A confession: I’m not a football fan. In fact, I bleed orange and black for the NL West Division champion San Francisco Giants. And I didn’t even watch the NFL game last night between the Seahawks and the Packers.
But even before the game was decided, I’d heard about the major gaffe of the replacement refs which cost Green Bay the game.
And all I could think was, NFL Owners: what on earth are you thinking? The integrity of your product is falling apart right in front of you. And for what, to beat down the referee union?
Granted, this is not a life or death situation. It’s just a football game. But this was not the only wrong call. They have been the rule not the exception since the season started. When they change the nature of who wins the game, it impacts the entire season.
This is not the first time striking workers have been replaced by substitutes. But in most other cases, whether it involved teachers or nurses or air traffic controllers, replacements were found that were good enough to keep the organization running effectively.
That’s not the case here. Not only are these refs not up to the job, they’re failing in a very public way.
Time and time again it’s been proven that you can’t have happy customers with unhappy employees. Employee satisfaction can make or break a brand. Obviously the refs were unhappy enough to give up the season for a strike. My question is simple: Is it really worth it to destroy brand equity with substitutes that are unqualified and incompetent?
The real fumble last night was the NFL.