By now everyone who follows football has heard about the terrible call that gave Seattle an undeserved victory over Green Bay on Monday. Some are calling it the worst call ever, which it wasn’t. But it was made by a scab referee who is part of the army of scab referees that have been hired by the NFL owners to ensure that the games go on in spite of the referees’ strike and that they can continue to bring in billions of dollars in profits.
Yes, the strike is terrible for the players, whose credibility, salability and post-season bonuses depend on their won-lost record, which could be undermined by the plethora of bad calls that have been made this season by the scab refs. Several of them have been complaining publicly in interviews and tweets. Sure, it is frustrating for fans, who depend on their team’s victories (or noble struggles and defeats) to provide excitement and entertainment to their otherwise stressed our lives. And it is expensive for the gamblers who are losing millions because of the bad calls. (The Seattle-Green Bay call is said to have altered $150-$250 million in bets).
Yet the players are union members. By continuing to play during a referees’ strike they are crossing a theoretical picket line. If they don’t like the bad calls and the amateurish refs, they can (and should) walk off and refuse to play. Without the stars, there would be fewer viewers, thus weakening the owners’ bottom line and their resolve to quash the referees’ strike.
If fans want the strike to end they can refuse to watch the games and refuse to buy tickets. Season ticket owners could demand a refund. This would also weaken the owners’ bottom line and willingness to ignore the referees’ demands.
As for the gamblers, perhaps they should just put more money on the underdogs and pray for bad calls in their favor.