NFL Brand Harmed by Replacement Refs

I missed seeing last night’s Monday Night Football featuring the Green Bay Packers against the Seattle Seahawks.  I fired up Twitter to see how the game ended.  My, oh, my–what a mess occurred.

The Twitterverse was effusive in its disgust about how the Packers had been denied a victory due to a missed call by the replacement referees on the last play of the game. Even the Seattle Seahawk fans knew the call was wrong.  As Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke wrote:

“Three weeks of gross incompetence by unqualified replacement officials crystallized in two moments Monday night that pushed the league’s integrity to the brink.”

It’s tragic that a team suffer a loss for a bad call.  But, what’s even more tragic is when bad calls are so endemic that it is now tarnishing the NFL brand. This wasn’t an isolated incident. It happened all across the league again this past weekend.

Many are saying it doesn’t matter what the official referees are demanding–just pay it.  It’s hard to argue that quibbling over a few dollars is worth damaging your brand.

This officiating debacle is a clear business execution failure.  Pete Goddell, the NFL Commissioner, has it within his power to make this horrific business execution problem go away.  Make it so.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting


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