Should the NFL give in to the demands of the referees to avoid needing to use replacement referees in the regular season?
We saw in week one of the NFL preseason that this whole replacement referee deal cannot continue into the regular season. It would just make a mockery of the NFL, and being that the NFL is quite sensitive to public perception, it will change. A deal must be reached as soon as possible. We all know that deadlines spur action, but in this case there is no time to wait until the deadline. The longer the NFL waits to come to an agreement with their referees, the more leverage the referees gain. That’s how bad these replacement referees are. These guys out there on NFL fields on television and all right now are the next best thing to what the NFL has now, and that’s a scary thought. The replacements are so bad that they are proving the worth of the real referees minute by minute, call by call. A deal must be reached. The NFL must protect the integrity of the game and the integrity of their business.
I’m not so sure to “give in” to the demands of the referees is the right thing to do. Yes, the replacements have proven to be awful. And yes, as Kevin opined, the replacements are so terrible that they are proving the worth of the full-time referees. The league should not be the only party to have a vested interest in protecting the integrity and quality of the game. The players and the referees should also have a desire to preserve, and improve, the game.
The impasse needs to end. For one side to completely give in, that would be the wrong solution. Each side needs to give in on some aspects, stay strong on others, and compromise on some. That’s the only way a new deal is going to be worth it. This way, each side can be mutually happy with the deal and we won’t be right back at this same point in a few seasons.
Personally, all the lockout stuff and now the referee replacements has all made the game a little annoying. I just want football. I don’t wait another season or offseason of following lockouts, impasses, and contract negotiations. The two sides need to come to a new deal quick and they both need to stop holding up the whole process. Let’s get back to football!
In most negotiation situations, I believe it is imperative for both sides to give in on some issues. Not in this negotiation though. The NFL is being completely unreasonable when it comes to the referee situation. I wrote two articles detailing what the referees are looking for, and in my opinion the request are reasonable. A few request were a slight increase in money, the ability to work another job while officiating, and for the NFL not to add three more officiating crews. The longer it takes to get a deal done, the worse news it is for the NFL. To be frank, the replacement officials have been terrible. A true disgrace to the game. If the NFL does not give in, they risk compromising the integrity of the sport.