There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the NFL's decision to keep today's game between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, but the complaints were seemingly lost in the good feelings that happened when the New York Giants and Commissioner Roger Goodell hosted the first responders during Hurricane Sandy before the contest.
"It's hard to imagine what they go through," Goodell said before the game. "Many of them didn't sleep all week, dealing with this constant stress, dealing with people that are obviously going through some very difficult periods of their life. It's remarkable we have people like this. So many of these folks are volunteers, and to see that, it really gives new meaning to hero to me."
There were certainly complications in the wake of this week's natural disaster. Fueling complications had led to fistfights and station closings in the New York and New Jersey areas, many neighborhoods in the area near the stadium are devastated, and the Steelers' intended hotel -- the Westin on Jersey City -- was without power, which meant that they had to fly in for the game on Sunday morning.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Friday that there shouldn't be concerns about diversion of resources.
"I don't think there's going to be much of anything diverted away from us by having the game there," Gov. Christie told SiriusXM's Mad Dog Radio on Friday (via Tom Rock of Newsday). "The fact is that's a completely privately-owned piece of property now. There are flushless toilets in the new MetLife Stadium. This is just not a situation where I think there are going to be a lot of state resources diverted. And ultimately, my philosophy is I don't want the government involved in making those decisions unless it is an absolute emergency."
Goodell said that he didn't field any complaints.
"I sure didn't hear that here. And I didn't hear it out in the parking lot. In fact, exactly the opposite, is that, 'We needed this. We wanted to be here, we want to be able to get away from everywhere we've been dealing with all week for a little while.' "
"And a couple guys said this just re-energized us, and we're ready to go back. And that's a nice thing. And that was a little bit of what the governor and I talked about, is not only saluting our great heroes and also giving them a chance to catch their breath and get ready to go back and do what they need to do."
Dan Jackson, a lieutenant in the Brigantine, N.J. Fire Department, said that his town still looks like a "war zone," and he slept a total of three hours from last Sunday night through Thursday morning, but this was an important part of moving forward.
"This is what America is all about," Jackson said. "The resilience of being able to play the games and have the people watch it and try to get life going on."
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