The start of preseason games is just around the corner, but it doesn’t sound like the NFL referees are going to be participating. The refs are still locked in a dispute with the league, and commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that he is comfortable with replacement refs and he doesn’t believe that the inexperience will result in more player injuries.
“That’s why we’ve been training them for the last two months and why they’re on the field now, is to make sure they’re prepared, they understand the rules,” Goodell said. “We are in discussions with them … But as you can see, we’re preparing for the season and we will have officials on the field.”
I personally think replacements are going to be a disaster, but Goodell doesn’t seem worried so I doubt he is in any rush to work something out. You can know the rules all you want, but that doesn’t mean you can effectively call an NFL game. I know the rules, and I even like to make the calls from my couch or from the stands, but at least I know that I wouldnt stand a chance. The speed in the league is like nothing these replacements have ever seen. It’s a different world fom college or semi-pro or wherever these guys are being pulled from.
Hopefully the season will start and we won’t even notice these guys, but I doubt it. Every time they botch a call, we will remember. At least when the actual refs blew a call we knew there was no one out there who could do a better job. Now every time a call goes against the Rams we have to deal with the fact that there’s a group of guys who could have gotten it right sitting at home watching just like us.