Here’s a business question, not a sports issue: Are you fed up with the calls these NFL refs are making? Tired of seeing your sport become a mockery with head-scratching penalty flags and blown calls?
Or, are you drawn to the games all the more? Now we have a historic referee debacle on the order of the Jorge Orta call, and who would want to miss such a thing?
That was a question raised by one of the Mikes on ESPN’s Mike & Mike show this morning. If the lockout isn’t hurting business, why should the league give in to the refs?
In the long run, this sort of meltdown is bad for NFL business not only because entire games are being reversed by marred calls, but because, as we saw Sunday night, these refs can’t control the game. Football, and most any business, is about controlling chaotic forces.
Why would the NFL play hardball with so much at stake, and so small a demand by the refs? The question is about a few million dollars for a retirement plan, after all, in a league with $10 billion in revenues and growing.
One idea was floated by NPR’s mike Pesca even before the Monday Nightmare: The league doesn’t care about this small dispute but it needs to look tough for the real battle, when the players’ union contract comes up.
Pesca credited that idea to Gabe Feldman at the Tulane Sports Law Program.
But now the NFL’s toughness is starting to look silly. Tell us how you’re reacting.
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