After Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest, the NFL made the right call canceling the Bengals-Bills game. But that left it with no perfect options to structure its AFC postseason seeding, which opened the door for a Bills-Chiefs conference title game on a neutral field.
Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo is not a fan.
“The NFL with this neutral site thing, that’s the dumbest thing in the history of the world,” Russo said Wednesday on ESPN First Take. “They did an awful, awful job that we’re doing a neutral site for the AFC championship game. Not only that, but we’re probably going to put it in a dome. So we’re going to have two outdoor teams playing in a dome in a neutral site. I’ve never heard of such a thing.
“And how about the poor season ticket holders of the Chiefs or the Bills that are going to have to get into a lottery to get to the game, and then fly to Atlanta to go to the football game? How about the poor fanbase? That is not fair. That is not fair what they did. That was terrible.”
Doggie is spot-on here. The fans are certainly being screwed. The teams, too.
The Bills beat the Chiefs during the regular season and tied in the loss column with three defeats. The league would have been justified to give the 13-3 Bills the No. 1 seed over the 14-3 Chiefs. There was no need for the complicated emergency legislation that put a neutral site on the table. And it is even more ridiculous the potential site remains unknown.
The Bills play outdoors in the cold. So do the Chiefs. Pick an empty stadium between them. Chicago, Cleveland, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, wherever. The fact the NFL has not selected a site yet suggests it is angling for a dome or warm-weather venue. That means it is likely a test run for going to permanent neutral sites for the conference title games. The Shield never lets a good crisis go to waste, after all, when there is money to be made.
You hate to say it, but it would be for the best if the Bills or Chiefs get tripped up in the divisional round by the Bengals. That way this potential farce never comes to pass.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]