Aug 5, 2012; Canton, OH, USA; Replacement referees talk in the fourth quarter during the pro football hall of fame preseason game at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
The proof of the disaster that would happen if replacement referees are used in the regular season was clearly evident in the very first pre-season game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday evening. Lack of control, missed calls, questionable ones and even referring to Atlanta as "Arizona" all were proof positive of the monumental issue facing the league is labor peace is not reached between the officials union and the NFL.
The guys who are being used are not even from the collegiate level, as those referees have their own seasons coming up and are not available. Reportedly, one of the officials was a former Lingerie Football League ref, supposedly fired for poor performance. This rumor has not been verified, but the point of these guy's resumes would not impress the most casual football fan. Gambling sites believe the two sides will reach an agreement, as wagering site, Bovada, has the following bet available for the public:
Will Replacement Referees Officiate a week 1 game in the NFL?
Yes -300 (1/3)
No +200 (2/1)
For years the cry has been to make the NFL's guys in stripes full-time employees instead of just part-time seasonal ones. The other three major sports have full-time officials and the NFL season is almost a twelve-month-year season between mini-camps and OTA's. Give up a few million more dollars, Commissioner Goodell and get these guys on board and ready on time for the regular season if not sooner. Even the officials need exhibition games too.