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For Bills-Jets game, NFL's hand forced by political football

Talk about deft handling of a political football!

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz did his best imitation of Hall-of-Famer Jim Kelly with his sharp delivery of a verbal pass straight to the vulnerable heart of the National Football League regarding its decision of where and when the Bills would play their game against the Jets.

The NFL has never found itself under more fire than it has this year in the wake of its clumsy handling of the domestic-violence case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and the child-abuse case involving Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

It clearly doesn't want or need any more bad publicity.

Poloncarz is a self-described Bills fan who undoubtedly is aware of not only all that happens with his favorite team but also about what takes place in the league in which it plays. So he used one of his snow-storm briefings today with the media to remind everyone watching and listening that "the NFL is a business" and broached the subject of the league possibly "pushing" the Bills to play the game as scheduled on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium despite the lingering crisis brought on by Mother Nature.

And, if that were the case, "then shame on the NFL," Poloncarz said, noting that he could not commit county services to the game if it were played on Sunday.

In the same briefing, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the idea of the Bills and Jets playing Sunday at The Ralph "impractical."

It's hardly a coincidence that soon after those remarks remarks began circulating, word came from at least one national media source (ESPN's Adam Schefter) that the league was looking at other possible venues to host the game, including Detroit's Ford Field, Pittsburgh's Heinz Field, and Washington's FedEx Field.

Since then, multiple league sources have said that it's all but certain the Bills would face the Jets somewhere other than Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Yes, that was a highly effective political football delivered by Poloncarz and Cuomo.

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