There was a huge sigh of relief at Browns' headquarters Thursday after it was learned that National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue decided to cancel games this week.
Jamir Miller, the Browns representative to the players union, spoke with emotion about the decision. Miller is convinced that the reactions of players throughout the league played an instrumental role in Tagliabue's thought process.
Carmen Policy, Browns president, agreed with Miller's assessment. Much consideration was given to the players on the rosters of the New York Giants, New York Jets and Washington Redskins.
"The situation primarily in New York and to a large extent in Washington has caused us to have no choice but to back away from the business we're in," Policy said. "We felt it was right to back away from our activity this weekend and allow ourselves to commiserate with our fellow citizens, especially those that are in New York and Washington."
If the games are played at a later date, that decision will be made prior to games of Sept. 23. A possible scenario will be to reduce the playoff field to four teams instead of six in each conference. The missed games could then be played on what would have been wild-card weekend.
Policy and his wife Gail were almost out of their house and on their way to Hopkins Airport last Tuesday for a flight to New York City when they saw television coverage of the planes hitting the towers at the World Trade Center. Policy knew at that time that everyone's life would never be the same.
Coach Butch Davis gave the players Friday off. They will do some film work during the weekend and return to the practice field Monday to begin preparing for Detroit.