For the most part, NFL officials are seen and rarely heard. Don’t be shocked if we hear more and more from them in the coming weeks and months.
Referee Mike Carey, one of the most respected men to wear the striped shirt, recently addressed the lockout of the officials during an interview on XX 1090 in San Diego, via SportsRadioInterviews.com.
Asked whether the game will be different with replacement officials, Carey was an concise and unequivocal as he is when explaining a decision to the fans: “I think unquestionably. You just don’t walk out on a field and contend with that speed and size and impact and the complexity of the NFL rules. It’s a completely different game.”
Carey doesn’t know any of the details of the negotiations, given that he’s no longer a member of the NFL Referees Association’s board of directors. But he does know how replacement officials would be treated.
“I don’t think they’d be invited to any of our parties,” Carey said.
For now, the replacement officials will be too busy to hang out with the locked-out officials, or anyone else. Once hired, the replacement officials will be getting up to speed, presumably attending training camp practices and scrimmages and then working preseason games and ultimately working regular-season games.
We continue to believe that the NFL and the officials need to work this mess out. If the best of the best officials already are employed by the league, whatever we get will be something other than the best of the best.
If the NFL officials aren’t the best of the best, then the NFL should fire them and hire better officials.