So, it seems that our long national nightmare is over. No, it’s not anything important like the war in Afghanistan (forgot about that, didn’t ya?). Today, America is rejoicing over the fact that we are getting back the shitty union NFL referees to replace the ever-shittier replacement referees.
We all saw what a sham this turned out to be. Some of us were pointing this out after Week 1. But it took a debacle to happen on national television robbing one of the most popular teams in the league to get any action to resolve this mess. Some of us predicted that a month before the season started…and we knew exactly why as well.
It should a huge indicator what a flaming asshole Roger Goodell is when I (who happens to be exceptionally anti-union) have some empathy for the referees. Just look at how the NFL put a strong-arm job on the players, which just happens to be the one union that matters to the NFL. The league learned the hard way in 1987 that people won’t watch a game full of replacement players, but they are gambling that you won’t care about scab referees. Therefore, you can bet the NFL will put the long, unlubricated, Turkish-prison-style rape-job to the referees…
…Ever since the advent of free-agency, the scum-bag role has been reserved for the unions. Roger Goodell’s level of assholery has managed to reverse that polarity. Worse yet, he has political cover for now; it’s going to take a train-wreck of monstrous proportions by the replacement refs for the locked-out officials to get public sentiment on their side. Until that happens, Kommissar Goodell holds all the cards.
Well, well, well…looky what happened. Granted, another blown call pales in comparison to the tragedy it took to end the last NFL-Referees labor stoppage…
The most recent labor agreement between the referees and the NFL expired May 31, and the zebras got locked out three days later, right after the NFL broke off a marathon negotiating session with a federal mediator. This is the same tactic the NFL used to strong-arm the players, with the league upping the ante by hiring replacement officials to work the exhibition season and possibly the regular season.
As ugly as the lockout with the players got, the NFL never brought in scabs, having learned the aforementioned lesson in 1987. That lesson didn’t carry over to the last dispute with the referees. The NFL used replacements briefly in 2001 during the exhibition season and for the first week the regular season. Then came Tuesday, September 11th. In the aftermath, the league and the union figured out that not doing everything within their power to help America “get back to normal” would have been a cataclysmic approach.
…but it seems that when Kommissar Goodell gets 70,00 angry voice-mails, the blow-dries at ESPN who usually line up to lap up his ginger-spooge turn on him, and even President Potato-Head weighed in (another thing I told you would happen), it is time to abandon the union-busting plan and admit defeat.
Make no mistake, anything short of making the union referees crawl is an unmitigated loss for the Kommissar and the NFL owners. Which is exactly why the apology issued by the Kommissar today rings about as hollow as a half-deflated beach ball.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has apologized to the fans who fretted through three weeks of replacement officials calling their favorite teams’ games.
“Obviously when you go through something like this, it’s painful for everybody. Most importantly, it’s painful for fans,” he said on a conference call Thursday, about 12 hours after the league reached a deal to bring back the regular officials.
So, now he gives a shit about the fans. In other news, Goodell only wants to put the tip in, and he will still respect me in the morning…
Bullshit, you have a call on the white courtesy phone…but it gets better.
“We’re sorry to have to put fans through that,” Goodell said. “Sometimes you have to go through something like that in the short term for the right agreement for the long term.”
Uh huh. Both regular Dubsism collaborator Ryan Meehan and I hit on this before as well, and nothing has changed in the last seven weeks.
J-Dub: Whatever happens, the reality of the situation is quite clear: Football will take place regardless of who is wearing the stripes. As long as you keep watching, the NFL couldn’t give a shit less about the quality of the product they are putting on the field. Face it. They’ve already got you paying full price to watch pre-season games loaded with guys who will be loading trucks at UPS next week.
Meehan: He’s [J-Dub] right, and there’s nothing you can do about it. However, I do believe that if the quality of the NFL’s product begins to dip, the sports fans that are real die hards will begin to make their voices heard and criticize it to greater lengths. But even then…BAAAAAAAAA…
I know this starting sound a bit “nah nah nah boo boo,” I told you so,” but the real point here is that when the Kommissar promised you he would only put the tip in, he didn’t tell that meant it would be in the back of your throat after he grabbed your hips and rammed it there from the back way.
During this process, Goodell never once gave a shit about the fans, until they showed up at the gates of the NFL castle, complete with their torches and pitchforks. The following blatant lie proves that.
Goodell insisted the two sides were already in “intense negotiations” the last two weeks and that the Monday night mess was not a major factor in completing a deal. “It may have pushed the parties along,” he said.
Let’s see…the two sides weren’t even talking to each other on Monday, the Monday Night Fiasco happens, and by Thursday we have a deal in priciple…”may have,” my ass. The Kommissar and the owners panicked, and for good reason.
However, in true Goodell form, that isn’t the biggest dick-move he pulls in his so-called apology; he goes full-on Level 10 Dick when he defends the replacement referees by throwing the union guys under the NFL bus.
But he dismissed assertions that the presence of replacement officials increased the chances an egregious mistake would occur. Goodell repeatedly reminded reporters that the regular officials have botched plenty of calls over the years.
Let’s translate that, shall we? “Sure, I know the replacement guys that I forced on you with no training or resources, the ones I figured you wouldn’t give a damn about, the same ones who fucked things up so publicly that there was no choice but to end this fiasco on terms I didn’t want…but, hey, don’t forget the regular refs suck dog balls, too.”
There’s only two types of guys who would say something like that before the union he’s just insulted has even voted; an idiot, or an unconscionable dick? Which is Goodell? You be the judge.