Baseball likes to call itself America’s pastime, a nod to its long history in this country. But let there be no doubt about sport that most consumes us — it’s pro football.
After substitute officials botched the touchdown call at the end of the Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks game on Monday night, ESPN had its highest-rated SportsCenter telecast ever. The National Football League office received about 70,000 voicemail messages overnight. President Obama and Mitt Romney were among the many public officials who weighed in on the controversy.
Packers fan and Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan used the debacle to zing the president. “It’s time to get the real refs, and it reminds me of President Obama and the economy,” Ryan said. “If you can’t get it right, it’s time to get out.”
The outcry had a clear impact — by Wednesday night, the league and officials had reached a deal ending the lockout that prompted the need for replacement refs in the first place.