Replacement referees finally pack their bags
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell knew his league was the laughingstock of the nation on Sept. 24.
The "Fail Mary" that ended the three-week experiment of replacement referees had arguably become the worst call ever made in a professional sporting event. To make matters worse, it had come on the biggest national stage possible-Monday Night Football.
"We're sorry to have to put fans through that. Sometimes you have to go through something like that in the short term for the right agreement for the long term," said Goodell in an official statement the next morning.
These striped villains stepped into a high-profile spotlight with little to no experience officiating on a football field. Some of the same officials that were denied jobs in the Lingerie Football League had been allowed to officiate professional games. With resumes as bare as a high school freshman's, these everyday citizens were thrown into games with almost nothing to consider them credible.
And rather predictably, exactly what we feared was going to happen did happen. The penalties, skirmishes, and blown calls that resulted from these inexperienced fill-ins caused a brutal hit to the game's integrity.
The administration and control of the game had vanished.
While the damage cannot be reversed, the replacement referees are back where they belong-anywhere but the NFL. Last Thursday, around midnight, the NFL and the referee's union (NFLRA) reached an eight-year deal that guarantees pay increases each season.
Officials are set to make $149,000 in 2012 and will earn a salary of $173,000 by next season. In 2019, the final year of the contract, NFL referees will be making $205,000. Not too bad for a second job.
To put this into perspective, the NFL pulled in $9.3 billion in revenues in 2011. The average player makes $1.9 million a year playing in the league.
These veteran referees are put under similar pressure, a similar spotlight, and on the same football field as these millionaire players. Now, thanks to the NFLRA lockout and three weeks of miserable officiating, it's much more transparent to see just how difficult and important this job actually has become in our critical society.
Despite the increasing revenues being brought in each and every year by the most lucrative professional sports league in the world, the league found money rather than integrity to be the top priority. The NFL finally caved in after the finger was pointed at them by nearly every sports fan in the country.
Referee field entrances received better reception from home crowds than most teams did in their return last week. Fans made it clear to the officials that they recognized how hard their expertise was to replace.
To say it was a perfect return for the referees, however, would be a stretch, as we saw in yet another controversial Packers' game. While it is hard to swallow sometimes, fans will have to realize that blown calls and questionably thrown penalty flags will always be a part of this game.
The NFL referee salary raise is a result of three invaluable traits that no checkbook will ever be able to buy: administration, control of the game and experience. While many of them will never fit the idealistic model of the perfect referee we so badly desire, these veteran referees offer so much more than any Foot Locker employee-turned-official ever could.
Congratulations on a well-deserved payday.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More maristcircle News Articles
Recent maristcircle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR MARISTCIRCLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST MARISTCIRCLE NEWS
- Tailgate sets positive vibe as Marist football defeats Sacred Heart
- Class of 2019 abounds with diversity
- Marist Poll goes to D.C.
- ASU’s second annual "Color Run" is a success
- Habitat for Humanity: a growing service presence on campus
- A letter from the student body president
- Puppies: Adorable & Effective Stress Relievers
RECENT MARISTCIRCLE CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Food, Fuel, and Finance ... The 3Fs of Economics
- Top Tips for Timely Performance Driving
- Wellness Program Rewards Healthy New Year's Goals
- New Medical Supplement Offers Advance in Bladder Control
- Get An Edge on College Prep Tests
- Noodles to the Rescue: Make Dinner In a Snap
- Student Athletes Emulate the Pros in Abusing Prescription...
- Specialized Firefighter Training Helps Save Farmers' Lives
- One New Year's Resolution You Don't Have to Keep to Be a...
- Reverse Mortgage Can Help With Retirement Planning
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- College Students Head Back to Campus with Amazon Prime Student
- Phi Kappa Phi 2017 Award Programs Now Open
- MAX FROST RELEASES NEW VIDEO FOR INFECTIOUS TRACK "ADDERALL"
- PEPSICO AND 21ST CENTURY FOX ANNOUNCE "THE SEARCH FOR HIDDEN FIGURES"
- The Most Popular Entry-Level Jobs and Companies for College Graduates