Here are some interesting tidbits I’ve been able to dig up from around the web:
- The official who signaled the touchdown has three days training experience at a referee academy in Utah and has, until now, only refereed high school and junior college games.
- The Packers were favored by four and a half points. As a result of the call they lost, had it gone the other way they would have won by five points. The estimated swing in betting revenues on that one call was $300 MILLION dollars.
- The NFL’s statement defending the call has a six paragraph introduction and cites three different rules that come in to play.
- And this provocative bit: The Lingerie Football League, yes there is such a thing, has issued a statement that some of the referees they have fired as being unfit to officiate their games are now officiating in the NFL as replacements.
Crazy eh? Outrageous! Something HAS to be done doesn’t it?
The National Football League is in the entertainment business and I can tell you that from the perspective of a vociferous Seattle Seahawks fan, my wife, there was nothing more entertaining than that last minute win. (I was pulling for Green Bay)
Doesn’t it make it more fun having go guess when your team will pull the whammy card and get an incredibly ridiculous call that changes the game? Ok, well what about if the opponent gets whammied?
Isn’t it entertaining to listen to the announcers fumble all over themselves to be incredulous, and professional, and confused all at the same time?
Isn’t it entertaining to wonder what is going on in those guys heads when they make such horrific calls?
Ok, I know all about “the integrity of the game” and “player safety” and all that. I realize you could start to lose part of the fan base if the officiating becomes too farcical, not to mention the potential for corruption creeping in to officiating…if you get really bad calls every game it is easier to hide a corrupt official making them on purpose…but really it is about entertainment…and I’m still chuckling about the Monday night game two days later.
The bottom line is that the league, and in particular the commissioners office, are starting to look quite foolish no matter how you slice it. We have to place some blame on the owners too who have control over the purse strings.
But we’re the fans. In truth we hold the power.
What if, in every NFL stadium this coming Sunday, the seats were empty when the game started? I’m not suggesting people kiss off the money they’ve spent on tickets, just that across the league people boycott the opening kickoff. Can you imagine the coverage?
- Empty stadiums for the national anthem and probably most of the first series of plays.
- HUGE crowds outside the stadium standing around waiting to to enter.
- Fans filtering in throughout almost the entire first quarter.
My quick web research seems to indicate that NFL stadiums bring in about 1.2 million dollars in concession revenue per game. Divide that by four and you potentially impact a quarter of a million dollars per stadium. There are 13 Sunday games this week so you get close to three and a half million dollars in impacted concession revenues.
That ought to get someones attention don’t ya think?
Let’s see if we can get Mr. Hochuli and the rest of ’em back by flexing our power as consumers. Let’s boycott the opening kickoff!
What do you think? Would an opening kickoff boycott get the attention of the league? Perhaps more importantly…could it be pulled off?