The topic has presented itself at least once in your conversations and maybe twice as you scroll down your timeline, but here it is again. Significant time has passed since the referees at the NFC championship failed to call a game-deciding penalty in New Orleans, something both Saints fans and non-fans alike are calling “blatant” and “disrespectful to the game”. What may not be so obvious is to what extent people are integrating this topic into everyday life.
Without including the various memes that have been created after this debacle, it is evident that many people outside the sport world are “buying in” to the attention-generating topic, even for advertising purposes. Popeye’s Chicken had their say by posting a picture on twitter of a blurred photo of their signature chicken, biscuits and fries with the caption “#refereechicken”, hinting at the big missed call. Subsequently, it seems that their joke paid off, as multiple users replied to the tweet admitting that’s where they would be eating lunch that day.
Even more local businesses are getting in on the fun, as a handful of U.S. eye doctors are willing to “donate” free eye exams to the NFC Championship referees to make sure that they are fit to perform their job.
Beyond businesses and consumers, even the law practitioners have found themselves becoming intertwined with this sport mega-event. New Orleans attorneys and Saint’s season ticket holders are demanding that Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, conduct an investigating into the “no-call” as it has caused Saints fans significant damages.
The social waves that this infraction during an important game has created exhibits just how extensively the sport world is incorporated into everyday society, and that fans, die-hard or not, are willing to make these events a more distinguishable topic than other, arguably more important, news. In other words, like much research regarding the connection between society and sport, both group conversations and the media show a pull towards sport topics, a phenomena that has been termed a “sportised” society.