From the Cheap Seats –
NFL Referee Controversy
I had considered doing an article regarding this NFL referee strike but I wasn’t sure whether it was really newsworthy. But after this weekend’s games I feel inclined to chime in and give you my two cents in my view from the cheap seats.
First off the NFL is the only professional sport that does not have its own referee organization where the referees are full-time employees of the league. The NBA refs are full-time status with the league, and so too are the empires for Major League baseball. So why in the world with the NFL, which is the most successful professional sports organization out of the four sports, not have their own officials on a full-time basis?
I am not a political person and have not delved into all the differences that the two sides have regarding the strike but it is clear that whatever the differences are they need to be resolved as quick as humanly possible. These referees are clearly overwhelmed and under-qualified to do this job. A lot of players and coaches are riding these officials like an old horse, some have legitimate concerns and some are doing it to take advantage of the situation.
For some strange reason I am siding with these replacement refs because I know they’re doing the best job that they know how. You can see by their demeanor they are overwhelmed and know it. Most fans have no idea how difficult it is to become a pro referee, it is a long and grueling process to get to the top. These replacement refs were in the position that they were in prior to the strike for a reason. But we cannot fault these guys on the job that they’re doing for the simple reason they are under-qualified for the job. I genuinely feel for them because they have a love for the game and without them we would have absolutely no football whatsoever and that’s not a good thing.
So as these weeks go by and were forced to accept bad calls and questionable decisions by these referees, just remember the option of no football. I know these guys are doing the best job they know how and they are definitely learning on the job so we need to keep that in mind when we are judging them.
I do hope that the NFL expedites their decisions and negotiation process with the regular referees to resolve this issue as quick as possible. But overall my heart goes out to these replacement referees because theirs is a difficult job and I can guarantee you they are bombarded every day of the week for the job that they do. Everyone is quick to criticize but if you’ve never laced up some cleats work shoes and grab the whistle and officiated any sort of a game on your own you have no idea how difficult it is. You don’t believe me? Then go down to your local YMCA or Boys and Girls Club and volunteer to officiate a game and see how you feel by the end of the day.
I can guarantee you you’ll think twice about doing it again and the little amount of pay you get for doing that certainly doesn’t make it all worthwhile. So let’s give these guys a break but the chance is on the coaches on the sideline doing that are slim.
Anyway that’s my perspective from the cheap seats!
Let me know what you think about the article or the referees by leaving a comment below. I appreciate your continued support.