Jerry Markbreit spent 23 years as an NFL official and is the only person to referee four Super Bowls, and he says he has a lot of respect for the job of officiating.
And he doubts that the people currently working as replacement officials share that respect.
Markbreit said on WEEI that he resents replacement officials and believes they’re taking jobs that they know they’re not qualified for.
“The officiating world is its own little world, and if everybody respected officiating, they would not take that position, and be a replacement, from somebody who has earned the right to be in the top league in the world,” Markbreit said. “These guys are high school, junior college, small Division I and II colleges. I’m sure it was a great thrill for them to be offered the opportunity. But were I in that position I would never do that. Because replacing somebody is the worst thing you can do.”
Markbreit also offered up something of a warning to replacement officials who hope they’ll eventually be hired as regular NFL officials. Markbreit said the regular officials wouldn’t welcome their former replacements as colleagues.
“People in the know will never forgive them for being replacement officials,” Markbreit said. “I wouldn’t do it because I respect officiating too much.”
The real question is how much the NFL owners respect officiating. And how much they’re willing to spend to show their respect.