Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Misplaced Anger: Blame the NFL and Management Not the Replacement Refs

In case you haven't noticed, there is a major controversy regarding the lockout of the "regular" NFL officials and the use of replacement referees. Most of my interaction with the reaction toward the job the replacements have been doing comes from social media, primarily twitter. Just a reminder but you can follow me on twitter @MeSharona. If the reaction I have seen is a barometer, the overwhelming consensus is that pretty much everyone hates the replacement referees, and they are wrong.

The NFL and its owners made a business decision to lockout the officials that have been officiating the game for many years, and opted to replace them with replacements who obviously have not officiated in the NFL. The replacements officials have families to feed just like you and me, and that they are ill equipped in some cases to handle the pressure really isn't their fault. No, its the fault of a greedy system that failed to properly manage the situation and to train and equip them to succeed. Moreover, let's face it and call it like it is in that we are all complicit in that we continue to support and watch the game.

While we are at it the use of the term "scab" really grinds my gears too. I am in complete support of unions and the rights of American employees but to place blame on someone who is simply trying to feed their family in my opinion is wrong. You want to be mad be mad at the corporate greed that led to the lockout in the beginning, or on the greed that compelled the NFL and its collective management to throw the replacement referees to the proverbial wolves. Furthermore, some of the replacements actually do a good job.

Having said all that, let's face it the replacement referees that were selected for the Packers vs Seahawks game were completely inept. The litany of blown calls would take a lifetime (hyperbole) but the worst offense was to be found on the last play of the game. A play that decided the outcome. A play the officials completely botched and ultimately got wrong.

If the NFL truly cares about the product it puts on the field, and the so called "integrity" of the game, the replacement referees who were responsible for this debacle will never see an NFL field again in a professional capacity. Furthermore, it will conduct a review of those who do not do a good job and will take measures to ensure the replacement referees who see the field are trained and qualified to perform the job.


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