The sports world seems to be in agreement, the replacement ref issue has reached a new low.
Last night’s Packers Seahawks game ended under much controversy as a result of the NFLs upper administration. Notice I didn’t say he replacement refs. I don’t like to look at the symptoms I like to focus on the cause.
Stepping back a little let’s look at the root cause of this issue.
The NFL refs CBA expired after last season. The refs felt that they should receive an increase in pay at least equal to their increase in 2006, the last time they renegotiated. Now the knee jerk reaction may be to say, “hey the economy is bad, most of us out here haven’t received a raise why should these guys expect one.” A reasonable question until you look at the workplace in question. The NFL has seen record growth in the last few years. Unlike the rest of us they have more money than they used to. Owners are making more money, players are making more, so it is reasonable the refs would request the same.
Before the last 3 weeks you may have found yourself saying that the refs aren’t as important as the players so they should have different expectations. Look to the end of last night’s game for your answer to that question.
Good officiating is essential to any sport. We may bitch and moan about refs and umps and all that but for the most part they get it right. And make no mistake, their job is incredibly hard.
As an observer this seems like a failed attempt by the NFL to cut costs to increase their already growing revenue. That is within their right to do so.
Any good business minded person should have tools in place to monitor and assess any change. I think in this case the NFL needs to realize the money saved is not worth the damage being done.
The replacement refs are not as good as the regular refs, and it was silly for anyone to think they would be. I don’t blame the men currently in stripes, I blame the larger system.
It’s time for Goodell and company to say this isn’t working and make it right. The regular refs clearly are an important part of the game, pay them accordingly.