The ultimate reality show just got even more real.
FOX’s John Lynch, a hard-hitting safety who now serves as a color analyst for Sunday afternoon broadcasts, explained on Wednesday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show that the league fooled FOX into thinking that a deal with the locked-out officials was imminent before the regular-season began.
Per Lynch, the NFL called FOX before the season started and said, ‘We’re close to a deal, so take it easy on these guys.”
With no deal done nearly three weeks later, Lynch has drawn a strong conclusion: “They duped us.”
Lynch also complained about the folks who aren’t getting nearly enough blame for this situation — the people who own the teams. “The other night I went to bed angry,” Lynch said. “It just speaks to the arrogance of the owners.”
While some will wonder whether the league office will play the Playmakers card on FOX in response to Lynch’s remarks, the truth is that all major network deals extend into the next decade. Besides, at some point the networks have every right and reason to complain about paying billions for a product that is undermined by bargain-basement officiating.
For FOX and CBS, the length of the games becomes a major problem because too many of the 1:00 p.m. ET games are extending into the doubleheader window, even though this year the kickoff for the late games was nudged to 4:25 p.m. ET.
Still, it’s significant for Lynch to claim that the league lied to a supposed partner. And it’ll be interesting to see whether other employees of FOX and other networks join the chorus on this one.