The same is true of referees, apparently, as Week 1 of the NFL season showed just how different veterans are to rookies in terms of knowledge, field awareness, and how to talk to a crowd of over 80,000 screaming football fans.
In this year’s off-season, the regular, part-time field officials, were locked out by the NFL due to compensation debates ranging from pensions to salaries to health care. In order to continue the NFL season in some fashion, replacement officials were hired. The results have been less than adequate.
“I went to a pre-season game, and one of those referees called the Green Bay Packers the St. Louis Rams,” stated sports fan Mike Dullop. “I’m pretty sure one of the standards for referees is not being color-blind.”
Indeed, confusion about team names have been only one of the problems. When penalties are even called, referees have reverted to the “let’s try to hit players in the eyes with our flags” game. Those penalties usually entail a 5 minute conference with all field officials in order to figure out what the penalty actually was. In order to save even more embarrassment, most officials have given up on figuring out the number of the player involved with the infraction or even explaining what the infraction actually was, and sometimes don’t even bother stating which side the penalty was on.
“Penalties? sure, I saw some penalties,” stated Dullop. “I saw the ref penalize the camera crew for showing him fumbling for the correct call on the stadium screen. Then he went and penalized another official 5 yards for throwing his hat. I’m pretty sure the rule book has gone out the window.”
Locker-out NFL referees could not be reached for comment, as they are still laughing hysterically after seeing the game officiating going into Week 2.