LIKE ALMOST EVERYONE else, we were disappointed that Sunday's Eagles-Vikings game was rescheduled to tonight. But some fans have turned that disappointment into anger, criticizing everyone from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to Mayor Nutter.
The highest-profile complainer? Gov. Rendell, who told Fox 29 that the cancellation was a sign that "We're becoming a nation of wussies."
For the governor and the rest of these folks, we have just one question:
Are you kidding?
Rescheduling the game wasn't just the right choice. It was the only choice.
It would have been next to impossible to safely move maybe as many as 70,000 people from South Philly to points across the city, suburbs and New Jersey in the middle of a snowstorm. NFL officials, in consultation with the city, made the right call to protect fans - who could probably be counted on the show up even if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse had been sighted coming down I-95 - from themselves.
Frankly, we're getting a little tired of the idea that everyone should be tough all the time. Sometimes it's better to be smart than tough.
Take the NFL. The tough call would have been to play the game, hell or high drifts. That also might have been the best financial choice, since the league will lose out on some ad revenue because the game had to be rescheduled to a less-desirable TV slot. But it would also have been a dumb decision to put thousands of fans at risk, and therefore the wrong one.
AND WHAT ABOUT city government?
Some argue that the city could have worked out a plan to plow the streets near Lincoln Financial Field to provide safe and efficient passage for fans leaving the game.
That would also have been tough - but also not so smart. The extra overtime costs would have hurt an already troubled city budget and diverted resources from other parts of the city. Local government made the right call to help everyone at the expense of a few thousand vocal sports fans.
Another target was SEPTA, which critics said could have run later trains to help people beat the snow. Again, that would have been tough - but costly. The expense of keeping the system running wouldn't have been offset by the fares of people leaving the game. For every train filled with Eagles diehards, there would have been overtime costs draining SEPTA's already taxed resources.
So what's driving all this talk about toughness?
Part of it is the machismo of sports. The problem starts when that kind of thinking - which is perfectly acceptable on the field - gets applied to other kinds of decisions.