Let the New York Giants Play, but the New York City Marathon Should Not Go On
Leave it to the Twitterverse to provide a spark of controversy when things seem pretty clear-cut and drama-free:
The marathon is getting a lot of heat for having the race go as scheduled on Thursday, but Giants-Steelers game shouldn't be played either— Chris Mad Dog Russo (@MadDogUnleashed) November 1, 2012
I really don't see how playing a game in a confined stadium—in front of spectators who have paid good money for the right to sit, drink a beer and be entertained—is going to take away from the very real and important work being done throughout New Jersey and New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly reached out to New Jersey governor Chris Christie regarding the game being played in New Jersey this weekend to ensure that it would not be diverting resources from the recovery. Christie reportedly "gave no indication he wanted the game postponed," according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King.
Should they play the Steelers/Giants game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday?
Not only will the game not be "diverting resources," it will serve as a massive collection center. The Giants and the NFL have teamed up with Stop & Shop and will be hosting a food drive at the stadium on Sunday for victims of the hurricane.
The New York City Marathon is a whole different story.
I live in Astoria, Queens. We got extremely lucky here in Astoria. Other than a bunch of downed trees, most people kept their power through the storm.
While my family and I were extremely fortunate, there are thousands of families that were not so fortunate throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Staten Island (where the marathon is scheduled to start) is dealing with an unprecedented crisis. The city of New York actually thinks shutting down one side of the only bridge connecting the island to the rest of the city is a good idea?
The race is reportedly not altering its course whatsoever, meaning it will parade through neighborhoods where people haven't had drinkable water since Sunday. And what sight will those fine folks be treated to? Why, free water...for the runners, of course.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's said the marathon "won't divert resources."
Generators being used to power tents for race officials and the media require resources. Police officers and ambulance services will be diverted to man the race route. All while the Lower East Side devolves into Thunderdome.
Then there are stories of New Yorkers who have been displaced from their homes and are being removed from hotel rooms because of the need to make room for runners, reporters and tourists. (To be fair, there are also hotel operators who seem to get it, like this Staten Island hotel owner.)
Should the New York City Marathon be canceled?
Look, I understand wanting to be "resilient." Mayor Bloomberg feels that a week after the disaster should be adequate time for things to be up and running at a level acceptable for running a marathon.
The marathon means a lot to this city. Not only in terms of prestige, but in terms of revenue that is brought in from visitors from around the world.
But things are not up and running. There are far too many people hurting and dealing with the aftermath of a disaster, many of whom will watch the marathon run right through their neighborhoods.
The considerable resources at the city's disposal should be entirely concentrated on helping those folks—not split between them and a marathon that doesn't need to be run.
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