League Hopes to Make Decision Later Today About Where, When Chargers Will Play
PHILADELPHIA--NFL officials hope to make a decision later today about whether the Chargers will be able to play their home game as scheduled Sunday in San Diego.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said it's possible that the game between the Chargers and Houston Texans could be rescheduled for Monday if it's determined that would be safer. If the game can't be played in San Diego, the league is focusing on Houston and Dallas as possible alternative sites, Goodell said.
The league's leaders were waiting to hear from Jerry Sanders, the mayor of San Diego.
"We're waiting to hear from the mayor of San Diego," Chargers President Dean Spanos said just before leaving an NFL owners' meeting here. "Hopefully there will be a decision today.... You worry about the safety of the people. You can play a football game anywhere, any time."
The Chargers are practicing in Arizona because of the wildfires raging in San Diego County.
"We have stressed that public safety is the priority," Goodell said. "... We're in a natural disaster. We have to think about what this community is going through right now."
If the game isn't played in San Diego, it likely will be played at Reliant Stadium in Houston or Texas Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Irving, Tex. The Cowboys have a bye this weekend.
The league was criticized by some members of the New Orleans Saints two years ago when it had the Saints play a scheduled home game against the New York Giants in Giants Stadium in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But Spanos said he would not necessarily consider it unfair if the Chargers play this game in Houston.
"In these type situations, your focus isn't really on that right now," Spanos said. "We have 40 families just in our organization that are affected. That's the priority."
Said Texans owner Robert McNair: "Hopefully it will clear up and we can play in San Diego. That would be the best news.... The real issue is: Does it clear up in San Diego and can we play there? If the mayor thinks it's safe and they feel like the people there want to have the game there, we'll play there. After having such a catastrophic fire, would the people want to have a fun afternoon of football or would they consider it inappropriate? That's part of it, too."
By Mark Maske |
October 24, 2007; 11:51 AM ET
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