9:30 AM CDT, September 27, 2012
Now we know what the NFL’s embarrassment level is: Getting pantsed on national television.
Getting pantsed twice, in fact.
First, Roger Goodell and the village idiots who own teams watched two-bit officials blow the original call against Green Bay on Monday night. Then they watched as the two-bit officials stupefyingly confirmed their own idiocy upon replay.
And then Goodell and his Gang of 32 stuck by the incompetent officials in a statement Tuesday.
By Wednesday, somebody in the NFL suffered a spasm of lucidity and a deal was done to bring back the real officials for Thursday night’s game and forever.
Goodell’s tough-guy stance was idiotic from the start. You’re talking about lunch money in a $9 billion monopoly.
Instead, the league decided a reject from the Lingerie League could work the biggest stage in football.
The NFL is full of it when it comes to yammering on about integrity and credibility. The league is shoveling big-time when it comes to player safety.
Look, a cartel that cares about the game and player safety and blah, blah, blah wouldn’t lobby for two more brain-damaging regular-season games and foist incompetent arbiters into a game where dirty tricks are rampant.
But cartels don’t have to listen to anybody except Congress, and as along as all the Washington ciphers get their Redskins tickets, it’s recess for the suits in the suites.
The next time the NFL tells you it cares about its product, feel free to use Goodell’s power tie as toilet paper. The NFL cares about one thing: money. Period. Any questions?
While the NFL's embarrassment tolerance level has been established, I have to believe the steaming piles of officiating manure that the fakes left on the field in Seattle was about to cost the NFL some money. I’m not sure how. League wonks would never admit it. They would never hint at it. But believe me, something was about to affect their budget for Beluga.
There was a loud public backlash over Goodell’s clown college, but that wouldn’t matter unless fans stopped buying Pepsi, Budweiser and other corporate sponsors the way I suggested.
Or perhaps NFL broadcast partners suddenly had a case for millions in rebates of rights fees because the NFL was delivering an inferior product.
Or it might’ve been the threat of a fix.
Wise up, folks. If there was ever a conspiracy scenario that looked plausible, it was the end of Monday night’s game. The Packers were favored by three points on the road and they were about to cover. They were the betting favorite of the public because the betting public loves betting the favorite.
Some smart gamblers who’ve been doing their networking easily could’ve gotten to a bunch of the fake officials, figured out who was looking for one last balloon payment, and then explain how one call against the Packers could make all their retirement hopes and dreams come true. You don’t have to be a latter-day Arnold Rothstein to figure that out.
A fix is especially likely when you consider the NFL’s pathetic vetting of the fake officials. A guy who supposedly was a die-hard Saints fan got assigned to a Saints game and had to be pulled off the crew, leaving an NFL game short-handed? Some officials talking fantasy leagues to the NFL players? A fixer could walk through the front door.
Whatever, the NFL caved in after that joke in Seattle. The league wonks gave the real officials the key things they wanted from the start. So, there you go: Goodell shamed his bosses for a month for no reason.
So, the NFL will bring back real officials. Now we’ll get a better quality of missed calls.
They will make mistakes. They will blow calls. They have before and they will again.
But they have credibility because they’ve worked the highest league before and they know the rules. So, we’ll finally get a group that will perform better than Jay Cutler’s offense.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC