Tuesday, September 25, 2012

9/25 (NFL Refmageddon) Quickie

"One of the great disgraces in NFL history." That's not me. That's not "instant history" hysterics. That is SI's Peter King, dean of NFL writers, succinctly capturing last night's Packers-Seahawks ending that can only be described as the NFL's "Refmageddon" -- just about the worst-case scenario that could have been imagined.

For a quick look at the very best takes on it -- updated throughout the day -- check out Quickish.

It WAS a disgrace. And it did set the (sports) internet on fire. And it does crystallize the entire "replacement refs" situation in the NFL. And it is a massive humiliation for Roger Goodell.

But probably the only question that really matters: Will it change anything?

Will Goodell fold? And what happens when he doesn't and even more fans tune in for next week's games? What happens when he doesn't and the media -- enraged to be reminded that they have no real power -- doubles down on its outrage? What happens when he doesn't and the players all but revolt next week? What happens when he doesn't and nothing happens next week, because it can't possibly get worse than it is this morning?

But what happens if Goodell does fold? I think the Commissioner is way more attuned to that than you might think -- part of a hard-line negotiating stance (one that I don't support, btw) is that you can't fold, even if you hit a worst-case scenario. Folding now sets up Goodell and the NFL owners as a group that will buckle under the toughest pressure for the next labor dispute. Don't think he doesn't understand that.

Goodell should fold. But will he? And what if he doesn't?

Those are the dynamics I'm paying attention to today.

-- D.S.

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