The real refs are back. They were the ones getting cheered by the fans before the Ravens - Browns game Thursday night. Coach Harbaugh of the Ravens who was ready to throttle a replacement ref on Sunday night was seen hugging a real ref before the game on Thursday night. Everyone seemed in a good mood because the real guys were back. The game seemed to go off without a hitch, too. The replacement refs are gone, back to families, jobs and real life. For three weeks they got to ref real NFL action. They got paid $3,000 a game which is chickenfeed when you think about what they had to put up with. They were just home minding their own business in July, perhaps thinking about the upcoming high school or junior college football seasons in which they normally reffed when they got an email for NFL commish Roger Goodell. We need you, he wrote. Please consider reffing in the NFL this season. Wow, hard request to pass up if your a ref who never, ever, thought he would ref an NFL game. I wonder how many now wish they had forgotten to answer that email. After three weeks as an NFL ref they have been villified, threatened, treated disrespectfully on and off the field and become the butt of late night jokes on the tv talk shows. No one recognizes their service which allowed the games to go on because the NFL commish couldn't get his job done on time. No thank yous and most definitely no cheers for the replacement guys.
They were too slow to pick up the fast paced NFL games, it was said. They were inexperienced; high school or college games can not be compared to the NFL, the experts said. They were too intimidated by the players and the coaches, others explained. And this was not known before the replacements were thrown to the wolves? By the third week, the experiment of replacement refs had gotten so far out of control, their lives were certainly in danger. Players menaced, coaches grabbed, and fans roared their disapproval, BULLSHI#, after every call. The NFL leadership was huddled in closed rooms bargaining with the real refs.
It's the Games that are out of control in this country. It's the Fans that are out of control in this country. We really have to pay officials hundred of thousands of dollars to ref less than 20 games a year! They have to study a rule book that is bigger than the US tax code in order to understand a game? Fans have the right to reign down abuse of the most vile nature because they don't like call.
Mr. Goodell, here is what you need to do. At halftime of an NFL game this Sunday you need to bring those replacement refs out at halftime, publicly thank them for their service under great duress and, for heavens sake, let them keep their NFL striped jerseys!