Did the National Football League start losing the lockout rhetoric war with its treatment of those 1,250 fans on Super Bowl Sunday?
On some level, the battle between the league and the Players Union will come down to which side can persuade the fans it has a better case. (Yes, this is all about money, but the fans can exude some level of pressure to get a deal done as well.) If that’s the case, the NFL’s case took a hit on Sunday.
William Rhoden warns the behemoth, writing:
You can disrespect fans only so much before they turn on you. A few more episodes like what happened in Arlington, coupled with a nasty lockout and the newly fashionable personal seat licenses, and the N.F.L. empire could begin a decline in popularity.
While that argument falls flat, the league is treading on thin ice.As Peter King points out, fans don’t want the 18-game schedule that is going to be a sticking point in negotiation. The scribe did an informal Twitter survey and found that “18 percent of 1,200 football fans (presumably they are if they follow me on Twitter), less than one out of every five, want what Goodell says they want. And 82 percent want to keep it at 16 regular-season games.”
And the NFL continues to deal with fallout from the ticket disaster. They handled it okay, but not well enough.
Mark Mravic, Sports Illustrated‘s assistant managing editor, tweets “What if you were bumped from your flight and missed your daughter’s wedding? Would four first-class tickets appease you?”
Of course, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith also missed his chance to make his case. Will anyone make the correct public relations moves?