Replacement refs Put NFL in dire straits
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 28, 2012 03:09
Of all American professional sports, the NFL remains America’s sport because it is a league of honor; its players have a passion for the game unlike any other sport.
Until the 2012 season, the NFL was the best-officiated sport in America. That reputation has changed over the past three weeks.
Unfortunately for Commissioner Roger Goodell and co., the refereeing situation will continue to consume media outlets.
Let’s be honest here: we have all seen calls go against the teams we support. The refereeing was nothing short of abysmal and an absolute embarrassment to the league and the players. The business of the NFL struggled due to the labor dispute – who wanted to pay money for tickets to watch a ref make a game-altering error when they can suffer at home watching it on TV?
While I am not a Green Bay Packers fan, I could not help but feel sympathy for all the cheese heads after the disaster Monday night. In the last four minutes of the fourth quarter there were at least five calls that went against the Packers, inevitably leading to Seattle’s controversial Hail Mary catch and the creation of a new word: “touchception.”
If anything positive came from the mistakes on national television, it is that the NFL and the referees resumed negotiations, not because they wanted to, but because they needed to.
Had a game-reversing call like the final play of the Green Bay Seattle game happened in the playoffs, or even worse, the Super Bowl, how would the league have responded to the outcries?
In one moment, the integrity that is synonymous with the NFL would disappear like a plane in the Bermuda Triangle.
Goodell and the rest of the owners took the established expertise of the regular referees for granted, they attempted to play hardball and move on without them but failed miserably.
However, when commentators of all the major networks blatantly express their distaste for the replacement refs, there is a problem.
Truthfully, I cannot understand why it took the NFL Referees Association and the NFL so long to resolve the dispute. After all, the NFL is a multi-billion dollar organization and the NFLRA was asking for a mere $3.3 million dollars.
As a sports fan, I couldn’t be happier that both sides reached an agreement. It is a significant positive in an otherwise tumultuous season thus far.
Football is drastically different when the wrong people are officiating.
All parties deserve this resolution: the referees deserve it, the players deserve it and most of all the fans deserve it.
The referees are set to make $205,000 come 2019 and will receive several benefits. They will be compensated, and rightfully so. After all, they are the best referees in professional sports.
I understand the replacement officials did the best they could, but they were not up to the task.
But, the real officials are back. Let the games begin, America.