The NFL and the NFLRA (NFL Referees Association) are stuck in a lockout that is affecting the integrity of the game and putting the NFL players in jeopardy. Scab referees have been called upon to officiate the highest level of professional football despite them being third rate officials themselves, quite literally. These are not simply officials from the major conferences in college football, oh no, these refs are below those. One of the officials actually worked in the Lingerie League.
I give up, and apparently so do the players. Specifically, some of the players on the New York Giants have voiced their opinions.
“I am not necessarily mad at the replacement officials,”Giants defensive captain Justin Tuck said. “I am more upset with the NFL for not handling this and taking care of this in due time. I think all the success that this league is having, you don’t want this to be a damper,” Tuck said. “I think the replacement referee situation can start to put a damper on the league in some way. You don’t want that to happen.”
Linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka is also fed up with the refs and believes the integrity of the game is at stake.
“There’s no doubt the integrity of the game has been compromised not having the regular officials out there. We’ve got to get that taken care of. That, I think, has to be the most important thing,” he said. “I don’t think you can levy tens of thousands of dollars, maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines in a week against players talking about ‘Player safety this, player safety that’ and not officials who can account for it.
We’re human at the end of the day and if you let people get away with stuff they’re going to continue to do it. When you look around at some of the calls being missed, player safety is the big issue. If you’re a guy who rushes the passer in certain situations, you want to know that the guys on offense aren’t going to try to take a chop block on you because they know they’re going to get away with it.”
The sentiment around the league is much of the same. Some will complain about these just being the losing teams whining about the refs, but remember the Giants won their match-up this weekend, and two of their more prominent players are talking about it.
The bottom line is, that no matter how bad you thought the refs were before, these replacement refs are a joke, and not a very funny one.