NFL officials lockout resolved by social media?

Football officials voting on a call
Just days after social media outlets went wild over a controversial call on the final play of Monday Night Football, the league resolved their issues with NFL officials.

Many players were defiant in their remarks both in interviews as well as on social media outlets such as Twitter openly blasting the replacement officials. In the days that followed Monday's Packers versus Seahawks game players and fans alike complained on Twitter. NFL commissioner Goodell’s office was flooded with angry voicemails.

It would appear that the public pressure on social media was a catalyst to resolve the issue as the NFL and the referees union worked swiftly to get a deal done during the week and had all their issues resolved before the next NFL game on Thursday.

In his statement to the fan's released on Friday Roger Goodell stated: "... I regret we were not able to secure an agreement sooner in the process and avoid the unfortunate distractions to the game. You deserve better."

Goodell's remarks did not address any specific issues of the week.

A few coaches were fined during the lockout for abuse of officials, such as New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick who as fined $50,000 for trying to grab an official's arm. Little has been mentioned of all the outspoken, and at times outrageous remarks made by players. Unlike incidents in the past where players were disciplined for making remarks on social media, the firestorm that followed was not directly addressed by the NFL.

It seems appropriate that the National Football League, arguably one of the most popular and most powerful entertainment outlets in the United States, would have a labor dispute pushed to a quicker resolution by social media.  Entertainers use social media to build their image, which is the core of their brand.

Perhaps Roger Goodell and the owners saw the the light, that they were not as powerful as they thought they were, and as one Forbes article explained, "The Referee Lockout Is Hurting The NFL Brand." When players and fans flocked to social media to criticize the NFL, many saw how quickly social media could be used to destroy an image.

For the average football fan, the game of NFL Football is restored to the previous level of play before the lockout.  At least we hope so.  The regular referees can now be criticized for being knuckleheads and blowing calls that cost teams games.

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