Yesterday was the day that might change the opinion of ESPN analyst and Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young. After the game last Monday night he said that the NFL is “inelastic for demand.” Thus he believes that no matter what happens with the current NFL officials strike and the outrage over the replacement refs, the NFL will continue to hold strong and steady in ticket sales and viewer ratings. Yesterday; however, may have put the kink in that thought. The scandal involving the ending to the Packers and Seahawks Monday night game may be the beginning of the undoing of Steve Young’s beliefs. Important figures in the football world have been rumored to be debating a strike until there is a resolution with the qualified officials.
I believe that the integrity of the game that so many are talking about may have the power to alter the numbers that the NFL is counting on to maintain their position at the bargaining table. Too many issues of this magnitude will bring about the changes in ticket sales and viewer numbers that some believe to be unchanging. We have seen many stoppages in play from other professional sport organizations and in most cases things really do turn out to be just fine. Unfortunately baseball had to be the one that took it so hard when they could not reach an agreement so many years ago. I remember looking at nearly empty stadiums designed to seat tens of thousands and this continued for a couple of years until the fans slowly started to filter back to the game they love.
It is just the beginning of the season but I must disagree that they NFL is inelastic for demand. Give it more than 3 weeks and people will start to wonder why they continue to pay extremely high rates to watch a disgraced product that does not resemble the product they know and love.