This video from the USA says about itself:
NFL Lockout Over
July 25, 2011
The owners and players came to an an agreement so the 2012 football season can begin in September. Cenk Uygur gives his take.
However, that was last year …
By Alan Gilman in the USA:
Lockout of National Football League referees continues
20 September 2012
The National Football League lockout of its on-field officials continues into the third week of the NFL season. The lockout has been in effect since early June, when the officials’ last contract expired and negotiations broke down. Two weeks later, the NFL announced that it would begin hiring and training replacement officials.
High-level college referees refused en masse to act as scabs. This left low-level college referees as the only available personnel to replace the highly skilled NFL officials. The result has been games plagued with missed calls, erroneous application of the rules, indeterminate delays in reviewing and then attempting to correct wrong calls, and near brawls between teams as the scab refs lost control of the goings-on on the field.
Fox TV analyst Mike Periera, the former head of NFL officiating, wrote on his blog: “You can’t expect replacements to know the intricacies of the NFL rule book in two weeks on the job. It takes years. But it doesn’t take long—two weeks—to see this is not working.”
Jerry Markbreit, an NFL official for 23 seasons before he retired in 1998, said Tuesday on ESPN’S The Mike Lupica Show, “It’s obvious to me that [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell just doesn’t even care. Otherwise, how could they replace professionalism with unprofessionalism in a game that’s so tough to work, even for the best officials in the land?”
Markbreit went on to say, “The management of the games gets tougher. These guys have relied on competent, top-notch, terrific officials all these years. And now they have a bunch of amateurs out there and it’s going to fall apart. It’s not going to get better, as the commissioner said…. It’s going to get worse.”
Markbreit has served as the head trainer for NFL referees since his retirement in 1998. When the league asked him to train the scab officials, he refused. He says he has been fired by the NFL.
Markbreit and others have charged that the use of replacement referees is a sign the league doesn’t care about the health of players.
In recent years, the NFL has emphasized the issue of player safety. With the recent exposure of the dangerous and long-term health effects of repeated concussions, the NFL has mandated that officials take an active part in protecting the safety of the players. The league’s injury and safety panel has directed that officials receive concussion awareness training, and that they remain alert for possible concussions during games. Officials, for the first time, will now have the power and responsibility to alert team medical staffs to provide players with medical attention.
“When you look around at some of the calls being missed, player safety is the big issue,” New York Giants’ defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said on Tuesday.
Giants’ defensive lineman Justin Tuck expressed similar concerns. He said: “I have seen pass interference—and I am a defensive player—at a high rate that hasn’t been called. I have seen holding at a high rate…. You never know what is going to happen when you get a holding call and guys feel free that they can do that because the referees aren’t seeing it. You get guys that [are] getting pulled down and get hamstring [injuries]. You get all these different types of things that could happen and player safety becomes an issue. That is what I am worried about.’’
Added Kiwanuka: “I don’t think you can levy tens of thousands of dollars, maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars, in fines in a week against players, talking about ‘player safety this, player safety that,’ and not have…officials who can account for it.”
Bill Belichick does not seem to have gotten the memo from the NFL about respecting the replacement referees: here.