by PuckStopsHere on 09/29/12 at 09:52 PM ET
The recent lockouts in pro sports have been blatant cash grabs by the owners in their respective leagues. Owners may or may not have issues with the bargaining agreements in their sports but that is secondary to reducing the amount of money they must pay out.
A minor lockout ended this week in the NFL. The NFL had locked out their officials. The amount of money paid to officials is a small portion of their costs and it was mostly about breaking the officials and getting them to accept whatever the NFL wished to give them.
The problem for the NFL was that there were many problems with the replacement officials. They were not NFL quality. There were many blown calls in the early NFL games with replacement officials. This came to a head when the NFL's flagship Monday Night Football game was incorrectly decided by bad officiating. The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers by a score of 14-12. The game was decided on the final play of the game. A pass was thrown into the Seattle endzone. One official called the play a touchdown for Seattle. The other official called it an interception for Green Bay. The correct call was an interception but the touchdown call was the one that stood. That touchdown gave the Seahawks the last seven points in their 14-12 victory. It wouldn't have come to that point without a couple of blown calls against the Packers during that drive.
The NFL was embarrassed in the most significant game of the week. Its result was front page news throughout the US - even outside of Seattle and Green Bay. That prompted the NFL to decide to end the officials lockout. Serious negotiation finally began between both parties and after two days of almost around the clock negotiation a new eight year deal was reached.
What do we learn from that? If the NHL can be sufficiently embarrassed that may end or help to end the lockout. This lockout is much more significant financially to the NHL than the officials lockout was to the NFL so it will take more embarrassment to have a result. Nevertheless we see a way for fans to possibly be involved in bringing about a quick resolution to the NHL owners voluntary lockout. Embarrass them. Embarrass them a lot. That may help stop the lockout. It ended the NFL officials lockout.
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