Horse Whisperings - Replacement Refs

Head coach John Fox of the Denver Broncos argues with the referees during the game against the Chicago Bears at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 11, 2011. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Welcome to the lull in what was once a year-round NFL season. After the current CBA was signed last August, a hole was created in the Broncos offseason schedule, and we are stuck right in the middle of it. Here in Broncos Country, we don’t shut our doors and every weekend is a good excuse for a barbeque though and Memorial Day weekend is the opening of barbeque season in Colorado. But I didn’t intend to talk about food this evening. A few things came across the wire this afternoon so I figured it was time for another Whispering post.

If you have been paying attention in Horse Tracks, you know that the contract between the NFL and their Referees will expire at the end of the month. Considering that is a mere 5 days away, I believe it is worth talking about.
Now, it has been reported that the two sides have been at an impasse, so they will go through a Mediator to reach an accord.

Small problem

The Arbitors to be used are the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). This is the same outfit who was involved during last year’s Lockout and couldn’t get it done.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says, the goal is to negotiate an agreement, but the league is currently scouting for replacements.

I suppose that is sound business sense and maybe we should be encouraged that at least the NFL plans to allow us our Sunday entertainment this season, but at what cost?

NFL Referees are the cream of the crop and if they are replaced, it will demean the game as we know it. I’m not talking from a Union perspective here either. I’m not sure what an NFL Ref has to go through to become a member of an NFL Officiating crew, but I know they are the best at what they do.

How would you feel if the officiating in the NFL were to become as inane as the NBA?

Sorry, I wasn’t trying to scare you, but most of us have seen the obtuseness of NCAA refereeing. It borders on favoritism and conspiracy. Is that what you want in your Sunday entertainment? Where do you suppose the league will recruit these so called replacements?

From that same article,

In 2001, before the sides agreed on the contract which expires next week, replacement officials manned the first week of the regular season before a deal was struck.

In 2001, before the sides agreed on the contract which expires next week, replacement officials manned the first week of the regular season before a deal was struck.


Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Oh yeah, have a good Memorial Weekend Broncos Country.

Go Broncos!

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