Thursday, September 6, 2012

NFL Replacement Refs: The Clock is Ticking

For starters, I admire what the regular NFL refs are trying to accomplish, I really do.  After watching the players negotiate, stand firm and give up valuable practice and prep time in order to gain some additional concessions from ownership last year, the refs are trying to do the same this year .  To be honest, I didn’t even realize the refs had their own union until it was announced that they were negotiating their latest collective bargaining agreement with the league.  The negotiations have gone very poorly so far, as is evidenced by their absence as the 2012 regular season kicked off last night in New York. 

There were a few obvious blunders made last night, as would be expected.  There was a clipping call early in the game that was really just a block in the back.  Also, there was a non-call on what looked like pass interference against Victor Cruz in the 2nd quarter and with the game still scoreless.  That it happened at the goal line only magnified the mistake.  Former NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira tweeted during the game that he thought the play was a defensive foul.  After watching the replay, I have to say it looked like a foul to me but at the same time, I have seen that go uncalled during past seasons when the regular guys were out there calling games.

 Overall, the crew tonight did a decent job and the talk after the game was about what the players did, not what the refs didn’t do.  As with offensive linemen, if a ref doesn’t hear his name during the game telecast, that’s a good thing.  With an acceptable performance in game 1 and assuming the weekend goes much the same, the regular refs should start worrying.  Yes, they probably deserve more.  What red-blooded American doesn’t think he or she doesn’t deserve more at the office?  But until the NFL’s hand is forced by some really bad officiating, they seem content to sit back and let it ride.  The league has already shown the bravado by putting replacement guys (and girls) out there in the first place.  They virtually didn’t even blink in training replacements before really spending a lot of time at the negotiating table.  Should there continue to be no officiating issues during the first few weeks of the season, everyone will start forgetting that these are not the regular refs.  At that point, the bargaining power belongs to the league and the refs aren’t getting paid.  I’ll withhold my total judgment until after the weekend but as of right now, the play clock is quickly running out for the regular officials to get back in action and return to work.

Until next time, Beers, Brats, and Championships.

 - Jason Perone (@WSB_Jason)

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1 comment:

  1. No doubt. Not that the ref's actually change the outcome of the game, but they definitely affected the flow. And Bill Michaels was commenting on how the activity of the refs during the game was affected by the consistent nagging by Jim Harbaugh. The assertiveness to their calls and intimidation factors could have led to the multiple no-calls that occurred during the game.