Every single NFL season has its own big controversy. Every time it seems that a bad decision made is the worst one in history. However, if this is what you think, you are wrong. The almost 100 years of the league was filled with controversies. Ryan Grigson showcases some mistakes made in the NFL that were most likely much worse than anything that would happen this year.
Using Replacement Officials – 2012
During the spring of 2012 we saw a conflict between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association. Because of the fact that a deal was not reached in time, the league started filled with officials that were just really bad. This is because they came from high-school football level or from some little-known football associations like the Lingerie League. Because of this lack of experience the fans suffered and numerous huge referee mistakes were done, everything in an attempt to win a pretty simple-to-solve labor battle.
Playing Games After The Assassination Of JFK
Kenney’s favorite sport was football and the sport he loved ended up causing a huge controversy after he was assassinated. Just two days after the NFL should have had its games. The commissioner of the time, Pete Rozelle, had to choose whether to let the games go on or to postpone them due to the national tragedy that happened.
The decision was to let the games go on. The result was having stadiums that were mostly incredibly quiet. Rozelle did say that this was the worst decision that he ever made and this is definitely the case. Postponing the NFL week would have been the logical decision but it did not happen.
Closing NFL Europe
NFL Europe was considered to be a huge flop and was closed in 2007 after losing millions every single year. Team owners did not see returns on any of the goals they had. The problem is that NFL Europe was a pretty good option to breed talent. The mistake was not replacing it with anything at a domestic level. NFL teams remained highly reliant on the college football teams. While quality of play did not suffer, some positions ended up having players that had almost no experience in playing football how the NFL coaches wanted. The goal of the college coach is to win at the level at which the sport is there. On the long run, this is not a healthy structure and it can hurt the NFL.
Not Caring About Player Long-Term Health
If you look at how NFL games were played in the past you end up being a little shocked. It wasn’t until the fifties when real concerns about dirty play and late hits appeared. We are now faced with different financial investments and rule changes that are driven by congressional pressure, media reports and outside researchers. However, the NFL is fighting them and its reputation is that it does not care about the long-term health of the players. In the following years we will see the NFL having to deal with repairing the negative reputation it has.