If you can bet on such things, here’s laying down $83 that the biggest sports storyline on Monday, Sept. 10 will be that of the atrocious job that the NFL’s replacement officials did on the first full Sunday of games in Week 1.
The league is inviting an uproar to the conversation by refusing to work out a deal with the NFL Referees Association, which was locked out in June.
Eleven years ago, the same situation occurred, with the replacements working Week 1. A contract was hashed out prior to Week 2.
The players union, which was involved in a lockout of its own a little over a year ago, has predictably sided with the officials union. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told Sports Illustrated that the refs lockout was “absurd.”
The NFL actually wants to add officials but the NFLRA says that under that plan the current official’s pay would be reduced. The current officials in the NFLRA work on a part-time basis.
“The increase in the number of officials was first proposed by the NFL to the NFLRA by letter dated July 19, 2012 and had never been mentioned in the preceding 10 months of negotiations,” the NFLRA said in a statement. “It is clear that this proposal is a negotiating tactic to attempt to divert attention from the real issues.”