the stadium during the game. It’s about snow keeping people from getting from Point A to Point B.
The Bills have an indoor practice facility. They can practice today. But they can’t get to practice. That’s how bad the snow is.
Anyone arguing the Bills should have a dome is basically arguing Buffalo shouldn’t have the Bills. It snows there. Sometimes, it snows a lot. That’s how it goes. Sometimes, it will be a problem. This weekend, it required an extreme measure.
But it’s not about helping the Bills or hurting the Browns. And it’s not about whether the Buffalo stadium does or doesn’t have a roof. It’s about the safety of everyone in the region affected by the storm. Wisely, the NFL decided to resist the temptation to project memorable images via CBS cameras to the football-watching world and did the right thing.