Silly Season Update: Could Sweeney Proposed New Jersey Legislation Impact Super Bowl XLVIII?
Trenton–Nine months into the current legislative session, New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney has a lot on his mind, least of which should be football. But, three weeks into the NFL season, where a referee lockout has led to claims of blown calls and poor officiating by football pundits, Sweeney sprung into action after a bad call cost his Green Bay Packers a win during this week’s Monday Night Football game against the Seattle Seahawks.
The blown call enraged the state senator so much that he declared he will propose a bill that will ban that will ban these NFL “scab” referees from being able to officiate games in New Jersey.
Suddenly, when his team loses a football game, all matters important to the future of New Jersey are put on hold and Sweeney, says something must be done, deeming the officiating of the NFL’s replacement officials “a mockery of a great sport.”
Some would say Sweeney’s legislation under former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine had made a mockery of New Jersey, but once we were down a few billion, who was keeping score any more?
The Green Bay Packers, now 1-2 need all the help they can get on and off the field after losing a close game on a hail Mary to the Seahawks in the final seconds.
So just how would a “scab” blackout affect New Jersey? New Jersey is home to two professional football teams. The New York Giants and New York Jets. If this insane piece of legislation were to somehow make it from Sweeeney’s mind to a proposed bill and ever see the light of day as anything more than a publicity stunt to attract millions of disenfranchised NFL fans during the 2012 Silly Season, what would it do to football in this state?
First, it would probably lead to the Jets and Giants being forced to play their home games somewhere else, because the NFL doesn’t seem ready to give in to the union and I’m sure nobody is willing to break the law here in Jersey, where fines for businesses can be quite hefty for straying outside of the dotted lines. There’s no telling how much that would cost New Jersey businesses and the franchises themselves, not to mention the headaches it would cause for fans who are ticket holders.
And what happens if this bill is proposed, and somehow, eventually passes? Anything, we have seen is possible during election years in this state.
New Jersey is the host of Super Bowl XLVIII. What happens if the lockout goes on beyond this season? Will New Jersey be able to host a Super Bowl if the state declares non-union officiating to be illegal?
In 2010, New Jersey was selected to host Super Bowl XLVIII. The Argus Group, chosen to oversee the game and preparations estimated the Super Bowl will bring unprecedented community and economic benefits to the region, with an economic impact expected to exceed $550 million.
We’re all for politicians clamoring for this and that, especially weeks before an election, but sometimes the mind is a dangerous thing and we hope Mr. Sweeney’s Tuesday morning quarterbacking doesn’t end up costing New Jersey any more than we have already lost in the past 10 years.
Perhaps if some of Green Bay’s players were from New Jersey and suddenly lost their jobs, Sweeney could present a solution to help New Jersey, which has been struggling with unemployment figures of late. Then again, most football players are millionaires, they probably already know they’re not welcome in New Jersey.