No one likes it when there’s a work stoppage because some billionaires are fighting over a couple million dollars. It’s never a good look.
By now you’ve seen replays, listened to the talking heads cry, and watched some terrible calls go the other teams’ way. You also probably owe your bookie a whole boatload of money and now you’re pissed.
So, why has this atrocious labor dispute between the NFL and referees gone on for this long? I don’t know. You’re gonna have to call Roger Goodell for that.
Three and a half things you should probably know about the replacement refs:
1. Don’t blame the replacements. “It’s not their fault”, “They are doing the best they possibly can”, “It’s not as easy as it looks”, “They will get better”… Those are the type of excuses parents usually make when they hire their kids to work for them during the summer. Because they don’t have the guts to actually tell them that they are terrible at doing even the most basic tasks like spotting a ball five yards after a false start penalty. Game officials are not meant to be seen. In fact, the best officials are supposed to be invisible to fans. And yes, even the good ones make mistakes but this is getting absolutely ridiculous. To be fair, the replacement referees are trying their best. Unfortunately for millions of fans, their best isn’t even good enough for the Lingerie Football League.
2. The referees lockout is all part of a massive conspiracy by the NFL. I like to imagine that there is a small circle of angry football fans shaking their fists in the air at the Football Gods, wondering if all of what’s transpired so far could possibly be part of some cover-up masterminded by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league’s PR Machine. And it kind of makes perfect sense. Prior to the season, Roger Goodell was faced with increased criticisms over Bountygate, concussions, and rumors of his being a dick. With the focus now squarely on the weekly debacle that has become the replacement refs, Goodell can brush those other issues swiftly under the rug as he tries to buy more time before eventually caving in and closing that $3.3 million gap between the referees union and the NFL. But that’s only if he’s still got a job by next week.
3. Don’t blame Roger Goodell. He may be a ginger but he’s not the one at fault here. Not entirely at least. In reality, you need to blame the owners who continue to hold onto their billions like they’re worth, well, billions. Instead of guaranteeing the 121 union referees a stabilized pension plan, under the ever-growing profit machine that is the National Football League, the owners have taken a hard stance on opening up any more purse strings — even though it would only cost each team less than 150K to close the proverbial gap in labor negotiations. So instead of blaming just Roger Goodell, point your fingers at Ralph Wilson, Bill Bidwell, Mike Brown, and the entire Ford family
of trucks. Although Roger Goodell is always a great scapegoat. For everything.
3½. I miss the old refs.