Umpire Bill Schuster (129) and side judge Jimmy DeBell (58) take the field… (Rob Carr / Getty Images )
The front page of the Sports section Thursday shows a picture of Roger Goodell with his arm up and his thumb raised, supposedly giving the fans a thumbs-up.
Based on his actions, I think that he has the wrong finger raised.
I think Mr. Goodell finally realized that it was not in the league's best interests to have the words "National Football League" mentioned in the same sentence with the words "Vegas betting lines."
To make the commissioner feel the same way NFL fans felt these past three weeks, have some guy who has watched five episodes of "Judge Judy" or "Perry Mason" represent the league in the next collective bargaining negotiations.
Bill Dwyre writes that the NFL is just another greedy corporation, no different than banks or cable TV companies, just more adept at separating fans from their money, but he misses an important point. If my bank and my cable TV company got together every Sunday afternoon to beat each other into submission, every game would be sold out.
The NFL referees deserve every penny they can squeeze out of the greedy NFL, not withstanding the bad calls of the temporary zebras. You wouldn't catch me running around the field among 22 wrecking balls for any amount of money.
Imagine L.A. receiving an NFL franchise had the league moved with such diligence similar to the deal with regular officials three days after a memorable replacement referee faux pas. Compare that one particular moment Monday to 18 years of sheer futility in our great city being constantly coerced into doing everything possible to entice the NFL to return. Not only would we have received an expansion team (or two) 15 years ago, but our L.A. squad(s) could very well have been associated with that same blown call this past Monday.
So I truly hope football followers (Green Bay fans in particular) will cease their collective whining about getting jobbed when there's a bigger travesty in the NFL: withholding a team that an L.A./Orange County metropolitan population of 12 million-plus could call their own.
Mark J. Featherstone
Is Week 3 too soon to request a replacement commissioner?
Pete Carroll declares it was a "good call." Right. So was the decision to leave Reggie Bush on the sideline in the national championship game against Texas. I can see Pete still has it.
While NFL players distinguish themselves, the NFL management and the owners are a disgrace to football. The zillionaire owners decided that squeezing out more profit at the expense of the referees was more important than the integrity of the game. There is only one team that does not have a greedy owner, and that is the Green Bay Packers, who are owned by the public. Guess which team suffered the most from botched NFL management?
The real proof of how incompetent the replacement officials were has nothing to do with the stupid call Monday night. Sunday afternoon, the Raiders went through the whole first half against the Steelers without a penalty!
The NHL is now in its third player lockout. The NFL gave us replacement players and replacement referees. In baseball, we've had the steroid era, a canceled World Series, and a tie in the All-Star game. In the NBA, the commissioner has publicly stated that the best thing for his league is to have the Lakers and Celtics in the finals every year.
Has there ever been a time in American sports history where all the commissioners of the four major professional sports leagues have been so absolutely, completely, totally and utterly incompetent?
Glenn M. Langdon
Roger Goodell steps up to resolve the referee lockout and restore the NFL's credibility while Gary Bettman allows the player lockout to drag on and further damage the NHL's integrity. How are the people who just officiate games more crucial to a sport than the people who actually compete?
Too bad. I was looking forward to Super Bowl XLVII*.
Powder blue funk
The buzz surrounding the UCLA football team now approximates that of a depressed bee in a Tupperware container.
With the UCLA loss to underdog Oregon State comes a dose of reality. Discipline and hard-nosed coaching as a rule does not prevail over equally well-coached teams with more talent. Though moving in right direction, the Bruins are a work in progress.
Against Oregon State, Jim Mora's penchant for secrecy finally caught up with him. It's one thing to avoid disclosing your schemes to the press or to the public, but quite another to not even reveal them to your team.