How Should We Deal With The Return Of The NFL Refs?Posted: September 27, 2012
A deal has finally been struck in the labor dispute between the National Football League and its referees.
While that dispute was going on, the NFL brought in replacement officials from wherever it is you go when you find yourself a few hundred referees short. Perhaps there is a secret island somewhere to fill that need. It might be populated by judgmental people who spend their days blowing whistles and announcing their decisions.
The consensus on the replacement referees was that they were trying, but were unprepared for what they were facing on the big stage of an NFL game. Fans howled at the bad calls they were seeing and demanded the return of the highly trained NFL officials…who they’d previously booed and cursed soundly.
The NFL gave the people what they want. The old refs are back for this weeks games. The replacement refs are on a slow boat back to Referee Island. This development leaves fans with a dilemma.
How are we to react to the return of the NFL refs? These are the same men whose visual acuity and heritage we have traditionally called into question. I think we can predict a lusty cheer when they take the field before the games this week. What comes after that?
In every game, there will come those moments where fans have that irresistible urge to leap from their seats and scream at what they see as an unjust call against their team. Tradition calls for the refs to be verbally abused for these calls. But recent experience has shown that things can get much worse. We got what we asked for, worse is gone. Can we really complain?
Perhaps we can eventually, but we’ll have to build to it. I propose that for this week, we yell something that acknowledges the mistake, but encourages the referees. I’m going with “keep trying ref, you’ll get it right next time”.
Next week, back to giving them the business, like normal.
- W.H. on NFL refs: Great day for America (politico.com)