With so much talk about the Saints bounty scandal compromising the integrity of the game of football, there’s another issue that threatens to do even more damage: The lockout of the NFL’s game officials, and the replacement of the men who are presumably the best of the best with something less than that.
Former NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira believes that, if replacement officials are used, the game will necessarily suffer.
“The integrity of the game will be compromised when you put people out on the field who have no idea of the timing, rules or management of the game or player safety,” Pereira told FOX Sports Radio’s Loose Cannons. ”Much like not seeing the best players, you won’t be seeing the best officiating. You’re going to have people that have never officiated player safety rules at this level before and that will lead to mistakes.”
Regardless of the issues between the league and the NFL Referees Association, everyone loses if the NFL’s regular officials are swapped out for irregular replacements.
“The bottom line is the current group of 120 union referees has over 1200 years of NFL officiating experience and you’re going to replace that with zero years’ experience,” Pereira said. ”They need to get this settled.”
Amen to that. Although fans shrug at the prospect of not seeing the men about whom the fans incessantly complain when they make calls that go against the fans’ respective favorite teams, more bad calls will be made if the best officials that the NFL’s money can buy are replaced with folks who aren’t the best officials the NFL’s money can buy.
If they were, they’d be among the ones who currently are locked out.
So get this one done, folks. At some point, selfish interests need to be set aside for the good of the game.