The referee crisis of 2012 has come and gone and all it took was the now infamous, “Fail Mary” to get the deal done. After three weeks of blown calls, no calls and reverse calls, a deal was finally reached Wednesday night between the NFL and officials union.
As the details emerge from which side got what, one thing is certain is that it should have never come to this. After having all off-season to negotiate, it took back-to-back embarrassments televised in primetime for the NFL to cave in.
And what did Roger Goodell and the owners gain by allowing this charade to last three weeks into the regular season? Not much, according to the initial details which have emerged from the deal.
There were wins for both sides, but most were expected. The officials’ union did receive a 4-percent wage increase, but the major issue hanging up the deal was the referees’ pension. With all the multi-millionaires on the field every Sunday, the NFL was battling over $3.3 million per year in pension payouts. That equates to a little over $100,000 per team for a $9 billion industry.
In the end, no one really cares about why the NFL sent replacement refs out there. After Monday night’s debacle, all the casual fan wanted to know was why the NFL, with all its perceived integrity, would employ an inferior group of individuals to officiate their favorite teams.
And with all do respect to these replacement officials, they were way out of their league. Most of these refs were pulled from Division III college, junior college or in one case — The Lingerie League.
I officiate collegiate soccer in my spare time, mostly traveling to places like Jacksonville State, UNA and Wallace State — the same or higher level of competition where the NFL found its replacement refs. While I feel confident in my ability to officiate the level of games I’m assigned, in no way am I prepared to do a center on an MLS game.
And no one should have expected these substitutes to be qualified either. The replacement refs could not keep up with the speed and complexity of the professional level, often losing control of the game.
The irony of it all is that these refs were hired to give the NFL leverage by showing that the game could go on without the normal officials. Over the last three weeks, they have done the exact opposite.
While the “normal” officials might not get every call right, they will demand more respect, manage the game better and bring integrity back to the “The Shield.” For some comparison, the seven officials refereeing last night’s Browns vs. Ravens game had a combined 70 years of NFL experience between them.
Three weeks into a bad experiment and less than 48 hours after one of the worst blown calls in league history, the NFL is officially back, referees and all.
- Local News 2
Potts inks with Middle Tennessee State
In front of family and friends, Nathanial “Giddy” Potts made his verbal commitment to Middle State University official Thursday.
Potts put pen to paper on the second day of college basketball’s spring signing period. Following a recruiting visit, the Athens senior verbally committed to the Conference USA school in early March.
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Connect Run: Yarbrough, York, Huff overall winners in 5K, 10K, 1M
Blake Yarbrough, competing in the 25-29 age division and setting a 5:49 pace on the inclined 3.1-mile Connect Run course, fended off teens Ryan Ford (18:32), Andrew Snider (19:04) and David Brashier (20:05) on a bright and slightly breezy Saturday morning.
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4 Limestone teams make playoffs
Although it seems like it just started, Alabama high school baseball’s regular season is nearly over. Baseball teams across the state finished up area play Saturday and will play first round playoff series, beginning Friday.
Elkmont’s Rhett Bailey wins Bryant-Jordan state award in Class 3A
Elkmont High School senior Rhett Bailey, who came back from a cancer diagnosis as a sophomore, was named the Class 3A student achievement winner during tonight’s Bryant-Jordan Awards banquet at the Birmingham Sheraton.
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Elkmont edges Ardmore in alumni game
In front of a crowd of more than 1,000 people, Elkmont’s alumni football team hung on for a 20-6 win Friday over alumni from Ardmore.
With alumni bands and che
Bailey beats cancer, returns to football field
Rhett Bailey is on schedule to graduate from Elkmont High School next month. It hasn’t been easy.
The three-sport athlete has faced and overcome multiple physical obstacles.
Honors keep on coming for Tanner's Katie Pepper
Katie Pepper, a senior volleyball and softball player at Tanner High School, is one of five Limestone County student-athletes and 96 statewide to be selected as a Bryant-Jordan Scholarship regional winner.
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