The NFL only a year after it locked out its players has locked out its normal Referees. The referees were demanding more money, most importantly a better pension and retirement package. The Refs just like the media and players, took a step back and saw the money machine the NFL has become and basically have said we want a bigger piece of the pie.
Now at first I was on the NFLs side on this issue, the refs have had a pretty good deal they work mid august to February and that’s it. And they only really work 1 or 2 days a week and get paid a range of 25 to 75 thousand dollars ranging from young line judges to head refs. I would defiantly not mind making 50k to work 1 day a week and watch a NFL game up close that’s pretty good. The preseason was rough and made me doubt their ability to control and manage an NFL game. The first week was a pleasant surprise though and I started to become confident that these refs are actually pretty good and that the locked out refs would stop their protest and come back. There were some procedural issues and they were lenient on the holding calls but overall most games I wouldn’t have known the difference. Then week 2 hit. Week 2 was so bad to the point where I could barley watch. There were fights in games refs failed to control, Holding was being called on DBs and they became pass interference happy to the point where it was called before there was ever contact. One game was reported to have 28 wrong calls or procedures, 5 maybe 10 is understandable but 28?!
Week 2 made me yearn for the old refs, my advice to the NFL is, pay the money, in the grand scheme of things it’s a drop in the bucket. Player safety and quality of the product is at stake here. I won’t say all the new refs are bad I have been impressed with a select few, some will probably be offered a job after the new refs come back, and this did open the door for the first female ref to come into the game which is a great story. But bring the refs back please.