Yes, it is indeed another NFL post, but this news just won’t go away. The fallout from the Packers-Seahawks game got worse when the NFL issued an arrogant-sounding statement declaring the game will stand as called. It becomes pretty apparent the NFL owners consider the fans to be rubes.
While it’s always been about the money–you can see that by how much you have to pay for an official NFL tee-shirt–it used to also be about the integrity of the game. That is severely eroded and getting worse.
The owners think that people will watch regardless. Jim Rome seems to be enjoying this season, saying that we get the game and a bonus side-show. It is apparently attracting new viewers who tune in to see just how bad these replacement refs are. That won’t last.
My uncle, an editor and former sportswriter at a major newspaper, is one of the biggest and most knowledgeable football fans I know. He has declared that he will not watch another NFL game until this is addressed. the hard-core fans are getting upset, and while loyalty to teams and the weekly fix may keep them watching, the casual fans are eventually going to start dropping away.
Last season, Green Bay had a dominant team. This season, it’s more sound all the way around, but it is nowhere near as dominant. I can watch or not watch. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have something special going in with their defense. I admit that I want to see it. It’s a traditionally poor team playing very well. they have the best record in the NFL over the past 10 regular-season games, they are 3-0, lead the division, and have beaten very good teams to get there. They did it despite Seattle being awarded an extra time-out in the 4th quarter of game 1.
So yes, I will continue to watch, but it will be despite the officials, not because of them. I will not like the bad calls, and I probably won’t watch any other game I might have watched under other conditions. But don’t be fooled just because people are still watching. Even the hard-core fans are going to be tuing out when the wrong teams are in post-season play.