Talk Of An NFL Boycott Is Stupid

After last night’s refereeing debacle, a lot of NFL fans are upset. Many are questioning the integrity of the league. Some are even talking about boycotting the NFL until the real referees are back on the job. Those people are dumb.

The old officials will be back on the job soon enough. According to the latest reports, the league is currently in a fourth straight day of negotiations with the union. A deal will get done, though probably not in time for this weekend’s slate of games.

Make no mistake, however–the NFL is not going to cave in negotiations. Everyone can see that the quality of a refereeing has been poor, but it’s not hurting the game in any significant way. In fact, it might even be cementing the popularity of the NFL.

Bad refereeing means more interesting games and more storylines to talk about at work and on Twitter. How is that a bad thing for the NFL? Inciting passion amongst fans, either positive or negative, only serves to further entrench the importance of the NFL in their lives. It would be worrisome if people were apathetic about these bad calls, but they certainly aren’t.

This isn’t an NHL lockout, where there’s a chance that fickle fans won’t return after it’s over. There are no fickle NFL fans. People aren’t going anywhere.

No one is going to stop watching NFL games, regardless of how bad the refereeing is. All the talk of boycotts is stupid. If anything, even more people will tune in to next weekend’s games in hopes of seeing the next worst call in NFL history. It’s the train-wreck effect–you know it’s awful, but you can’t look away.

As long as the real officials are back in time to officiate the NFL playoffs, a time when a historically bad call could actually have the potential to alienate an entire fan-base, the NFL has nothing to worry about.

And it has no reason to cave in negotiations with the union of officials. So, we might get to see a few more historically bad calls.

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15 Responses to Talk Of An NFL Boycott Is Stupid

  1. NFL boycott may be stupid, but I’d like to see a boycott of all stadium concession stands and the products of game day sponsors. I wonder if hitting the bottom line of advertisers would put pressure on the NFL to make a move towards resolving the lockout.

  2. As a Packer fan, I would like to see a “Take a Knee” protest, where the players (not coaches or team management) decide that on the very first play of every game, the offense and defense players on the field cooperatively decide to “Take a Knee” like they do to run out the clock at the end of the game. Then on the next play, the game starts and they play football.

    Now, why bother? It sends a one simple message to NFL management: The NFL is nothing without the willingness of the players to play their hearts out and the fans to fork over their cash and time to support the sport.

    And of course, you know, that if the Green Bay Packers did that, it would have to be the “players” and team captain, Aaron to decide to “go rogue” and Green Bay Packer management and coaches could have nothing to do with it. And, of course, Aaron and/or anyone responsible would get fined big time by the NFL, and fans do not the right to ask that Aaron or any other player make such a sacrifice. But wait a minute! The Green Bay Packers are technically owned by the community and fans that are share holders. What if, as part of the “Take a Knee” Protest campaign, the fans started taking a collection online to pay for that NFL fine on behalf of the offending players. (BTW – If you think that it is unrealistic to raise that kind of money on the internet, even with $5 and $10 contributions, take a look at what political campaigns are doing right now with online fund raising.) So, you make a little web site to raise the money for the fine and you start an online (or tweet) campaign to lobby Aaron or the Green Bay players to “Take A Knee” on the first play of every game until the regular officials are back on the field again.

    And after the shock of one team doing that in protest, what if other teams, (encouraged by their fans), started doing the same thing – took “a knee on the first play of every game.” You think the media would not pick up that story and run with it? If that happened, do you think that the NFL would not notice? Do you think that the message might get across that the NFL is NOTHING without the fans and players.

  3. Sound reasoning…boycotting is dumb because its stupid. Oh, and the people are dumb too. Very eloquently stated. Oh, and your argument that “more people will watch”? Not if there’s a boycott moron.

    Lastly, your point that it’s not hurting the NFL? I’ll leave it to Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Jon Gruden, Steve Mariucci, Trent Dilfer and virtually every other announcer who has gone on record as saying it is poisoning the game. Care to disagree? Moron.

    • Not hurting the bottom line, which is all I argued. People will continue to watch, no matter how bad the refereeing gets.

  4. Not hurting the game in any significant way! I’m no Packers fan, but I would 100% disagree with you! The packers deserve to be 2-1, MD Jennings made an interceptions, Sam Shields was shoved out of the endzone, yet somehow, Golden Tate got a “touchdown” for a Seattle “win”. These refs are BS, and honestly, embarassing!

  5. Boycotts work. If you think boycotts don’t work it’s because you were told they don’t work by the people you should be boycotting.

    • Who said boycotts don’t work? I said a boycott isn’t going to happen. I didn’t say anything about the efficacy of boycotts.

  6. Not hurting the game? Cementing and making it more interesting? Are you a moron?! There was at least 3 bad calls at the end of that game that cost Green Bay that game, how is a team getting robbed out of winning not hurting the game? Wow…that’s all I can say

  7. Wow. This may be the least well argued opinion piece I have ever seen. “It’s stupid because I say so” is not worth writing.

  8. Your contention that a fan boycott won’t work makes you sound like either a shill for the NFL or worse a moron who has swallowed the NFL position hook, line and sinker. As arguably the most American of sports it is unfathomable that you should be declaring it pointless to protest the NFL, especially when it is the fans who are putting the money into the pockets of the owners. As Americans we have a long history of dissent with situations we find untenable. Dissent and protest doesn’t work? Tell that to the guys in Boston who chucked a load of tea in the harbor. Maybe you’re saying the NFL is too big to fail? Are you familiar with Enron or Washington Mutual? If we have all forgotten who actually pays the bills then the horrible officiating by replacement refs along with the hubris of NFL owners has reminded me. It’s the fans. You want us to all lay down and take it like whipped dogs? I say F-U. This is America, and I’m protesting the NFL’s defilement of Americas game!

    • I didn’t say a boycott won’t work. I said any talk of planning a boycott is a waste of time. No fans are actually going to stop watching football. The refereeing can get a lot worse and people will still tune in. People need their fix.

  9. David Woods is stupid. I guess we should just let the refs call whatever they want no matter what the play is. If you looking for soap opera drama. Then I suggest you watch a soap opera. This is a sport that many take very serious. A game that holds principles, respect, and honor to those who worked hard, trained hard and playhard. To get the to a place that many other teams fight for. So your remark not only discrases the fans, but the players, coaches, and owners in the league. Including the the refs that make it a point to make sure that the game is played fairly. I know a lot of people who aren’t going to watch something they disagree with.