The NFL has what most people think is a giant issue on their hands. Locked out NFL officials were missed in the first two weeks of the NFL but in week three, all hell broke loose.
The Lions game was bad, the Titans were given 12 free yards on a penalty in overtime, leading to a game winning field goal. On that penalty they were able to call a helmet to helmet hit on Steven Tulloch yet some how missed a very blatant helmet to helmet hit on Calvin Johnson in the first half.
In the Ravens-Patriots game the officiating was over the top with flags and coach penalties that was baffling and resulted in both head coaches making contact with officials, which is a big no-no.
And as of Monday morning the only call that can be attributed to winning a game and that was the Lions-Titans extra yards and that is debatable if those yards would have made a difference. But then Monday happened and the entire country now knows about the replacement refs.
The refs again called an absurd amount of penalties in the game and then the game was decided by an incorrect call that was reviewed and still incorrect. Also, despite all the penalties, a big call was missed on pass interference on Golden Tate, who ended up allegedly catching the game winning touchdown.
This then put the reffing issue into mainstream news, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, you name it, the regular media was all over the NFL and players and coaches and writers and executives were tweeting and facebook-ing and talking about the clear issue the NFL has on their hands.
This had to be the tipping point in the NFL and the Referee Association negotiations, right? The Refs can have whatever they want, the NFL needs them back, THEY HAVE TO GET THEM BACK…right?
No, the NFL doesn’t and doesn’t care what you think.
The NFL ratings have never been higher. And guess what happens now? All these people that don’t normally watch football but have seen the referee issue on the news will be turning in too. It is the Howard Stern effect. Howard Stern had higher ratings because people that could not stand him listened so they could complain about what an awful, disgusting person he was.
Now the NFL is getting all sorts of free media, has saved $3.1MM so far this year by using the replacement refs and are going to have record ratings in week 4 of the season. This means even more money for the multi-billion dollar industry and the owners couldn’t be happier.
Roger Goodell costs each team about $375K per year for his salary…what the 120 NFL Referees are asking for would cost each team about $175K per year and they won’t pay it. So, don’t think for a second all this free media and what will potentially be the best ratings ever is going to change these owners minds, they didn’t get where they are by giving a shit about the public.
And for anyone who thinks that player safety is going to force the regular officials back to work you can go ahead and look at all the concussions and the lack of response to concussions and the fact that the NFLPA is trying to get independent concussion specialist on the sidelines for games and the NFL said no as reason to believe the NFL does not care about anything but the bottom line.
There are upwards of 45 million people playing fantasy football, NFL merchandise is everywhere in every office and home, the league is displayed on 3 nights per week and people can’t stop watching and that is exactly how the owners want it. And to be saving money by paying scabs makes it even better for them.