Are you ready for some football? 'Cause the refs aren't.
September 20, 2012 9:13 AM Subscribe
posted by Cash4Lead (196 comments total)
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Since June, the NFL has locked out its referees as their union and league management have failed to come to an agreement over a range of issues, most notably the future of the referees' pensions
. In their absence, the league has resorted to using replacement refs to officiate games. The results have not been pretty
Both players and fans have accused the replacement refs of making egregious errors
, failing to manage the flow of the game
, being in the tank for one team or another
, and even endangering players' safety
. Bookies in Vegas are considering factoring in the influence of replacement refs on the games by giving home teams an extra half-point on the spread
. As it turns out, becoming a referee in the NFL requires a great deal more training and experience
than what the replacements have gotten. That said, the replacement refs seem to have kept pace
with their union counterparts on common penalties such as illegal blocking and roughing the passer, even as they ignore procedural penalties and drag out game times with discussion on how to rule on a given flag on the play.
Criticism of the league from players and elsewhere has been mounting
; however, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has held firm, and he may have good reason to: As ESPN's Steve Young has observed
, Everything about the NFL now is inelastic for demand. There's nothing they can do to hurt the demand for the game. So the bottom line is they don't care.