NHL fans can learn from the NFL officating debacleSeptember 28, 2012, by
In case you’ve missed it, the NFL and the NFLRA settled their lockout yesterday, ending the debacle that had become the replacement referees influencing the outcome of games. The biggest issue came this past Monday night, when a botched call gave Seattle a win over Green Bay.
Why do I bring up football on a hockey blog?
Well, the NFL received over 70,000 emails in the first 24 hours following that botched call. The issue wasn’t so much the botched call as it was the replacement refs influencing games. Seventy thousand emails and two days later, the NFL settled with the NFLRA, and the regular refs are back in action.
See what I’m getting at yet?
The fans played a big part in ending a lockout that was affecting the game. Considering the state of hockey at the moment, maybe we fans can learn from this. Simply put, if the fans pressure the league enough, it might force them back to the negotiating table, like it did with the NFL. Even if a deal isn’t struck immediately –like with the NFL– it’s still progress.
As we mentioned yesterday, the current timeline of cancellations means that if no significant progress is made over the weekend, then we will begin to lose regular season games. For fans that have endured the loss of a full season just seven years ago, and roughly half of a season a decade before that, the thought of losing more games is downright infuriating.
With the presumption that Gary Bettman and the owners are using fan loyalty as leverage in these negotiations, maybe their negotiating tactics take a hit if the fans start emailing the league with their frustrations.
That said, the NHL is not the NFL. The NFL generates billions of dollars to the NHL’s hundreds of millions of dollars. All NFL teams make a profit. Barely half of NHL teams make a profit.
The situations are different, but the fans are still the ones left out in the cold. It takes five minutes of your time to email the NHL and voice your frustrations over the third lockout in two decades. The link to contact the NHL is here. I know I already filled out a complaint.