Replacement Referees are people too

I think the last few seconds of the Green Bay/Seattle game are now part of American culture. Who hasn’t seen or heard about Russell Wilson, the Seattle quarterback who threw an interception and won the game as a result? Only in America. Or only in American football.

EVERYONE is chiming in on the NFL and its issues with the regular referees. Even President Obama says to get it worked out. I don’t know what the key areas of concern are, but I’m sure it has to do with money and benefits. And general speaking, most football fans don’t care about the issues, but do want the experiment with these replacement referees to end soon. Now.

The replacement refs have been making mistakes, slowing the game down, spotting the ball in the wrong places, and getting abuse for their trouble. People continue to tune in to watch the game, but end up talking more about the officiating than the outcome of the games themselves.

It is worth mentioning that even the regular referees get it wrong. Here is an example of Ed Hochuli blowing a call that cost a team the ballgame. He ended up apologizing afterwards, after being seared by fans and media alike. Instant replay helps, but even with this ability to review plays, the referees aren’t going to get it right all the time. It’s because they are people. Check out the “phantom touchdown” more than a decade ago that the refs got wrong then too.

These replacement refs are people too. They’ve been put in an incredibly difficult position, and yes they agreed to do this because for many of them, it’s a chance of a lifetime. Still, if it weren’t for these guys stepping in, would we be watching NFL football right now?

I admit I don’t know the union issues or labor dispute concerns, and join the chorus of most who want things back to the level it should be. At the same time, however, there are most likely longer term conditions being discussed for the regular referees. If these were made known, some folks might not be sympathetic to their demands.

Yes, I get frustrated with the slow downs and missed calls. We got that with the regular referees too. It’s a multi-billion dollar business we’re talking about, and everyone involved wants their piece of the monetary pie. I’m going to continue watching from a distance because I have other real life things going on, and plus this all reminds me that I make my own share of mistakes. Fortunately, there’s not instant replay to remind me of them (unless there’s a cell phone lurking nearby).

When all else fails, there’s college football.

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