NFL Has No Incentive to Replace the Replacement Referees

Rob ShaefferContributor IISeptember 18, 2012

Despite consistent criticism, Goodell remains in constant control
Despite consistent criticism, Goodell remains in constant controlJamie Squire/Getty Images

If you've watched a NFL game this season, you've had reason to complain. 

Whether it's a blown call, a baffling explanation, or a five minute huddle to determine the spot of the ball, NFL replacement refs have been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. 

Expect it to continue.

While fans heap criticism on the fill-ins, the reality is that people are still watching. Ratings are down a touch, but analysts blame this mostly on the less-than-stellar early season national match-ups.

Just like the player negotiations and just like the Saints Bountygate scandal, Roger Goodell and the NFL will win.

Goodell has proven time and again he simply will not lose, whether it's in regard to player safety, off the field altercations, or his determination to negotiate a deal to his liking.

The commissioner has the cushion of tens of millions of rabid fans to fall back on. A few errant calls aren't going to slow down the momentum of the NFL. The eyeballs are there and Roger knows it.

Sure, he may bend a little for the referees' union, but he sure as heck isn't going to break. 

It's going to take a lot more than a missed holding call or a botched review to give the union the upper hand.

It's going to take an avalanche of fans turning away from a dominant sport in the country.

As Roger knows, those fans aren't going anywhere.