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NFL Replacement Refs


Nathaniel Rioux

Since the summer of 2012, the NFL has been using replacement referee to officiate their games since their recent lock out, and it have been anything but successful. The replacement referee system was first introduced into the league after a recent lockout with the NFL Referee Association over salary adjustments. While most considered the change to be not a big deal to the league, it was clear that this past weekend games were anything but well officiated games.

First game in question was the Patriots versus Ravens Sunday Night Football game. During the primetime game, most of the American audience got to see the totally embracement of refereeing by the replacement refs. There were 22 combined penalties for that game, including one on the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. There were so many penalties that that Ravens fan chanted which would be described as the most auditable chant of horse manure in history by the announcers. Normally the announcers would suggest that the referee’s made a bad or good call, but this is the first time anybody has ever seen one of the announcers suggesting that the refs were actually messing with the game.

If one game wasn’t enough to show the ridiculous nature of the new refs, in ESPN’s Monday Night Football this was probably the most debated game of this season. With the Packers losing 12 to 14 the touchdown was called off over a controversial call. It is apparent The League needs to change the lock out rules over this dispute.

Just this Wednesday the NFL came to an agreement to the new terms of pay for their referees and announced that the Thursday night game featuring the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns will include the former refs of last year, which should be a big bonus for the League.

While most critics agree that this NFL lock out was one of the worst things that could have happened to the league, it also important to point out the stress that these refs are under in this type of position. It is said that these refs have the most amount of control over what happens in the game, and most of their decisions could cause the league an impressive amount of salary for the league.  So their jobs are less than easy. Even so the league should be able to recover itself from this lock out.