Three weeks into the NFL season and it is safe to say coaches, fans and players are quite dissatisfied with the performance of the league's replacement referees. Well, those living in greater Seattle are probably happy Tuesday following what some are calling one of the most controversial endings to a game in the history of the NFL.
Things like this have a tendency to even out and any team that has "benefited" from the errors, miscues and botched calls of the replacement refs stands an equally good chance of suffering at the hands of these officials down the road.
One thing is clear: fans are livid. The term "replacement refs" has spiked in frequency of searches, according to Google Trends. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's name is trending on Twitter. And now the replacement refs have to deal with a list of ETFs based on their dubious job performances.
Market Vectors Gaming ETF (NYSE:BJK)
Most folks know the Super Bowl is one of the most wagered-on sporting events in the world. The NFL's regular season is no slouch either, and it puts people in the seats of Las Vegas sports books. When the usual officials are working, oddsmakers, handicappers and bettors do not think about who is officiating the games.
That level of comfort has gone out the window with the replacement refs, who are NFL wagering, as ESPN reported. NFL betting is not a huge part of the bottom line for Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN), which combine for nearly 16 percent of BJK's weight, but in a fragile economy, BJK constituents cannot afford to lose business of any kind. If bettors think they are not getting a fair shake because of the replacement refs, they will not bet NFL games.
iShares Dow Jones US Medical Devices Index Fund (NYSE:IHI)
It is bad enough that the replacement refs are impacting the outcome of games with poor calls, but one thing no official in any sport should ever be doing is jeopardizing the health of the game's participants. Yet that is exactly what happened in Sunday's Dallas Cowboys/Tampa Bay Buccaneers game when a replacement official threw his hat onto the field of play, tripping Cowboys receiver Kevin Ogletree in the process.
NFL players generally try to avoid needing the products made by the companies found in IHI because the healthier a player is, the longer he can play and the longer he plays, the more money he makes. Simple math, really. It is probably just coincidence, but the ETF is up in both trading days following the hat incident.
VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short-Term ETN (NYSE:TVIX)
The VelocityShares Daily 2X VIX Short-Term ETN is an exhcange-traded product that will forever live in infamy. It is controversial, has destroyed value, has made investors question the usefulness of such a product and jaundiced the exchange-traded products business. One might say the replacement officials have done the exact same thing to the NFL and its fans.
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