Monday Night’s Last Call

If you’re reading this then you probably have some opinion on the last call of the Monday Night Football game between Seattle and Green Bay.

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?

But why?

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?




7 responses to “Monday Night’s Last Call

  1. Good luck getting football addicts to not watch “for the integrity” of the game. Personally, while outrageous, I also think this whole things is hilarious. It’s a game, and the NFL owners don’t just own the teams. They ‘own’ the fans, too.

    • I find it mostly comical too! I can only hope people aren’t SO addicted they have to be there from the opening second. I don’t want people to miss the game, just send a message by missing the kickoff…thus proving that the owners DON’T own the fans.

  2. I didn’t stay up to watch the end of the game, but I wish I would have now. I do know what my reaction would have been. I would have felt terrible for the referees. I mean, I’ve got to believe they don’t want to make those types of mistakes. I mean, this is an opportunity for them, right? Even if/when the regular refs come back, it seems as though the replacements may be considered for positions at some point possibly. I mean, consider the pressure they are under. Of course, I’m the person who feels badly for the kicker when he misses a key field goal. They don’t get as much opportunity to shine, and I know they feel awful when they let their team down.

    • We should ALL feel bad for field goal kickers if they miss…perhaps I only say that because both my sons are kickers but that’s beside the point. 🙂

      I do feel a little bad for the refs but there are things they’re missing that even a junior referee should know and THAT is where it gets really sticky.

      • Guess I haven’t watched it enough to see the little things. I just can’t believe they WANT to make these mistakes. But, I’m a perfectionist, so maybe that clouds my thinking. I will say that the games I have watched are very entertaining. I fact, they are certainly more entertaining that ones I’ve seen in a long while.

  3. As a Hawk fan, I must say your wife has great taste! That whole game was a hot officiating mess. With that last play, the jaws of both my husband and I dropped to the floor. Not that we will ever know, but it would have been interesting to see how the regular refs would have handled the situation, as it was not (in our opinion) clear cut. I’ll bet they’d have at least conferred with each other first, even if they came to the same conclusion! However, I love how Tate has basically said, “Look, I made a play, the refs made the call!”

    • I think if it had been the normal crew the referee, the guy in the white hat who has final authority on all ‘rulings on the field’, would have come over and talked through the play with the two officials in the end zone before making a final decision. That’s what SHOULD have happened but didn’t so the ruling is decided by whichever guy put his signal up first…in this case our poorly trained friend.
      Tate is right though…he made A play and the officials made A call and they came away with the win! 🙂

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