Send in the Owners
The National Football League knew it was in trouble when David Letterman mocked the officiating fiasco Tuesday night. A very bedraggled Alan Kalter trudged across the stage wearing a don’t-mess-with-me scowl and striped referee gear. He just had a bleeping day, he said.
Then there was a Top Ten List cataloging the mistakes by the ringers, with sports maven ace writer Bill Scheft from the wings explaining the N.F.L. misery.
Now we read in Judy Battista’s excellent front-page piece in the Times that new, intransigent owners are responsible for the hard stance.
If I read between the lines, some of these new people want to solve the ills of the world right here and now – by stiffing the help.
They are willing to dilute the product for a ridiculously miniscule piece of the action – what the Times says is $3.2 million extra, out of the $9 billion in annual revenue of the N.F.L. In other words, the owners are saying, it’s not the money, it’s the principle.
They could downsize the limos at the Super Bowl and afford real refs by next Sunday.
We haven’t seen such haughtiness toward the working class since…since…since Mitt Romney talked straight from his avaricious little heart to his rich friends in that now-infamous tape.
Mitt can’t worry about poor people; the N.F.L. owners can’t worry about fans. They all have their agendas.
If I read the tea leaves correctly, some new owners are trying to make their points against a society they just joined. In that, they remind me of the 40 or 50 new tea-party types who came to Congress in 2011, with no intention of actually belonging to it. They slept in their offices and rushed home as soon as they could, scorning the institution and, in effect, the country.
By ignoring the expertise of the referees, the nouveau hard-line owners have jeopardized the product they recently bought into. They have their own tapes proliferating – the botched calls, the yowling fans, the twittering players, and the laughter on the late-night shows -- contempt, rocketing around the world.
This league is already in trouble because generations of ignored brain damage are catching up with it. Now the owners are showing us who’s boss.
9/26/2012 03:38:12 am
Larry Merchant in his book, 'The National Football Lottery" (1974), pointed out that when the NFL speaks about the "integrity of the game, they are actually talking about "the integrity of the bet." That's why there are strict rules on reporting injuries (that seemingly apply to everyone except Belichick). Steve Politi in a feature piece in today's "Star Ledger" headlined "Bad Bet: Replacement refs put integrity of the game at stake" makes the same connection Merchant made.
9/26/2012 03:44:26 am
Dear Mr. Edelsack: really good point. The N.F.L. loves to talk about its role in the gambling jones of America. That would be a good question to ask the Commish. GV
9/27/2012 12:23:34 am
Well, they settled last night. In keeping with the theme of my original post, the quote of the evening came from Deadspin:
9/27/2012 12:27:35 am
"is" not "if."
9/26/2012 11:06:56 am
9/26/2012 05:59:24 am
Whoaaa! A tour de force as good as any done for the Times and we weren't charged a penny! How many needles did one thread, thread? In order of appearance (there are far more than recognized on my first read): Music, mockery, avarice, class warfare, social and political commentary, sport values, and a resounding finale of a medical commentary on the causality of brain damage by the brain damaged. Suitable for framing. Thanks.
9/26/2012 08:06:47 am
Brian, thanks so much. It's what columnists do, or try to do -- put stuff together from our heads. The site is a great place for just doing it....best, GV
9/26/2012 02:47:24 pm
As it says on Facebook: LIKE!
9/26/2012 05:29:53 pm
Have some sympathy for the poor owners. They have to save up to pay off the big, overdue bill that is surely coming their way for all those debilitating head injuries and other long-term disability issues suffered by former players cared for by team doctors whose first concern was getting them back on the field as soon as possible. It sounds like the new guys took Jerry Jones as their role model. They make the late Al Davis look like a humanitarian. No too many Rooney's or Mara's around these days, not even an Eddie Debartolo...
9/27/2012 01:50:54 am
The Rooneys and Maras have always seen football as a human endeavor as well as a business. I am sure that is because it is in their genes to hope for decent weather on Sunday, to sell a few tickets. Some of the new guys want a revolution. Some of the owners either did not understand how skilled real referees are, or they didn't care.Not sure which is worse. I'm glad I'm partial to the real football, where the officiating is perfect. GV
9/27/2012 05:27:44 am
another Facebook reference, George, LOL. (Mea culpa, I have grandchildren).
9/27/2012 07:05:13 am
What is this Facebook you mention?
9/27/2012 04:44:46 pm
George----If you are actually new to Facebook, consider yourself lucky that you missed out of their ill-advised IPO.
9/28/2012 09:51:53 am
I am improving Alan, Last year I sent a message to grand daughter Gwen and closed with LOL. she wrote back what are you laughing at GP? I thought it meant Lots of Love. :)
9/28/2012 10:16:46 am
Ed: Wait until you get the sarcastic, "ZOMG," which is used to let you know that you've just said something obvious. My son is in his first year at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. Here's a typical text interaction:
9/28/2012 03:29:01 pm
funny how one subject drifts into another. while we are on this subject, my daughter-the-ex-columnist turned on the tv in Seattle a few months ago and saw Ichiro playing RF for....the Yankees? She send me a text that said WTF??? I knew exactly what she meant.
9/29/2012 03:59:59 am
Shall we return to Johnny Mize re: Ichiro?
9/29/2012 04:51:21 am
I told you, didn't I?
Comments are closed.
“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.