Bumped up against the week’s widespread outrage over football’s replacement referees, warm remembrances of the great NFL myth-maker Steve Sabol, who died Tuesday, didn’t stand a chance.
Temporarily, at least, reaction to the zebra lockout has thoroughly overwhelmed the league’s preferred image of itself, so beautifully crafted in Sabol’s lyrical, heroic NFL Films depictions.
Try putting NFL Films’ stirring orchestral scores to scenes of everyone — fans, commentators, coaches, players, gambling experts, labor law authorities — piling on the NFL’s decision to stick with substitute officials into the season’s third weekend.
There are predictions of skewed game results. Panic over possible player injury. Even darker concerns.“There certainly can be an impact on the [betting] line,” said Northeastern University law professor Roger Abrams, who has written extensively on sports and labor law. A team that’s particularly rough and tough, and doesn’t mind beating up on the referee as well as the other team, may do better.”