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View Full Version : Football NFL Officials Lockout: What should happen?


DaFace
08-27-2012, 04:47 PM
After another weekend with some pretty bad issues, it seems like we're going to have to get used to the possibility of some pretty egregious errors altering the outcomes of games until we get the "real" refs back. However, I think the things the NFL is fighting for could be pretty good for the game in the long run. Based on my understanding, the major sticking points are:
The NFL wants to make it mandatory for some officials to work full time (but not all from what I can tell). It's not clear who would have to work full time and who wouldn't. Obviously, some refs like Hochuli make more money in their other jobs than they do officiating, so the refs don't like this idea.
The NFL wants to expand the pool of officials beyond the number required to cover 16 games per week. This would allow the NFL to 1) train new refs more slowly by allowing them to sit on the bench for a year or two, so to speak, and 2) sit underperforming refs (or entire crews) when deemed necessary. Aside from simply not wanting to have the possibility of being punished for screwing up, the refs don't like this as they'd all have to take a pay cut in order to pay for the new refs.

I personally think that it would be great if refs were full time and if there were ways the NFL could punish refs who just don't get the job done, but then again, I'm not sure how much badly-called football I can stomach. So, given the above, what would you prefer to happen?

Bugeater
08-27-2012, 04:53 PM
If I thought the regular refs did that great of a job I'd take their side. But they suck pretty badly at times too so fuck 'em.

-King-
08-27-2012, 04:54 PM
Another summarization of the issues from the refs standpoint

NFL, NFLRA continue their public squabble
Posted by Mike Florio on August 16, 2012, 9:59 AM EDT


The NFL ramped up its public pressure on the locked-out officials this week, with a string of leaks and statements aimed at: (1) making the locked-out officials realize that the NFL is ready to go forward into the regular season without them; and (2) focusing the controversy on issues other than reported financial gap of $100,000 per team.

On Thursday morning, the NFL Referees Association responded with a four-point response to the league, followed by a fairly inflammatory “summary,” complete with at least one exclamation point.

“The difference in aggregate compensation requested by the NFLRA and offered by the NFL are insignificant compared to NFL revenues,” says the statement from the NFLRA. “In the 2012 season the difference is about $2.2 million and over the five (5) year term proposed by the NFLRA about $16.5 million in total. That breaks down to $500,000 per team over five (5) years or $100,000 per team per year.

“This means the compensation issue could be resolved for $6,000 per game for each team! Why would the NFL jeopardize the health and safety of it players and the integrity of the game for such a modest amount?”

So there it is. The current gap, according to the NFLRA, works out to $6,000 per game per team. We’re not saying that the NFL should cave on that point. We are saying that the two sides are close enough to not justify playing Russian roulette with the integrity of the game by entrusting it to a collection of replacements that includes high-school officials and referees from the Lingerie Football League.

As to the noneconomic issues, the NFLRA confirms that the two items leaked by the league to ESPN on Monday are indeed impediments to a resolution. The league wants to add three more crews; the NFLRA claims that those crews would be paid from the pool of money that currently pays all officials. More importantly, the NFLRA contends that the NFL first raised the “three extra crews” issue on July 19, which if accurate would tend to suggest that the NFL shrewdly has tried to weave issues into the dispute other than the money because if it’s only about the money the NFL is more likely to be pressured to work this thing out.

The NFLRA also says that the question of full-time officials has never has been a “serious issue” in the negotiations. And the NFLRA says that it has no opposition to full-time officials, as long as they are “fairly compensated.”

Of course, it’s impossible to work out fair compensation for full-time officials or any of the other questions if the two sides aren’t engaged in serious talks. For now, they aren’t. Instead, the league seems to be inclined to go full speed ahead with replacement officials, under the assumption that the locked-out officials will cry “uncle” after two missed regular-season games.

Along those lines, NFL executive V.P. of operations Ray Anderson told Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com on Wednesday that the league expects to use replacements into the regular season.

“Are they going to be Tom Brady? No,” Anderson said of the replacements. “But they can be a Matt Hasselbeck.”

They also could be a JaMarcus Russell.

That continues to be the problem. Instead of using the folks who have been carefully vetted and prepared and utilized to officiate NFL games over a long period of time, the league plans to flip the switch as to a bunch of mid-level officials and hope that nothing blows up.

The NFL isn’t a laboratory experiment. It’s the most popular and successful sports league in America. When it comes to officiating, the game deserves better than hope. It demands certainty.

That’s why both sides need to work together to fix this. And that’s why the league needs to remember before driving too hard of a bargain what happened when it drove too hard of a bargain with the publisher of the ill-fated NFL Magazine.

Sometimes you can drive a bargain so hard that it drives the product into the ground. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen again.

-King-
08-27-2012, 04:55 PM
If I thought the regular refs did that great of a job I'd take their side. But they suck pretty badly at times too so fuck 'em.

That makes no sense. NFL players suck pretty badly at times, but there's no way I'd be okay with replacement players. Same thing with the refs.

Bugeater
08-27-2012, 04:57 PM
That makes no sense. NFL players suck pretty badly at times, but there's no way I'd be okay with replacement players. Same thing with the refs.
I don't turn on the game to watch the refs.

DaFace
08-27-2012, 04:58 PM
Another summarization of the issues from the refs standpoint

To amend my synopsis in the OP, I think the monetary issues are stupid. I want the highest-quality refs on the field that are possible. That means, 1) make them full-time, 2) have a system to groom newbies and discipline underperformers and 3) pay those who perform well. As pointed out in your article, the compensation is minuscule compared to the league's other budget items.

-King-
08-27-2012, 04:59 PM
As to the poll, I'd rather have the keep the status quo with the regular refs for 16 weeks than have the replacement refs officiate over the first few weeks of the season. One game can make a big difference in a season. One game was the difference between the Giants winning the superbowl and the Giants not even making the playoffs. One fuck up by these replacement refs and the tide of a season could be changed permanently.

Are you willing to risk that?

Rain Man
08-27-2012, 04:59 PM
Full-time officials makes a lot of sense, and I find it bizarre that we don't have them already. I'm not sure about the need for extra crews. I guess it can't hurt, but I'm not sure it's necessary.

That said, King's article seems to imply that the NFL isn't actively negotiating and is just using its power to wait out the refs, which isn't treating the fans and teams with much respect. They need to be working this thing out.

-King-
08-27-2012, 05:01 PM
To amend my synopsis in the OP, I think the monetary issues are stupid. I want the highest-quality refs on the field that are possible. That means, 1) make them full-time, 2) have a system to groom newbies and discipline underperformers and 3) pay those who perform well. As pointed out in your article, the compensation is minuscule compared to the league's other budget items.


Yet you're okay with refs from the Lingerie Football League, and Div III colleges officiating over games in the beginning of the season?

-King-
08-27-2012, 05:03 PM
Full-time officials makes a lot of sense, and I find it bizarre that we don't have them already. I'm not sure about the need for extra crews. I guess it can't hurt, but I'm not sure it's necessary.

That said, King's article seems to imply that the NFL isn't actively negotiating and is just using its power to wait out the refs, which isn't treating the fans and teams with much respect. They need to be working this thing out.

Yeah, and the NFLRA talked about that last week.

NFLRA negotiator: NFL predetermined lockout for first month
Posted by Darin Gantt on August 24, 2012, 9:37 AM EDT
Chiefs Rams Football AP

With the league digging in its heels about the (lesser) quality of replacement officials, the regular refs are bracing for a long standoff.

Michael Arnold, the lead negotiator for the NFL Referees Association, said the league “predetermined” a lockout strategy.

“The league has apparently predetermined that they’re going to keep us locked out until the third or fourth week of the regular season,” Arnold told Bob Glauber of Newsday. “Their strategy has always been lockout. We feel they’ve had a strategy from the beginning to lock us out.”

The league has made clear it expects replacement refs to work the regular season opener. But they’re apparently bracing for a longer term.

Arnold said there had been no negotiations since July 27, but his group isn’t ready to buckle.

“They are strong and very united,” he said. “I’ve been with this group for 18 years, and they are more united and stronger in their position than I’ve ever seen them.”

League spokesman Greg Aiello said the NFL was “available to meet with the NFLRA at any time to negotiate a new contract.”

Arnold’s not necessarily buying that.

“They told us [last month] that if this thing was going to settle, it was going to be on their terms and they were not going to make any additional offers,” he said.

Arnold would not, however, comment on the quality of the replacements, even though he did.

“There are a lot of knowledgeable football people who have commented on [them],” he said. “We think their performance is self-explanatory.”

As is the stand-off, which will continue until somebody puts pressure on the two sides to get something done.

DaFace
08-27-2012, 05:03 PM
As to the poll, I'd rather have the keep the status quo with the regular refs for 16 weeks than have the replacement refs officiate over the first few weeks of the season. One game can make a big difference in a season. One game was the difference between the Giants winning the superbowl and the Giants not even making the playoffs. One fuck up by these replacement refs and the tide of a season could be changed permanently.

Are you willing to risk that?

I guess my take on it is that there's always an element of chance in the game of football. A team wins or loses based on a lucky bounce here and there, and an official's screw-up is just like a bad bounce.

Also, normal refs have their fair share of screw-ups too. (See Ed Hochuli's call in Denver in 2008 that almost put Denver in the playoffs.) I'd rather see long-term improvement for everyday calls than focusing on the possibility of a short-term mistake causing a big impact like that.

But I'll definitely admit I'm torn. If a screwed up call went against the Chiefs and kept us out of the playoffs this year, I'd be livid - no doubt.

DaFace
08-27-2012, 05:04 PM
Yet you're okay with refs from the Lingerie Football League, and Div III colleges officiating over games in the beginning of the season?

I'm much less concerned about a few games in 2012 than a change in the way the league operates in the long-term, personally.

Bugeater
08-27-2012, 05:04 PM
As to the poll, I'd rather have the keep the status quo with the regular refs for 16 weeks than have the replacement refs officiate over the first few weeks of the season. One game can make a big difference in a season. One game was the difference between the Giants winning the superbowl and the Giants not even making the playoffs. One fuck up by these replacement refs and the tide of a season could be changed permanently.

Are you willing to risk that?
Sure, maybe the team that happens to will be a team I despise like the Donks or the Cowboys. That would be awesome.

It's not like I have to worry about the Chiefs getting screwed, they're not going anywhere anyway. Hell, maybe one of those fuckups will give us a game we don't deserve at some point. There's plenty of potential positives here.

WV
08-27-2012, 05:12 PM
To amend my synopsis in the OP, I think the monetary issues are stupid. I want the highest-quality refs on the field that are possible. That means, 1) make them full-time, 2) have a system to groom newbies and discipline underperformers and 3) pay those who perform well. As pointed out in your article, the compensation is minuscule compared to the league's other budget items.

Great points and while we're at it...NFLRA? That is the major issue in my opinon. Good grief, why in the hell do officials need an associtation? Tell them to come in or fuck off. I think full time Refs is a great idea, hell even pay them more but make them more accountable. Train the new ones or force the old ones hands.

-King-
08-27-2012, 05:25 PM
Great points and while we're at it...NFLRA? That is the major issue in my opinon. Good grief, why in the hell do officials need an associtation? Tell them to come in or fuck off. I think full time Refs is a great idea, hell even pay them more but make them more accountable. Train the new ones or force the old ones hands.

:spock: Because of times like this.

WV
08-27-2012, 05:39 PM
:spock: Because of times like this.

:spock: If there wasn't a stupid NFLRA there wouldn't be this situation. They report to work and get paid or they don't.

GloryDayz
08-27-2012, 05:46 PM
I'm not convinced that, except for a few gaffs that are well documented, the replacements haven't done a good job. They will struggle, but it's a whole new thing for almost all of them, so they get a bit of a pass.

Now, the gaffs that have been publicized are large, but the play-to-play mistakes the old-guard made were just as bad because they were being made by "seasoned" veterans. The holding calls that were allowed to slip by were horrible. And the old guard seemingly worked for the owners - to a fault. So I like full-time refs, and if Ed can make more coin back at his practice, I guess he should make a choice...

What gets me is this effort needs to happen in MLB too. Just to get K-zone implemented...

O.city
08-27-2012, 05:49 PM
The NFL is not really giving a shit and telling coaches and players to keep their mouth shut about it.



Good luck with that happening when it costs them regular season games.

O.city
08-27-2012, 05:50 PM
I would be ok if the replacement refs were previously quality refs. But they aren't.



Most of them are bad NCAA refs that got suspended, or lingerie officials.

-King-
08-27-2012, 07:13 PM
:spock: If there wasn't a stupid NFLRA there wouldn't be this situation. They report to work and get paid or they don't.

Cool story bro. Tell it again.
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Big Smoke
08-27-2012, 07:15 PM
I want a new batch of WELL TRAINED refs to replace the old ones. Not the gaggle of replacements we have now.

Brock
08-27-2012, 07:16 PM
The NFL is not really giving a shit and telling coaches and players to keep their mouth shut about it.



Good luck with that happening when it costs them regular season games.

I agree it will likely be different when jobs are really on the line. However, the obsolete system of having guys that only work at their officiating jobs on weekends has needed to end for some time. It's a throwback to a different era.

On the other hand, nothing keeps NFL players from offseason employment (that I'm aware of).

A Salt Weapon
08-27-2012, 08:03 PM
Nope not buying the refs whining on this one. If they did their job well in the past I'd support them now, however they haven't and they'll receive no support from me.

I would prefer to see full time refs held accountable for bad calls. I'm sick and tired of seeing the jordan-rule enacted on the football field.
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O.city
08-27-2012, 08:05 PM
Thing about the original refs, is that 98% of the time they do in fact get the call correct. Things happen so fast and you know there are going to be mistakes, but the real refs don't really miss much at all.

O.city
08-27-2012, 08:08 PM
I agree it will likely be different when jobs are really on the line. However, the obsolete system of having guys that only work at their officiating jobs on weekends has needed to end for some time. It's a throwback to a different era.

On the other hand, nothing keeps NFL players from offseason employment (that I'm aware of).

I do agree that they should be a fulltime job.



But imagine what will happen if they actually influence a game negatively, I know they have replays but some of the calls/noncalls are what is going to kill them.



If a call like happened with Tamba last weekend happens on a game winning drive, something bads gonna happen.

jspchief
08-27-2012, 08:09 PM
I would be ok if the replacement refs were previously quality refs. But they aren't.



Most of them are bad NCAA refs that got suspended, or lingerie officials.

Of course they are. Top NCAA refs aren't going to risk their current job to scab for 2 weeks in the NFL.

Bugeater
08-27-2012, 08:21 PM
I do agree that they should be a fulltime job.



But imagine what will happen if they actually influence a game negatively, I know they have replays but some of the calls/noncalls are what is going to kill them.



If a call like happened with Tamba last weekend happens on a game winning drive, something bads gonna happen.
How long have you been watching the NFL? I've seen plenty of outcomes of games affected by bad calls over the years. Some of you are acting like the possibility of that happening is something new.

O.city
08-27-2012, 08:24 PM
How long have you been watching the NFL? I've seen plenty of outcomes of games affected by bad calls over the years. Some of you are acting like the possibility of that happening is something new.

So you're one of those guys. Got it.




Has it happened before? Yeah, of course.




Will it happen more frequently with guys who are officiating their 2 or 3 NFL game ever? Likely

Bugeater
08-27-2012, 08:32 PM
You used the words "imagine what will happen". That implies that it hasn't. And quit using so many goddamn spaces between your sentences, it's fucking annoying.

DaFace
08-27-2012, 08:41 PM
You used the words "imagine what will happen". That implies that it hasn't. And quit using so many goddamn spaces between your sentences, it's fucking annoying.

You just miss Hootie.

wazu
08-27-2012, 08:41 PM
The regulars were nothing special. Go with replacements.

Bugeater
08-27-2012, 08:48 PM
You just miss Hootie.
The single spacing I get, it separates your thoughts. Anything more than that is unnecessary.

It's just aggravating that the NFL is actually trying to solve a longstanding problem and we have a couple pussies worried that it might cost someone a game along the way. Who fucking cares. You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs.

Saul Good
08-27-2012, 09:03 PM
If it hadn't been reported, nobody would even realize that anything was different. It's not like there is a noticeable difference in quality.

DaFace
08-27-2012, 09:11 PM
If it hadn't been reported, nobody would even realize that anything was different. It's not like there is a noticeable difference in quality.

Eh, I disagree. I think that most of the plays have been called correctly EVENTUALLY, but there have been a number of confusing moments just in the games I've watched. During the Broncos-49ers game yesterday, for example, they tried to give Fox a personal foul for trying to challenge a play because it was "on a turnover." The problem? The offense recovered the ball - it wasn't a turnover.

After almost running the next play, the ref got a buzz from the replay booth. One commercial break and a whole lot of yelling from the coaches later, they re-spotted the ball at the original LOS and played on without any explanation.

In the end, they got it mostly right, but it took 5 minutes to sort it all out. That's the kind of thing I think we could see somewhat frequently (1-2 events per week).

cdcox
08-27-2012, 10:40 PM
The NFL should throw money into the ref pool and the refs should give into the NFL's demands on some full time refs and extra crews.

Raiderhader
08-27-2012, 10:43 PM
I personally think that it would be great if refs were full time and if there were ways the NFL could punish refs who just don't get the job done, but then again, I'm not sure how much badly-called football I can stomach. So, given the above, what would you prefer to happen?


Correct me if I'm wrong but, isn't that very thing why the NFL is trying to make a change?

-King-
08-27-2012, 10:48 PM
If it hadn't been reported, nobody would even realize that anything was different. It's not like there is a noticeable difference in quality.

Yes, there is a noticeable difference. In some cases, refs plain don't know the rules or they have to huddle for 2 minutes to make the call on what should be a routine call. There have also been more wasted challenges than I have ever seen ever.

BIG_DADDY
08-27-2012, 10:57 PM
where is the buy them glasses option?

MoreLemonPledge
08-27-2012, 11:34 PM
According to CNBC, the average annual salary for an NFL referee is $149k, and total compensation including benefits is $250k/year. For a part time job. I don't feel bad for the referees at all.

milkman
08-27-2012, 11:34 PM
Yes, there is a noticeable difference. In some cases, refs plain don't know the rules or they have to huddle for 2 minutes to make the call on what should be a routine call. There have also been more wasted challenges than I have ever seen ever.

Ever?

Phobia
08-27-2012, 11:38 PM
I want a new batch of WELL TRAINED refs to replace the old ones. Not the gaggle of replacements we have now.

Not to worry. The NFL has several craigslist ads posted and we should have several available by Thursday.

KCrockaholic
08-28-2012, 12:34 AM
According to CNBC, the average annual salary for an NFL referee is $149k, and total compensation including benefits is $250k/year. For a part time job. I don't feel bad for the referees at all.

Damn, that's a lot more than I expected them to be paid.

HoneyBadger
08-28-2012, 12:37 AM
According to CNBC, the average annual salary for an NFL referee is $149k, and total compensation including benefits is $250k/year. For a part time job. I don't feel bad for the referees at all.

I'm looking for a part time gig that pays this well. Where can I apply?

Guru
08-28-2012, 12:48 AM
Sure, maybe the team that happens to will be a team I despise like the Donks or the Cowboys. That would be awesome.

It's not like I have to worry about the Chiefs getting screwed, they're not going anywhere anyway. Hell, maybe one of those ****ups will give us a game we don't deserve at some point. There's plenty of potential positives here.

There is one major problem with the point you make. The Chiefs are not lucky.

ChiefsNow
08-28-2012, 04:33 AM
If one of the replacement refs would just grow some muscles, we may not notice the difference by mid season.

bevischief
08-28-2012, 07:10 AM
According to CNBC, the average annual salary for an NFL referee is $149k, and total compensation including benefits is $250k/year. For a part time job. I don't feel bad for the referees at all.

Why are they complaining then?

htismaqe
08-28-2012, 07:19 AM
Yes, there is a noticeable difference. In some cases, refs plain don't know the rules or they have to huddle for 2 minutes to make the call on what should be a routine call. There have also been more wasted challenges than I have ever seen ever.

Absolutely agree with this. I've seen some very terrible calls, things that just shouldn't be allowed, like marking off 10 yards instead of 15 for a personal foul and calling offsetting penalties even though one of them was a dead ball foul.

Red Beans
08-28-2012, 07:33 AM
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sMGMZsKXz94" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Predarat
08-28-2012, 10:04 AM
This is going to be a disaster.