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The Replacements???

We all know the popular movie about replacement players taking the place of the professional athletes and turning out to be awesome, fans loved them. Well with the replacement refs, that is not the case! These guys look absolutely perplexed out on the football field. The NFL real referee lockout continues and the fans, players, and coaches are forced to deal with referees that have no idea how to run a game on the professional level. They come from the Division 3 level in college football for peak's sake, that is like the high school level. But is it their fault that they don't know what they are doing?

These refs are making a mockery of the NFL. The NFL has been all about player safety of late, but by hiring incompetent referees to control the game, are they really abiding by that mission? If you really pay attention, the product of the game is bad and for the following reasons:

  1. The games last longer. Because the referees take forever to huddle up and confirm or make a call, it really slows the game down. Then when they make a call, it feels like they need to huddle up again to make sure it was the right call.
  2. There will be order in the court! These guys have no idea how to control a situation after it gets out of hand. There have been a number team so far that have had fist fights on the field and the refs don’t know how to end it. It’s like the principal of school is not in so the kids have the right to act a fool because they know they won’t get in as much trouble as they would have before. These players should be ejected and they haven’t (look at the fight last night between Denver and Atlanta).
  3. Respect my authority! Yea, these refs have no authority on the field. In fact, after they make a call, someone yells at them and tells them that they are wrong and they second guess themselves. And if they don’t make a call, the player tells them it should be a flag and they will throw the flag for them. It is just madness. There is something called bravado and they don’t have it.
  4. Interference. I don’t believe these refs know the difference between an offensive pass interference and a defensive pass interference. The skill players basically get away with beating up on each other until a key play happens, then the wrong flags comes in. If you thought it was already bad for DBs and WRs, it just got a whole lot worse.
  5. Messing with the flow of the game. For teams that run the no huddle offense, these refs struggle with spotting the ball (especially if its close to a first down) on time and can mess with their rhythm of the offense. 
  6. Not knowing the correct calls to make. These refs look like they did not read the referee handbook before beginning this job. They have trouble announcing the call, with the correct hand signal, the way it is suppose to be called and at times just makes something up. You can see them pause as they announce the call as if they are singing a song and forgot the lyrics. As a fan, you have no choice but to not believe them.
  7. Altering the sway of the game. Did you know one of the replacement refs is a die hard Saints fan and he ran the Saints game. Who is to say that he is not making calls to benefit the Saints in order for them to win. This goes back to the issue of refs shaving points from games. We all know they have the control over the flow of the game so, if these refs have favorites, it could be unfair (and illegal) to have them making calls for their team.
  8. They don’t want to be here. You can tell by the looks on their faces that they do not want to be there. The pressure is to much for them to bare, and they look like they are on pins and needles every game. They also aren’t payed enough for this backlash they are getting (which is why we are here in the first place), so they probably want the lockout to be over asap as well.

The reason we are forced to see such lack of control is not the refs fault, but the NFL’s fault. Sometimes you gotta feel bad because these refs are in way over their head, and the waters is steadily rising. The NFL feels that the real refs do not fit the criteria of being league officials and are part time workers. Therefore, they have chosen not to pay them what they are asking for. This makes no sense, because if the league was smart, they would hire these guys full time to make sure they are always on top of the league rules. And now after seeing their horrible replacements, the real refs have the right to ask for a even higher raise because they are valuable. The NFL even came out with a statement trying to back the refs:

“Officiating is never perfect. The current officials have made great strides and are performing admirably under unprecedented scrutiny and great pressure. As we do every season, we will work to improve officiating and are confident that the game officials will show continued improvement.”

 The NFL and Roger Goodell looks like a joke and a total mockery. They won’t pay the refs because of what? The money the league makes is big enough to share so I don’t understand the problem. Then instead of getting some good replacements, they basically go pick refs off of Craigslist. If you look at what the refs make anyway, you would see that it is not a big stint in their pockets to give more money. The replacements are not working out, and the league is in jeopardy of loosing its fans base. Twitter was blowing up last night talking about the refs and how they should be gone. So much so that at some point, fans were saying they would boycott the NFL in order to show how disappointed they are with the NFL right now. Last night Steve Young called out the NFL on this debacle.

The players and fans and everyone else have had enough. We are crying out! This is embarrassing to watch. The refs were already bad, but these guys are even worse. Rodger Goodell needs to get a deal done, and ASAP!

(photos courtesy of ESPN)

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