As the NFL and its game officials remain at loggerheads regarding the amount of green the men in black and white will receive, more details are emerging regarding the plan for replacing the locked-out liaisons for the league’s rulebook.
A velvet rope apparently will be involved.
Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal reports that NFL director of recruiting officials Ron Baynes asked all league scouts for input in locating college football officials and other football officials who had retired or been overlooked for promotions. “All applying officials should be in good health and look the part of a fit and capable official,” Baynes wrote.
Yeah. It’s important that they “look the part.” Because all that matters to the fans watching at home is that the games when officiated by inferior officials look the same as they look when officiated by the best of the best.
Though we assume (hope) that the requirements also will entail something more substantive, perception is reality when the primary medium of consuming the content is TV. Whether a guy is the smartest, most competent official in America won’t matter if he’s morbidly obese or if he has a pony tail (sorry, Marvez) or if he has a face tattoo (sorry, um, future Marvez). The NFL needs the game to look the same, even if there’s an uptick in officiating errors.
There will be. How couldn’t there be? If the NFL already has hired the best of the best, the replacements necessarily won’t be.
But if they “look the part,” the rest of us may not notice. Especially since most of the rest of us already think the best of the best aren’t very good.