“NFL Damage Control After Missed PI Call in Dallas Game; Head of NFL Referees On Dallas Party Bus Didn’t Help”
Commissioner Gordon of Gotham City would understand.
The NFL has lit the bat light several times this year crying out for help from their Public Relations department to explain the latest black eye of the most popular sport in America. It’s lit again today and the PR spin is in full force.
In a critical moment on 3rd and 1 with 8:18 to go in the game, it was obvious that there was a pass interference call when Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens interfered with veteran Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew. Hitchens wasn’t looking at the ball and obviously grabbed Pettigrew and pushed him from the ball. It was a pretty easy pass interference or holding call and a flag was thrown. The Lions were up by 3 points at the time and this could send them to another key score to possibly ice the game. Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant ran on the field and softly complained. All of a sudden the crowd slowly started to cheer and suddenly the refs picked up the flag. The announcers were confused and so was the audience and the fans. Most importantly the Lions head coach Jim Caldwell was confused. When asked for an explanation, the referee rambled a bit but didn’t tell him anything. Mike Perreira; Former Vice President of NFL officials who is now an expert for Fox; said he had no explanation and there was not one, but two penalties; holding and interference. It was a pivotal call that made it look like the fix was in against the Lions and that love was being shown for one of the NFL’s golden childs’, the Dallas Cowboys.
Now, I admit I get sick of whining fans complaining about referees. I don’t think there are conspiracies in the NFL, but if you think there aren’t dirty dealings in the back rooms, you must be naive. Some fans think their players are held on every play, and that their teams are targeted by the NFL and refs and they cry more than a baby teething. In this case though, it was an obvious bad call that gave another black eye to the NFL who presently do not have any more eyes left.
“Blame the NFL”:
Lets be real; Fox, and the NFL LOVE that the Cowboys won. In the olden days it was the Raiders and the Cowboys who moved the needle up and down in regards to ratings. Both teams were loved or hated by all and the ratings were always high. Now that the Cowboys are back, they again make millions for the networks and the NFL due to the high ratings. The coincidence is obvious.
Whenever there is a question about the referees, it’s a huge issue for the sport. Remember in 2012 when the NFL was bragging how great replacement referees were doing. Unfortunately they did this on ESPN right before the Seattle v.s. Green Bay Packers “Fail Mary” game when the replacement referees gave a win to Seattle on a hail Mary play that was obviously wrong? The NFL at the time said it was too expensive for the league to pay the refs full time. Too expensive for a league that makes 9-14 BILLION dollars profit PER YEAR, tax free?
“Head of Referees Parties Cowboy Style”:
In the background, the party lifestyles of owners and NFL players are of legend. The words morals and athletes should not be used in the same sentence. Of course not all athletes are bad people but lets be real; if we only knew the lifestyles and crazy lives of some of the owners and the lifestyles they live, we wouldn’t like most of them. Adrian Peterson was called classy and a stellar NFL player on and off the field until fans starting learning about his life. Even he couldn’t answer how many kids he had when he was asked by ESPN. From Robert Kraft’s partying and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones love of young strippers; to all of the sex stories and scandals; the NFL has lots of sleazy players and owners who like to party hard.
There are now websites for sports and celebrity groupies so that they can hook up with them in real time. This isn’t your grandma or grandpa’s NFL anymore. In reality, even though it may be immoral and disrespectful to wives, girlfriends and their kids, nothing is illegal about partying like a rock star as long as illegal drugs aren’t involved.
WHAT IS unacceptable and a total conflict of interest to the integrity of the game though, is to have the Head of Officiating for the NFL having a good time on the Dallas Cowboys Party bus!!
In August of 2014, TMZ reported on a story showing head of Referees for the NFL David Blandino, on a Dallas team bus partying with owner Jerry Jones son, Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones. Escorting these 2 randy gents about town while they were checking out strip clubs, were some young girls that they picked up on the sunset strip for a night of partying. We all know when we talk about business we need party girls and strippers to help out and take notes.
The other owners were outraged but of course no team would come out and say anything. Al Davis is definitely no longer here.
“So, should I have my owner take him to a strip club when he visits us?” asked one team official to CBS Sports hypothetically. “Is that how it works? We like Dean a lot, but let me tell you, if that was him out with the owner of a rival of the club this official works for, my owner would be going nuts. This just can’t happen.”
“What the NFL did?”:
The NFL would not comment on it other than to say Blandino had a “meeting” planned with Jones on basic football news. They just let it go and did nothing about it. Behind the scenes supposedly the NFL was extremely angry at the bad publicity but nothing was ever done.
To their defense, Mike Perreira and NFL officials said that it’s the job of the NFL Head of Officials to spend time with each owner to talk about NFL business. I don’t mind that but hooking up with young groupies and strippers and getting drunk on the sunset strip are not meetings.
When other team officials and owners found out about the story, they actually DIDN’T contact the NFL to ask about it. Under anonymity, some owners and front office staff asked CBS sports, ESPN and other news outlets what the NFL said about the situation. They were like kids that didn’t want to tick their parents off and tighten the purse strings or the support. It’s really comical.
Why & How the NFL Gets Away With It:
The NFL is king and is Americas sport. As long as the money keeps pouring in, nothing will change much. Early ratings coming out for the latest playoff games show a staggering number of viewers that are in the top 10 of all time playoff games. Every year the commercials and advertising gets more revenue for the NFL and don’t forget that they are non profit so they pay NO taxes.
And you can even put part of it on the fans. Look at what happened when the referees went on strike; many fans sided with the NFL. When NFL cheerleaders wanted at least minimum wage from their jobs when the league makes millions off of their calendars and appearances, most fans sided with the NFL. Some even called cheerleaders ho’s and sleazy and that if they didn’t want to do it then quit. How would fans like it if there were few opportunities and their boss told you “get ripped off or move on”? At times, most everyone associated with the NFL in any way blindly back what they do whether it’s right or wrong.
And worst of all, what about some fans ripping on players when they want to renegotiate their contracts. They say, “you signed the contract, so fulfill it”. Ironically when owners in the NFL let go of a player and don’t fulfill the contract, they don’t say a word. Over 80% of contracts in the NFL are NOT fulfilled by the owners and the players are let go. Without guaranteed money, the power is squarely in the owners hands. At times the NFL is the teflon company. The NFL knows that if fans will pay $150 to park at the superbowl, they will pretty much back the NFL through any storm.
What Should Happen:
They need to suspend or fire people who do such unprofessional actions and make them hold a press conference and apologize. The NFL also needs to be transparent. Come out in a press conference and state that the call was missed and that they would work on improving the game by making the referees year round employees with rigorous training and advancement due on the quality of their work. The NFL says they do that now but it’s definitely not working.
They need to stop making excuses and and defending bad calls. To hear the nonsense from some of the past and present NFL officials on the Cowboys v.s. Detroit Lions call is nauseating. I still remember the ridiculous “tuck rule” call and the arrogance shown by the NFL in the days following the call, defending it.
Lastly, be professional. If the Head of the Referees for the NFL wants to pick up on sleazy girls and strippers then that is his thing, but don’t do it with front office members of teams using their expense accounts. If you want to do a lunch meeting or dinner meeting or play a round of golf than that is cool and is done in business all the time. Drinking Cristal with a 21 year old party girls with an executive of an NFL team on his dime though is a conflict of interest and beyond unprofessional.
We wonder why the conduct of the NFL in general; including the NFL and the players in regards to women; has been so tolerated by the NFL for so long. It’s because it’s an institutional problem that shows the NFL stinks from the top down. Be it refs or conduct; the NFL has some serious issues to fix. Turn on the bat light now.