'You're Still Gonna Watch the Game'

By Ta-Nehisi Coates



By now you all know what happened last night. The officials basically gave the game away to the Seahawks. It's funny because, just yesterday, I was watching Adam Schefter note that eventually one of these bad calls would decide a game. And it happened.


Of course from my end, what I am thinking about is not how much this mocks the game, but how much it mocks the idea of "player safety." I haven't watched a game this season.

Steve Young covered that ground and more last week:

There's a lot of people in the league who'd like to break the union. There a lot of people who feel like the officiating is on-field personality. They feel like it's a commodity. But more importantly, everything about the NFL now is inelastic for demand. There's nothing they can do right now to hurt the demand for the game. The bottom line is they don't care. Player safety doesn't matter in this case. Bring in the Division III officials - it doesn't matter. In the end you're still going to watch the game, we're going to all complain and moan and gripe but ... it doesn't matter. Go ahead gripe all they want. I'm going to rest. Let them eat cake.
Listen to his entire rant, which is the best kind of rant--an intelligent one.

Also read my colleague Derek Thompson:

I don't know any football fan who thinks the current NFL "product" is superior to last year. But collectively, we're consuming more of it. If you want the real refs back, the best thing you can do isn't to root for more errors. It's simply not to root at all. The loudest and clearest way to ask for a change is simply to change the channel.
Good advice, but I highly doubt this will happen. Again, I think what the NFL really faces is long-term brand erosion. Profits won't disappear overnight. The NFL has a ten- or 20-year problem, not a next-year problem. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/09/youre-still-gonna-watch-the-game/262830/