- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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We certainly heard from some Packers after they were robbed by replacement officials Monday night.
But we need more.
Coaches are, largely, following the talking points passed down from the league office.
I asked Tennessee’s Mike Munchak Monday what would happen if he or one of his coaching colleagues crumpled up the NFL’s talking points and talk candidly about the how officiating is negatively impacting the game.
He said if he’s got something to talk about with the league, he calls the league. It serves no purpose for him to spill at a podium during a news conference.
I respectfully disagree.
A coach needs to bravely go against the grain here, for the purpose of advancing the story and helping increase the pressure on the league office. Instead, we've mostly got robots who blindly, willingly say what Park Avenue tells them to.
More importantly players need to go beyond the weak efforts of their weak union. They need unite and be heard.
Public reaction is one thing. Player reaction is another.
I’m not sure any of it prompts change. But why not try?
So here’s my proposal. Arian Foster and LeSean McCoy, two of the league’s best running backs, are also two of the league’s best tweeters. (Foster tweeted that the end of Seattle's win was "drama" that was "good for business." Sarcastic or no? Looks like he deleted it.)
These two running backs should rally the troops and spearhead a campaign. Foster should reach out to the AFC stud backs, McCoy do the same for the NFC. Those guys all take it to their teammates and spend a couple days getting the word out.
Encourage every player in the league who tweets to tweet something like this between 4 and 5 p.m. ET on Friday (or a small time window of your choice):
Goodell, owners: The replacement official situation is not fair, not safe & not acceptable. Players & fans deserve better. Fix this disaster. #replacementrefs
Bad PR doesn’t seem to have the muscle to affect change here. I don’t know if stealing a win from the Packers will change that. Still, imagine if a slew of player tweets make the issue trend in a giant way heading into the weekend slate of games. It would, at the very least, guarantee that the players are heard.
It would make the fans feel like the players care about the issue and don’t care about the threat of fines. Is the league going to fine hundreds of guys for tweeting their opinion?
Maybe it’s a silly idea. It would make me feel better.