2 sides 2 issues
I think most are getting lost on one of the 2 issues and there in lies the issues.
There are 2 issues as I see it, on the field and off the field.
1st on the field: I don't think anyone will disagree that the on the field issue is a huge one. The replacement refs are worse then the regular refs, to what degree can be debated but not that they are in fact worse. This was to be expected and some fans were more upset then others to be sure. The news has also been centering mostly on this and therefore it's also higher in minds. The more debatable is how much it's costing the league...imo nothing until their is lost revenue equivelent to each team losing what they would have to give the refs and no way is that happening.
Something I don't think being talked about though is how much Vegas and other betters are going to start to pressure the league though as less people put money on the games b/c its to hard to detremine who is going to win. Remember this is a league that doesn't condone betting, but made a rule to make each team state inj's and who's out for the upcoming week on Weds; that was an obvious appeasement to Vegas. Once Vegas starts pushing that's when the real movement will happen.
2nd off the field: Union vs NFL; the reason that #1 exists is this one..#2(pun intended). This is not talked about much outside of getting it fixed which is not that simple. It is not as simple as the NFL paying up to the poor lil reg refs who will come in and save us all from blown calls. There are multiple issues here and I'm stunned it's not talked about more b/c some are the refs fault and some are the owners, lets list them:
1) Pay raises for refs. I'm okay w/this but remember these are not full time refs, they all have good paying full time jobs and do little to no work for the nfl in the offseason; it also creates part of the problem of bad calls during normal seasons. But this the owners should have relented on well before the season.
2) Pensions for part time officials. I do have a problem w/this but it wouldn't have stopped me as an owner from getting them on the field on time. Refs that work 16 weeks out of the year then go on to other jobs the rest of the time don't need full pensions from the NFL; ecspecially when such a retirement is a thing of the past. Per news today the refs are backing up a little on this and should; the NFL needs to also move forward a little.
3) Full time officials. Refs are 100% wrong and need to take it off the table. Refs, at least part of them need to be full time. See 1, this is why the calls are so bad b/c they don't study film go over the rules and sit w/owners, players and coaches to make the game run smoother in the offseason. If I'm an owner no deal is done until this is 100% in the deal.
4) The owners want a training system in the NFL, not just bring up from Div 1 college, which I'm 100% for, but it shouldn't keep the deal from getting done. The 2nd more contraversial part of this, which I'm also for, but again not worth not getting the deal done is the idea of a group of officials sitting on the sides(not during the games) and if refs are not getting passing grades can be replaced by someone on that bench. I'm also for this 100%. Again everyone, including the media complains about the regular refs every week in normal seasons and #4 could go a long way to stopping that. I also think refs on the rules commitee should be if it isn't already.
All of that seems very reasonable to me Ric. Every bit of it. On the drive home I was listening to someone talking about the Vegas aspect of this too.
I believe there is enough pressure on both sides now to get serious about finding a middle ground compromise that they can both live with. Hopefully a deal will now get done.
I probably have more respect for the regular refs than most do. I think the NFL refs are the best professional level refs in sports. Even if they have been part time until now. I have zero respect for the work product of the replacement refs.
I also take issue with folks who automatically think collective bargaining is a "bad" thing. This is America, not some 3rd world communist nation. I believe workers have a right to bargain for contracts. That doesn't mean I believe unions are all good. They are not. But I don't automatically frame this lockout as "the refs are bad because they are in a union." I've been on both sides of the union issue. Most of my life I was not in a union but supervised union workers. I respected our union workers as good men and women who simply wanted a fair shake. They never went on strike. We never locked them out either.
I don't see the refs as evil for trying to get a decent contract. I do see the NFL owners as often being a bit crazy (they can't even get along with each other).
Estimated $300 million changed hands due to the SEA/GB game outcome. So, it's already started.
Originally Posted by Riczaj01
Shitty call. We can argue all day over "possession", but I'm pretty sure much of that "debate" will be fueled specifically by how one feels about the Packers individually, and not by the rules, etc... But, shit happens and it happens every season. It's not like any amount of whining about it is going to change the overall outcome. Whether it's the hat throwing in Dallas, giving teams extra timeouts, or crappy ball spots, it is what it is.
However, the bigger issue is the AMOUNT of blown calls this season, and yes... it is solely because the replacement ref's are ill suited to be on an NFL field. I'm pretty sure that every fan, or at least every SERIOUS fan, knows that blown calls are part of the game. Everyone is ok with that because we know, or at least hope, that the ref's are doing their damn best to limit that and want to get every call correct. I'm a "blue" for the ASA, and I certainly know that kicked call I make results in me kicking my own ass for several days. HOWEVER, the mistakes made this season are too many. The mistakes made seem almost like a rewrite of the rules. It's not a matter of interpretation... it's matter of simply NOT knowing the rule or flat out ignoring it. And that does and IS effecting the integrity of the game.
And if that isn't enough to DRIVE the NFL and the zebra's to compromise, then maybe they deserve to have this season continue and take the heat from fans.
I'm all for unions and collective barganing. But I understand that sometimes, and more often in my life, unions share equal blame in work stoppage and strife as the owners. I lived in northern IN and more then once the locals had to have the national guys come in and save them from losing the plant; and on at least one occassion it was strongly rumored that the union purposely fought w/the company to force them to close, not sure how that was a bonus other then sympathy for union guys but it was not a anti union town so I felt the story was credible.
Guarantee the first time Vegas loses 125 mil(as reported was lost by betters) or they see a drastic dip in betting they will be on the NFL.
Ya your nuts if you think these are the best officials in sports.
Another thing too, is the games are going longer with the RR sorting out all the calls in the game. I BELIEVE I heard games are going 17 minutes longer now. That is cutting into pre/post game shows who have commercials payed for too. NFL was trying to keep games at 3 hours for that reason. Just another aspect to include. Chip the ball and players, grid the field and you'll know when a knee or bodypart is down and where to spot the ball. MAKE linemen where boxing gloves so no holding. The rest could be done from a controll booth. You could get away with half as many REFS then, yet give them what they want and SAVE $.
Y, I've often wondered why they didn't at least chip the ball.
Ric, I'm nuts then. I do believe they're the best. It's a more complex game with 22 moving parts on every snap. Hockey is close (speed and a lot going on). I like how the good ones are not throwing flags all over the place, and you almost forget they're even there. By contrast these replacements are almost the main event, slowing the game down.
update, listening to epsn colin cowheard he actually had a guy that is covering the labor dispute, and that guy stated that there are two issues that are holding up this agreement, and the nfl will not bend on:
1) pension, he stated 2 issues w/this. a: refs said you gave us the pension b/c you took a ton away in the last agreement and now you want to take away the pension. b: the nfl has a hard time facing their full time employees that do not have pensions when the part timers do. I see both sides here, but the NFL is going to win this one; the refs are part time and not as important as the players and if the players have no pension there is no reason to give the part time guys one. Again I think the best thing they can do is compromise and godfather the current group in.
2) the nfl wants a group of bench refs that can replace poorly graded ones. For anyone that has ever bitched about a reg ref, you have to agree w/this idea. the reg ones are bad...REAL bad and this is a good way to handle the issue. Doesn't mean the one is fired, but gets put back on a bench to get better.
This is not as easy as just paying the refs and letting them have a pension like so many have tried to make it seem. This is about making a better long term product and the refs don't want any of it.
First of all, thanks for posting the update Ric. I appreciate keeping up-to-speed on all of this (you're probably laughing that I'm such a nut on the ref situation :smile:).
Originally Posted by Riczaj01
I think the refs (regular refs) do a great job Ric. Sure, they make mistakes, just like the players, but overall they do one heck of a good job. I believe they are the best referees in professional sports. It's a tough game to officiate at the NFL level.
The players do have a pension plan. LINK
I'm fine with the idea of accountability for refs, but there should be a provision that would prevent a ref from getting replaced without cause. In other words if you tick off an owner, there is some provision whereby he can't get you blackballed.
**Update to the updtae** he said other full time employees, I'd assumed those that players..he didn't specify, Colin said full time employees, not players.
Thanks for the correction JABF. I'll agree to disagree, the refs blow calls multiple times a game, and if we were to microscope them like this, I bet at least 1 game a month. They are a lot better then these guys, but they are still bad.
the refs are graded by a group each week, it's not normally published. it has nothing to do w/owners or players not liking them.
I didn't know that about the grading. That certainly seems fair to me.
Originally Posted by Riczaj01
FWIW, I always enjoy your posts, even when we don't agree. They are always thoughtful.