Chris Graham: Not good for business

The NFL is sure proving its point to the officials’ union. Oh, yeah. We’re going to win this battle. We can play the game without you.

Uh, huh. You can play the game. The game in question is a shadow of its former self, a joke without a punchline, but it’s still being played.

It can’t be good for business that the focus of fans, columnists and most notably the NFL’s broadcast partners the first two weeks of the 2012 regular season hasn’t been on Peyton Manning’s comeback or the exceeding amount of parity that we’ve seen with the glut of 1-1 teams, but on game officials who can’t figure out which team recovered a fumble, how many men are on the field at any one time, and alarmingly in Week 2, how to prevent teams from getting involved in endless scrums that have the NFL on the verge of transforming itself into the 1970s NHL.

Maybe the NFL relishes the ink and the blather on sports radio in the same vein that the morons who have run college football used to say they preferred the debates over who should be #1 to a playoff that might determine a legitimate national champion. (The morons have finally relented, giving us a four-team playoff beginning in 2014. They’re still morons.)

Yeah, we’re talking about the NFL, same as we talked about NASCAR back a few years ago when the geniuses there decided to fun-down their sport to make it more corporate, eliminating a lot of the bumper-to-bumper racing and the rivalries between drivers to the point where it became 43 cars driving around in a circle for hours on end on Sundays. Just because the speculation about how you’re throwing your cash cow into the meat-grinder is trending on Twitter doesn’t mean that it’s good for the bottom line.

At some point soon, the tightfists who run the NFL will come to their senses and come to a deal with their game officials. Then they can get down to serious business regarding player safety. That’s the one the league is going to lose and lose big.

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