AW

An Open Letter to Roger Goodell

In Sports on September 25, 2012 at 10:47 am

Dear Mr. Goodell,

You are undoubtedly besieged with e-mails, phone calls and texts this morning after last night’s debacle featuring your replacement refs literally handing the ball and the game to the Seahawks over the Packers in front of a national television audience.  It’s probably not the best day for you, but then again, your worst day at work is still probably better than most peoples’ best day at work, so you’ll get no sympathy from any NFL fans, except maybe the ones living in Seattle.

The hypocrisy to your approach with the refs is as great as any politician running for election this year.

You claim that your mission is to protect the players and the shield, yet your replacement refs are putting both of those in serious jeopardy.  Thankfully, the only major damage so far has been to your reputation.  What is it going to take to get you to do the right thing, and pay the professional refs what they deserve?  A paralyzed NFL player?  A stadium riot?

If the Packers would have been on the receiving end of that horrific call last night, and the Seahawks lost the game because of it, how do you think the fans would have reacted?  All it would have taken was a handful of drunk fans to overreact to the outcome of the game, and a melee would have most likely ensued.

You have a product that America craves, so you probably think that you can do whatever you want and we will still keep supporting the NFL without fail.  You are wrong to think this way!  There is already talk of people boycotting the game in Green Bay next week.  Green Bay!  Those are some of the most loyal sports fans in the world.  The fans own the team, and they are thinking about boycotting to send a message to you and the NFL.

If you think that the NFL can’t fall from its lofty perch, you should take a look at how long it took Major League Baseball to come back after their extended work stoppage.  If not for Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak, there wouldn’t have been much interest in the game at all.

The NFL has always been special because every game carries so much weight in a relatively short season.  Whether you would like to admit it or not, much of the popularity of the game is generated by gamblers and fantasy football players.  If those groups start to decline, your ratings won’t be far behind, and the absurd television deals that put millions of dollars into your pocket each year will start to decline as well.

NFL fans love the game in spite of the greed of billionaires, and an extremely well-paid commissioner because it gives us an escape from the stress of everyday living.  However, when the games are no longer enjoyable to watch, the NFL will start to lose money.

Personally, I would not set foot inside of an NFL stadium while the replacement refs are still ruining the game that we all love.  Nor will I be buying anything with an NFL logo on it.  I can’t make a difference on my own, but I assure you, Mr. Goodell, that there are others out there who feel the same way as me.  And in the day and age of social media, you shouldn’t underestimate the power that people have when they join forces.

Pay the refs what they deserve because it is the right thing to do.

You are a wealthy man, Mr. Goodell, as are the owners that you represent.

I’m sure that you all drive expensive cars that you get detailed professionally rather than going to the squeegee guy on the corner who is going to clean your car with spit and newspapers.

I’m sure that you all live in nice homes and frequent fine restaurants, and that you insist on quality in every aspect of your lives.

So why is it that you feel that it is perfectly justifiable to settle for the lowest possible quality officiating of the most popular sport in the world?

You say that you want to protect the shield?  Then bring back the professional refs, because these replacement refs are more of blight on the game than anything that happened with the Saints and “Bountygate,” and we all know how swiftly you acted in that instance!

Signed,

A Frustrated NFL Fan!

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