Principle #5 from The Toyota Way states “Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.”
Through three weeks of the NFL football season we’ve seen some egregious on-field errors in judgment but also rules interpretation. While root cause analysis probably has not been directly applied, the general consensus is that the NFL’s replacement referees are the primary culprits. Their lack of training and experience in calling high-pressure and fast NFL football games is having a negative impact on the overall quality of game experience for the players, teams, and fans.
However, despite the mounting evidence that indicates the unseasoned and under-trained referees are the problem, the NFL refuses to budge on its stance with negotiations with the locked-out NFL referees. There is a problem that needs fixed, yet the NFL continues to allow the problem to persist.
Last night’s Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks and the crazy conclusion with Seattle receiver Golden Tate might be the straw that finally broke the commissioner’s back. A pair of players laying claim to the Hail Mary pass reception, two referees outside the pile indicating completely different outcomes, a replay booth judgment giving possession to the offensive player…this is downright embarrassing for the league.
It’s probably time for Commissioner Roger Goodell to stop playing hardball with the locked-out refs. It’s costing him and his league far too much goodwill.