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10-15 percent of locked-out officials don’t have other jobs


As the NFL and the locked-out officials continue to sit back and wait for the other side to blink, there’s one reality to keep in mind regarding the realities that face the NFL Referees Association.

Despite a widespread belief that all of the locked-out officials have other jobs (which makes it far easier to dig in, since paychecks are still coming), we’re told that roughly 10-to-15 percent of the locked-out officials officiate as their sole means of employment.

That number may be small, but they could become vocal as it becomes more and more clear that the NFL will continue to circle the wagons against any and all actual or perceived complaints regarding the performance of the replacement officials.

Right or wrong, we’re convinced the NFL isn’t going to blink.  So the locked-out officials can either do a deal and get back to work, or they can continue to watch the games on TV, like the rest of us.

That’s not picking sides.  That’s just facing facts.  The sooner the locked-out officials decide to do the same, the sooner they’ll be back to work.

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33 Responses to “10-15 percent of locked-out officials don’t have other jobs”
  1. tjacks7 says: Sep 15, 2012 9:42 PM

    what a dream job.

  2. buckybadger says: Sep 15, 2012 9:47 PM

    How many of these 10 to 15 percent are retried from a profession and do the officiating because they love to? It was one thing to have it as your primary employment but another to need the job. I would bet the number that actually need that check is less than 10% and closer to 5%. A lot of these guys had high paying professional jobs and may not need to work anymore.

  3. canadianvikingfaniii says: Sep 15, 2012 9:50 PM

    And, there are thousands of Americans and Canadians who don’t even have jobs. The officials aren’t special.

  4. gmen5280 says: Sep 15, 2012 9:55 PM

    I would call those refs ‘semi retired’. Only working weekend durring the NFL season. Sounds like great work if you can get it.

  5. nomoreseasontix says: Sep 15, 2012 9:59 PM

    A few more weeks and it won’t matter if they come back or not.
    I’m not sure it matters now. With every week that passes, the new officials get more proficient and the old ones get less relevant.
    It won’t be long before the NFL decides to forget about the old ones and roll with the new ones.
    And Mike Pereira will be left whining into a vacuum.

  6. mark0226 says: Sep 15, 2012 10:04 PM

    Didn’t the NFL want to make about 10-15% of the officials full time and the NFLRA didn’t like the idea because they already had full time gigs that they didn’t want to lose?

  7. Stiller43 says: Sep 15, 2012 10:29 PM

    I’d be guessing a lot of the refs are already retired…considering most look like theyre 70

  8. Legion Of Boom says: Sep 15, 2012 10:36 PM

    Time to find a new one

  9. bsizemore68 says: Sep 15, 2012 10:44 PM

    The SCABS are a cancer on football, cheap labor is whats behind this lock out, the league wants to change the retirement system for officials, and they like it as it is, some body needs to think about the golden goose, before the SCABS stink up the joint. Bill

  10. joedido says: Sep 15, 2012 10:45 PM

    With the nfl the way it is now they’ve games almost every night of the week, these guys aren’t only reffing on Sundays. What about the Monday night, Wednesday night, and Thursday night games that have already been played this year

  11. superseahawk says: Sep 15, 2012 10:46 PM


    Agreed. My sympathy is nonexistent for these refs.

  12. giantsfanlewis says: Sep 15, 2012 10:47 PM

    Another thing those locked out officials can do is leave the union and join the replacement refs like the players did during the strike

  13. vbe2 says: Sep 15, 2012 10:47 PM

    You seem to have deleted my question, why?

    Saying “10 to 15 percent” is a BS way of hiding the number. There’s about 100 officials in the NFL, so there’s 10 to 15 officials that don’t have another job.

    Why hide the number behind a percentage? Unless you’re trying to shill for the NFLRA…

  14. j0esixpack says: Sep 15, 2012 10:49 PM

    And in fairness, the other 85% working at Footlocker can’t be making too much money either.

  15. lks311 says: Sep 15, 2012 11:05 PM

    If I were the Refs, I would be concerned about striking from a profession that 90% of the people watching believe they could do…and most would be correct.

  16. chesslungo says: Sep 15, 2012 11:07 PM

    Im glad they dont have jobs. That serves them right for all the mistakes they’ve made over the years. I think the scabs are doing a BETTER job

  17. orakpownd says: Sep 15, 2012 11:36 PM


    You mean millions

  18. natefalkirk says: Sep 15, 2012 11:43 PM

    Agree with some above comments…I would not assume that many of the refs without other jobs are struggling.

    Replacement refs have done ok…..yeah every week brings more analysis of what they did wrong, but we have to remember that there is far more attention on them than would otherwise would be the case. And even with the regular guys, isn’t there some controversy every week anyway?

    My advice to the sriking refs: The NFL offered to bump your compensation up by $1M+ as pay or retirement benefits. Make a deal now. Make a deal while the NFL is still open to one. The farther into the season we go without some major replacement ref disaster, the weaker your position gets. Remember the striking air traffic controllers in the 80s? They ignored Pres Reagan’s order to go back to work because thought they had the stronger hand.

    They found out otherwise.

  19. redbullenergydrink says: Sep 15, 2012 11:52 PM

    I was listening to The HERD on ESPN radio and Collin mentioned that NFL refs are paid quite handsomely to the tune of $8k a game. I sure hope they saved some of that each week.

  20. thestrategyexpert says: Sep 15, 2012 11:59 PM

    More than the unemployment rate. Maybe they are less qualified for regular paying jobs than the average person.

  21. mwindle1973 says: Sep 16, 2012 12:32 AM

    The NFL will blink, just wait and these scabs will screw something up in a high profile way and then the NFL will blink. They are just lucky that last week everyone bought the lie that there were only a few minor mistakes. There a few minor mistakes in every qtr of every game. And the media including you Florio, backed the lie up. Watch a game, and scrutinize calls, rewind and play in slo-mo if you have to. They still haven’t mastered spotting the ball, or walking off the right yardage for a penalty. If I was the regular refs, I’d let the NFL and fans have their scabs if they want them.. because eventually it will be regretted.

  22. urshgur says: Sep 16, 2012 1:51 AM

    “The officials aren’t special.” So said an earlier poster. Of course they aren’t. Any schlub in a bar could do that job well, right? And they’re in a union! Who cares about them commies, right?

    I’m sure you anti-union geniuses can’t see the plain facts: as union membership has declined, so have the wages of working people. I’ll stop now, as any defense of unions means getting bounced by PFT editing for being too political, while countless reflexive anti-union attacks are accepted as if they are simply daily chatter.

    Anyone can referee, right? who cares if mega-$Billions$ are generated by the NFL – pay referees as little as possible. Hell, you’d do it for minimum wage! So what if the contemporary Michael Corleone’s agents can buy a key holding penalty in the 4th quarter, flipping the point spread or point total for $millions$. After all, you don’t want to see refs paid, so what arer they supposed to do?

    I hate unions! It feels good to rant against unions, as my wages fall, and my debt to my bookie keeps growing. I hope I picked the right side this weekend!

  23. tdk24 says: Sep 16, 2012 2:07 AM

    That’s why unions don’t belong in this day and age.

  24. Marv says: Sep 16, 2012 2:19 AM

    At what point do the replacements just become the regulars? They get more and more experience each week. If they get a full season and maybe next years complete offseason to practice their craft at the highest level, I think they will be significantly better.

    I mean, that’s the way the “regulars” became the “regulars”, too, right?

  25. NakedCowboy! says: Sep 16, 2012 4:50 AM

    refs…get a job man! are you too busy during the week? doing what? rules stay the same week in week out…

    league… pay the lil man! the blown calls are horrible to watch…

  26. tluke25 says: Sep 16, 2012 5:03 AM

    The officials were earning 150,000 plus a year to work on Sunday’s for not even half a year (and they work full time jobs doing something else Monday thru Friday) and now they feel they should be getting more money for the work they do on Sundays.

    It’s absolutely ridiculous. They should be ashamed of themselves. I’m glad the NFL isn’t budging and I certainly hope they don’t. I know the football players make an obscene amount of money, but atleast they have to work 356 days a year and destroy their bodies in the process.

    I’m rooting for the replacement to continue doing a good job. No matter who is officiating, there always will be mistakes and people will always complain.

  27. papertiger418 says: Sep 16, 2012 5:09 AM

    It would be fitting if these officials were forced to resort to calling low-level college games in order to pay the bills. Not saying the NFL is blameless here, but that’s what happens when you shoot for more money.

  28. homerx says: Sep 16, 2012 5:51 AM

    So unemployment among NFL officials is in-line with the US unemployment rate.

  29. raidernation210 says: Sep 16, 2012 6:05 AM

    Good maybe they should just take the best offer, because they stink anyway

  30. petehemlock says: Sep 16, 2012 7:01 AM

    The guy who made my Doritos Locos tacos looked a lot like Hochuli.

  31. pftcensorssuck says: Sep 16, 2012 8:08 AM

    I swear I saw Ed what’s-his-name at the drive-up window of Mickey D’s the other day, and yes, I did want fries with that, Ed.

    No sympathy here for overpaid part-time hacks who thought they were more important than the game.

  32. packhawk04 says: Sep 16, 2012 10:44 AM

    No sympathy here. They had a good gig.

  33. contrasuxbalz says: Sep 16, 2012 2:56 PM

    I would be pissed as well if someone started messing with my retirement!

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