As the NFL completes the second week of its 2012 regular season schedule, the labor dispute between the League and its official referee contingent continues. At the heart of the matter is a dispute over 401(k) benefits; however, while the absent referees and League officials continue to grapple over benefits, everyone else continues to lose.
Repeated bad calls, lack of rulebook knowledge, poor penalty administration and unnecessary game delays are killing the flow and spirit in what is the most watched and celebrated weekly sports experience in America. Not a play goes by where everyone now looks for the yellow flag to hit the ground, a “quick-draw”action which is dramatically impacting the course of the games. Players are upset, coaches are arguing and fans are increasingly impatient and frustrated. The brand of the NFL is now both officially and very negatively impacted.
Adding to the embarrassment is a replacement sideline official who was pulled by the NFL from the Saints game for being a very public, adamant fan of the New Orleans Saints. In fact, the replacement official’s Facebook page allegedly contained photos of the official in dressed Saints gear during a preseason game. That’s right, in full regalia touting his pride for the team he was chosen to be objective about!
All deserve better which is why it is imperative that each side involved in this dispute settle their issues and return the NFL sports experience to what it should be and return the replacement officials to the stands.