Money all that is driving NFL owners

by Special to the Simpsonian: Jessalyn Holdcraft

Jessalyn Holdcraft

Simpsonian Perspective 9-27

“Three blind mice need to find their way back to NFL”

National Football League fans and players have learned a tough lesson over the last three weeks: You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone.

Lockouts have become an annual occurrence for the NFL. In 2011, it was the players. In 2012, it’s the officials.

The NFL owners are overly concerned with revenues. First, they lockout the stars of the league, and currently they are locking out the peacekeepers.

Referees have arguably been the most criticized members of the NFL, but today players and fans alike have called for an end to the lockout citing missed calls and safety.

Now, the NFL owners are under attack for failing to end the lockout, which started in June, and for hiring replacement officials with experience in low-level college play, arena football and lingerie leagues.

These replacement officials have admitted to missing calls and making the wrong call in key plays.

The replacement referees simply do not have the skills necessary to work in the NFL.

For example, arena football has much higher level of physical contact than the NFL. Arena football fans are even allowed to touch the players while a play is live.

This dichotomy of rules and regulations is in such a stark contrast that it’s no wonder that safety concerns have shot through the roof with each passing play officiated by replacements.

The areas of contention surrounding the contract discussions are moving some referees to full-time employees, the addition of more crews, and reduced pay and pensions.

It’s all about the dollar bills for NFL owners, but referee salaries account for approximately one percent of the total revenue generated by the league.

In a career that each time a man reports to work could be his last, why are owners further jeopardizing the sport’s stars’ health by placing incompetent officials on the field?