Well, slap my ass and call me Crazy! Boy was I wrong! No sooner do I write a post stating my belief that Goodell and the boy upstairs would continue to drag out the ref lockout and keep the replacements on the field for a while longer, when Blam! Goodell pulls a fast one and announces that an accord has been reached with the NFL Referee Association. Just like that the refs are back in the house! So beginning tonight the real NFL refs will take the field and the ‘wanna-be’ replacement refs will be banished back to Division 3 college football or wherever, where they can continue making a mess of things. Who knows, maybe someday in the very distant future, a few may actually earn their ‘stripes’ and come back to once again ref in the NFL.
Of course Goodell denies that the officiating snafu of the past three weeks and more recently Monday Night’s controversial, magic touchdown had anything to do with the agreement being reached last night. According to Goodell the NFL has been in intense negotiations with the referee association for the past 3 weeks and Monday nights game was not a turning point in the negotiations. He said there was no sense of urgency as a result of that game. Oh sure Commish, like we’re buying that one! right! Rumor has it that Goodell himself got much more involved in the negotiations these last two days. Now what prompted that? Hmm I wonder. In making his announcement he tried to explain the reason why the lock-out lasted as long as it did and even apologized to football fans if you can call his brief sorry an apology.
“You always have costs for the short term but you sometimes have to experience that to get to the right place in the long term. And that’s sometimes a painful thing, We are sorry to have to put our fans through that. But in the short term, it’s something you have to do to make sure you get the right type of agreement for the long term.” Roger Goodell
Sounds like a bunch of double-speak B.S. to me. In the short term Goodell is an ass, and in the long term, I think we’re all in agreement that he’s still an ass!
The whole four month lock-out was an incredible waste of time. Settling the lock-out and bringing the experienced NFL refs back was a calculated move on the part of Goodell and his cronies to take the spotlight off the NFL and focus everyone’s attention back on the game. It was first and foremost a public relations move that had to be made. Football is big business. Like any big corporation it’s all about dollars and cents. The powers that be in the NFL don’t like negative attention or embarrassment. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that this had anything to do with the NFL hierarchy caring about the fans or fan loyalty. They have no feeling one way or the other. As long as we continue to throw money at the NFL the way we do, the big, money generating machine just keeps rolling along and that’s just the way they like it. Keep that spotlight shining on the game, while the greedy corporate moguls sit behind closed doors counting all their cash – our cash.
Someone once said that there is “no such thing as bad press” but the NFL knows that’s not true. They know that negative coverage has a way of coming back to bite you in the ass and affect your margin of profit. Besides, even if it was true, they wouldn’t risk it. Too much money at stake to take a chance.
I hope you realize the return of the real refs doesn’t mean the end of bad or blown calls. I’m sure we can all recall a time or two when a genuine, certified NFL referee has made a bad call at an inopportune time, or completely missed a call that occurred right in front of him. Hey, shit happens, even to the experts. But take heart, tonight’s officiating crew brings 0ver 70 years of NFL experience with them, but after sitting out these last few months I just hope they’re not a little rusty!