Shareholder-Stakeholder Debate in the NFL

Touchdown or interception? The most controversial call of the night ended up being a touchdown for the Seahawks. Notice how the referees are signaling different things…


Hey, everyone.

As I was browsing Bloomberg Businessweek’s website this morning, I found this article that I thought people would find interesting.

I’m sure a lot of you are aware, but this season the NFL used replacement referees for the first three weeks of the season because the usual officials were locked out.  Throughout the beginning of this season, people have expressed their concern regarding the abilities of these replacement refs to control an NFL game.  After a very controversial ending to this week’s Monday Night Football game caused major backlash from players, coaches, and fans (among others), the talks between the referees’ labor association and the League went into overdrive.

The lockout finally ended last night and the normal officials are set to return to the field for tonight’s Browns-Ravens game. The article was updated in light of this new development, and I thought it went along very well with our previous shareholder-stakeholder discussions.


6 thoughts on “Shareholder-Stakeholder Debate in the NFL

  1. Just wanted to throw out that the obsession with this labor-management in a game conflict over fair compensation captured the country’s imagination and lots of people decided the referees had a good case to make as a unionized workforce. Meanwhile, how many people know that the teachers of Chicago were striking for two weeks?

    VP candidate Paul Ryan, who on LABOR DAY 2011 told a down-sized worker to “take a break” and “would you like some candy?” (see minute 1:34) is now a union fan and tweeting for the real refs to come back.

  2. Jordi, very interesting comparison to make between teachers in Chicago and referees in the NFL. I agree with the point you seem to make that the country’s people should focus less on entertainment, and cast their opinions on issues that matter more and are publicized less. It’s funny that Paul Ryan’s stance changes when the issue is a very pubilcized and hot topic. Part of the reason why there is so much attention on the NFL conflict is because it is a spectator sport. It is easy to follow. In this way, we are influenced by the media as to what issues we choose to get involved in.
    Going off topic a little – a few factors caused the case to be a closely followed issue in the entertainment/sports industry itself, inevitably leading to people forming opinions on the labor-management negotiations. The results of the holdout have certainly provided humor for the spectators (minus Packers and Patriot fans). Also, on a very basic level, it is something we have never seen before – some of the worst calls of all time, and complete chaos and disorder on the field. It is what the XFL aspired to be, with fights between players breaking out left and right. The negotiations have definitely been a great source of entertainment, despite being at the expense of players, fans, and those poor inexperienced replacement referees.

  3. Oh, Alex, I think that on the one hand sports is “just a game” and at the same time, as you discuss, it is a huge business and it is also a huge mirror of American culture and society. So, I tend to have all three views in my head at the same time in terms of sports issues.

  4. Jordi, you are spot on. There was a 150 Million dollar swing in Vegas based on the call at the end of MNF. The NFL has not shied away from the fact that fantasy football, gambling, and other leagues and events are part of the fan experience. In fact, they are currently having a problem with the in stadium experience because people want to know what is going on with EVERY game, and not just their own. MLB is having the opposite problem, as I discussed in my Lance Armstrong blog. To think that they are not worried about the stakeholders and everything they do on Sunday associated with the NFL is ludicrous.

    Alyssa, really neat article. This summer I started an Articles Google Group with all of my fraternity brothers who worked office internships and thus were either incredibly swamped or incredibly bored. People shared articles on politics, tech, sports, movies and then had discussions about them (ie. was Dark Knight Rises better than Dark Knight?). This article would have been a hit.

    Alex, I think that your point about the XFL is right on and it is a lot of the reason why the refs agreed to a deal finally. People point to the MNF call and the Patriots-Ravens call and that’s fine – those calls are embarrassing for the league. But, the real problem is game flow, game management, and understanding the nuances of the players psyches. Only certain men can do the job and Goodel made a mistake in leadership in not recognizing how specialized these positions are. He was a bit stubborn but in the end these brand image strikes helped him realize that he had no choice but to agree to the Pensions and progressive pay raises.

  5. Pingback: First Annual BGS Blog Olympics | Business, Society, and Government 4

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s