My, my, my…I do love hearing and reading fans in Baltimore clamor for the “real referees” in the NFL.
These are the same “good” refs you folks usually bash week in and week out when they’re doing the games. Now, with the lockout, we’re seeing this group of replacement officials try to run around and keep some on-field sanity over 60 minutes.
To my eyes, they’re failing.
But I expected them to fail. You can’t take part-time dentists and ask them to take over your appointment schedule and do a full-blown root canal and expect it to go flawlessly.
If you take the guys who load bags on planes at BWI and asked them to open up the belly of the plane and fix one of the loose wheels, they wouldn’t be able to do it. They’d probably try hard. But they wouldn’t be able to fix it. (I can hear it now: ”You guys are around airplanes all day…why can’t you fix that wheel?”)
Here’s the truth: The replacement officials in the NFL stink. The players know it — so that’s why they’re trying even more chicanery during the games. The league, two weeks in, must have already come to grips with the fact that this group of the officials can’t do the job week in and week out. How else can you explain that no deal has been struck yet to bring back the real referees?
“Yeah, these guys are awful, but we can’t lose sight of the fact that we’re in the middle of a negotiation. There’s always collateral damage in situations like this — and in the case of the first two weeks, that damage is our product. But that’s just the way it goes.” Can’t you just hear Roger Goodell whispering that behind closed doors to his underlings?
There’s no question this whole mess is an embarrassment to the league. And if there’s any point to keep harping on with regard to the current group of refs, it’s not that they’re terrible. The point to drive home is this: The NFL should be truly ashamed at how they’re trotting out an inferior product through two weeks of the 2012 season and having important games decided by their inadequate (temporary) employees.
(Please see next page)