Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • April 13, 2021
The NFL Likes Money, The World Wants Safety; Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off

Never underestimate the power of the NFL.

The football lords have tried to ignore safety before and they may just do it again, right under the noses of every die-hard fan, fantasy football junkie and bandwagon jumper.

Gotta have your football. It can be an addiction. From age 8 to about 29, I was in front of that TV watching as many NFL games as I could, a true believer. No doubt in my mind whatsoever about its importance in my life. I was a mainliner, watching the pregame, the two afternoon games and then the postgame every Sunday.

Then I moved to Hawaii and for the first time, I realized there are more important things to do on Sundays in the winter — like going surfing or being outside in the sun. Granted, when living in New England, there is something nice and cozy about warming up to your favorite sport with a Bloody Mary instead of trudging through three feet of snow, or driving on a half-inch slick of ice, or even going out to walk your dog on a soggy, 30-degree rainy, messy day.

So, I started to see the light, so to speak. Don’t get me wrong, I love football. I especially love watching high school football, where the game is still being played in a fashion that is mostly unsullied by money, commercials, endless replays, and, did I mention never-ending commercials?

New England linebacker Dont'a Hightower is one of at least 66 players who have opted not to play the NFL season due to the COVID-19 health crisis. Will the NFL march on despite the risk? So far, it's all systems go. (Photo from
Sure, I like the NFL and college football, too. Doesn’t mean I’m sitting there every minute. I can watch a good game. But good games are getting harder to find. Like I said, too many commercials and replays and glitz and hype. That kind of stuff gets in the way for me. Give me the game itself. But enough of this introduction that was necessary to point out the relative importance of football and the NFL. It’s important. But its not oxygen. That’s why it’s amazing to me that the NFL is seriously considering playing a full season despite a worldwide health crisis. The NHL and NBA are back in action, but only at a few sites, and there is a bubble-city system in place, with lots of testing and safety protocols and procedures and limited access with zero fans in attendance. Those who have time to pay attention to sports in these tough times may have heard the horror stories about all of the canceled Major League Baseball games because of the many COVID-19 positive tests despite safety procedures (but no bubble) in place and no fans. The NFL hasn’t even gone as far as saying it will limit or ban fans, and the first game of the regular season is scheduled Sept. 10, about a month away. The Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Houston Texans. I saw the ad for that game on TV. Something just didn’t look right about that. All it would take is for one offensive lineman, say, to have the virus and smash into the helmet of the defensive tackle on the other side of the line. One breath. One transmission. And then boom, everybody they come into contact with is in jeopardy.
Former University of Hawaii and current New York Jets center Leo Koloamatangi is one of 66 players to opt out of the NFL season so far due to the COVID-19 health crisis. (Photo from the @MrKoloamatangi Twitter page).

That is insane — in my opinion anyway. I may be in the minority. Who knows? I guess there are a lot out there who are just waiting to see what happens and, uh, maybe football will appear. But it’s already gone, in some cases at lower levels. As of a few days ago, 37 states had already modified their high school football schedule with 15, including Hawaii, opting out of the fall completely. Earlier today, the Big Ten postponed its college season and has a plan to hold it in the spring. Craziness. Think about that. No Big Ten football!!!!


ALSO AT NICKABRAMO.COM: Hawaii’s Blaysen Terukina Rolls to NAIA National Wrestling Championship


Speaking of helmets crashing. Heads are under those protective devices. It wasn’t that long ago that the NFL took quite a long time to settle out of court and not really take the blame for all of the players who filed suit because of their suffering from CTE and dementia due to — it has been theorized — all of the on-field, head-to-head collisions.

This time, the NFL should get ahead of the safety situation. So maybe — if there is any possible chance at safety like the NHL and NBA have ensured thus far — try for a shortened NFL season.

But maybe, if there are going to be a ton of precautions that can’t be met (bubble cities, no fans), just admit that you care more about money than safety and — instead of going through the cancellation carousel like MLB — LET”S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF.

Just like in the song “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, calling it off would leave some unfortunate souls “heartbroken.”

But better heartbroken than putting more lives in danger.

And it’s not such a crazy idea to call it all off. As of Sunday, 66 NFL players had already opted out from playing the season (including former University of Hawaii and current New York Jets center Leo Koloamatangi, who was the subject of a June 22 feature story on this website) due to the COVID-19 threat.


Editor’s note: This story was edited to correct the number of states who have opted out of fall football.


Related Post

Coaches: A Shortened ILH Football Season Is Still Possible

It’s possible high school football may still happen in the 808 this spring. And girls volleyball, too. The Interscholastic League

Incredible 2016 Hawaii Football Recruiting Crop Is Still Out There

It was a banner year in 2016 for Hawaii football’s high school graduates going to college. Four full seasons have

BREAKING NEWS: DOE Makes It Official — Hawaii High School

The Hawaii State Department of Education’s extracurricular and co-curricular activities are scheduled to begin in person on Aug. 19, the

Liam Shanahan — of Marlboro, Ivy and LSU stock —

Author’s note: This story first ran in and is running here in sister site for anyone who likes

Kaiser High School Kicker Kyler Halvorsen Awaits Next Step In

Visualization is a technique people use to picture positive outcomes as a way to achieve a short- or long-term goal.

2021 UH FOOTBALL SCHEDULE: A Bundle Of Former Hawaii High

The 13-game 2021 University of Hawaii football schedule came out Friday. Some things will be very different this fall for

Hawaii High School Football And Other Sports Moved to January

Public health and safety issues caused by COVID-19 are playing havoc with planners for the 2020-21 high school sports year.

Nine Veterans And Four 2020 Draftees Lead This Year’s Crop

Seven players who graduated from high school in Hawaii are returning veterans with NFL teams and two others are veteran

The NFL Likes Money, The World Wants Safety; Let’s Call

Never underestimate the power of the NFL. The football lords have tried to ignore safety before and they may just

Tua Tagovailoa Boosts Total Of Hawaii Players Starting In The

It's an amazing time for Hawaii football and especially for a young man out of Ewa Beach. Tua Tagovailoa will

Marcus Mariota Gives A Boost To Waialua Bulldogs And New

Darnell Arceneaux and Marcus Mariota are in an exclusive club — part of the fine quarterback lineage at Saint Louis

Hilo And Waipahu’s Sean Saturnio Is Experiencing Glorious Days As

Former Waipahu High football coach Saturnio has been an assistant coach at Army and in various roles since the 2014

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow us

Get the latest stories emailed to your inbox

5-week class starting on Saturdays in May.
1 hour per session, 1 hour of personal coaching.
Great price: $300. Call Vince at 808-391-7371.