Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Monday night football debacle

There's no need to get into the details here of what transpired at the end of the Green Bay Packers -- Seattle Seahawks MNF game. It will be all over TV sports programs, the net, and print journalists are no doubt writing furiously about it at this very moment. Basically, it was a day, rather night, of infamy.

If it wasn't apparent before, it has now become officially obvious that the NFL, and by that I mean Commissioner Roger Goodell and his henchmen in the league office, along with the franchise owners of the various teams -- don't care about the integrity of the game, as long as the billions keep pouring in. Sure, they've given it lip-service with their mandates cracking down on various things, from changing the on-field rules to supposedly make a very violent game safer, to holding players accountable for their off-field behavior. Fines, fines, everywhere fines, not to mention suspensions.

But make no mistake. They're hypocrites in the worst way.

While the NFL is busy throwing their considerable clout at misdemeanor offenders, they are blatantly committing the equivalent of a major felony themselves. Let's call it "willful and gross negligence resulting in irreparable damage to the integrity of the game". In other words, while the NFL continues to stand firm against giving up what amounts to pocket change on a C-note to have their games competently officiated, they've completely lost sight of the integrity they constantly espouse. With the scab on-field officials, the games have become a sad joke. Three weeks into the regular season, it's become obvious these guys, and girl, aren't getting any better. They're getting WORSE. Flags thrown for infractions that didn't happen. Blatant offenses ignored. They have absolutely no clue what's going on. Coaches and players are exasperated. Fans, both in the stadiums, or watching on TV, scream in outrage. Worse yet, people are getting hurt over this farce. As evidenced by the above mentioned Packer-Seattle outcome, it could quite possibly involve many millions of dollars wrongfully changing hands. When it comes to making the playoffs or not, home-field advantage, etc., one game that was decided in error could very well be a major factor.

Assuming the scab refs are impartial, perhaps an argument could be made that their incompetence over the long run works out equally for opposing teams. After all, they constantly huddle up amongst themselves and try to figure out who's on first and what's on second, so they can make a call.

NO. This is not acceptable.

Ask yourself this -- after busting your butt for your whole life to become elite at what you do, would you want Larry, Moe, Curly, Laurel and Hardy, in consultation with Abbott and Costello to be your collective bosses on the job? That's about what everybody not counting the NFL league offices are looking at right now. They don't care.

The NFL appears to be oblivious not only to what the fans want -- but deserve. All of the outrage is like shouting into the wind to deaf ears in the first place.

But there's a way this would change quickly if the right people speak out.

Next time.

1 comment:

  1. Although I agree with most of your post, I think your characterization of the replacement refs as comedy acts is a little too harsh. I am sure they are trying their best. Unfortunately that is not good enough. But on the other hand, in my opinion the job the regular refs were doing was not good enough, either. Better, but not where it should be. Bringing the real refs back would at least improve the game management and quality of officiating.

    The NFL has taken extraordinary steps to improve player safety (or the perception that they are improving). By using these replacements I think they are weakening their arguments for the lawsuits.

    I liked Roger Goodell when he took over as commissioner. I have grown to think he has become drunk with power and has become so arrogant he is not thinking rationally. He has tried to bully the players and has been slapped down by the courts. Now he is insulting the fans and sponsors by allowing third-tier officials into the money printing machine of the NFL. I suppose when people quit watching, he will decide to get the mess settled.

    Until then, the howling will get louder and louder.