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Armando Salguero

NFL should offer Dolphins hurricane relief: Move London game back to Miami


So the Miami Dolphins will have to play 16 consecutive games during the 2017 regular-season because on Wednesday morning the NFL decided the best approach to handling the threat from Hurricane Irma was to postpone the scheduled game at Hard Rock Stadium until the team’s bye weekend.

That means the Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which shared that Nov. 19 bye week, will be playing then to make up for the game lost this weekend.

Again, that’s 16 consecutive games for both teams.

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That is a penalty for the both teams.

Neither wanted this. Both argued against it when their officials were in talks with the NFL the past couple of days, per sources.

(Playing this weekend in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia were also possibilities considered and obviously rejected, per sources).

So this is where we’re at and it is really no one’s fault because we live in paradise and sometimes paradise is threatened by hurricanes.

But ... This is where it gets unfair for a team already put at a competitive disadvantage through no fault of its own:

The Dolphins no longer have a bye week and have only seven home games. The Dolphins indeed are the only NFL team with no bye week and seven home games. The Dolphins are the only NFL team getting the double whammy.

So it makes perfect sense for the NFL to give the Dolphins some relief.

Call it hurricane relief, NFL.

The NFL should cancel the October 1 game between the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins in London. And play that game in Miami.


Where it belongs.

The Dolphins playing a home game at home.

The Dolphins playing a home game at home in a year they have to play 16 consecutive games -- avoiding the extra wear and tear of the travel.

That would be relief. And it would be welcome.

This is where I tell you this idea has not been at all discussed by any of the parties involved in this week’s hurricane decisions. The NFL certainly wouldn’t bring this up.

It is up to the Dolphins to bring this up. It is up to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to call NFL commissioner Roger Godell and request this. To make this a thing. A possibility.

Ross did the NFL a favor by agreeing to trim an actual home game from the Dolphins schedule and call a game in London, thousands of miles away, a home game. That move was meant to help promote the league overseas.

Well, how about promoting the game back home in an area that potentially will be rebuilding from a killer storm? How about relieving the team from setting off on one of its longest trips of the year in a season when it is playing 16 consecutive games?

Some questions:

Is that fair to London? Yes.

London is scheduled to have four games played there this season. I think it will still be fine if the NFL visits three times instead.

Is it fair to Tampa Bay? Yes.

The Bucs already have eight home games that will be played, well, at home.

Is it fair to New Orleans, the Dolphins’ opponent for that Oct. 1 game in Europe? Yes.

I dare say Saints coach Sean Payton would rather his team fly 90 minutes to South Florida than eight hours to London.

This idea is fair to everyone -- most of all the Dolphins who otherwise are getting short shrift through no fault of their own because of a hurricane.

One more thing: Will the NFL do this?

Probably not.

It would be too bold. It would be too humane. It would cost money. It would upset the proverbial apple cart because that’s what moving games and rescheduling games does at this point in the year.

Too late for that. The NFL just rescheduled a game in the United States 15 minutes ago.

It can do it again if it really wanted to -- for the sake of making things a little more fair for the Miami Dolphins.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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