Walt Anderson touts integrity of locked-out officials

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As the NFL prepares to use replacement officials, there’s one attribute of the locked-out referees that possibly can’t be ensured via a crash course in the rules of pro football:  Integrity.

“Back whenever I first applied to the NFL it was five years that they spent, not only scouting me, but going through the vetting process of looking into my background, talking to people who knew me,” veteran referee Walt Anderson tells Mark Berman of FOX26 in Houston.  “They wanted to know a lot more about my character, my work ethic, the things that you were going to do off the field from that standpoint.

“The whole integrity of the game is put in our hands and the last thing [Commissioner Roger Goodell] wants to have out there on the field are people that are of potential questionable character.”

It’s a fair point.  The Tim Donaghy scandal rocked the NBA.  With the NFL rushing to get replacement officials ready to work games in place of the thoroughly-vetted regular officials, how can the league be sure that it won’t be getting someone who has been — or who could be — easily corrupted?

“You pretty much give away a lot of your rights in terms of a lot of privacy, but that goes with the game and you know that going in,” Anderson said. “From that standpoint, which I think is a big asset to the NFL.  You know that process hasn’t gone on over the last couple of weeks.  I don’t think there’s any way, in a matter of just a couple of weeks, you’re going to spend what normally took you several years to accomplish with the veteran officials, and even once they were in the league that vetting process continues.”

Anderson has a clear bias on this one, so there’s a chance he’s overstating the problem — and in turn understating the league’s efforts to ensure that an replacement official won’t use his short-term stint as a way to pick up an envelope full of cash from a sweaty guy with gold chains, one eyebrow, and bad intentions.  But the NBA surely never dreamed that one of its regular officials would be doing what Donaghy did.  The NFL at least needs to be worried that one or more of the part-time short-timers they’ve hired to replace the regular officials will see this as an opportunity to make a very different kind of score.

7 responses to “Walt Anderson touts integrity of locked-out officials

  1. I mentioned this in another post. The biggest concern with replacement officials is a rogue official like a Donaghy. All it takes for one bad apple to stain the game. The NFL hopefully vetted all of these officials properly but there are no guarantees. I would hope the league would not let a few dollars to them jeopardize the integrity of the game which could cost them a whole lot of money in the long run. Think, guys!

  2. For 25 years ago he has a valid point, but in today’s world I can find out more about YOU in 5 minutes than they could in 5 years back then…but the SCABS still won’t be anywhere near as good as the Regular Officials, and that’s just a shame…

  3. Basic rules to follow:

    1.) If it helps the Pats win, it’s the right call.

    2.) Make rules up that can be adopted next year as a rule to make it look right, IE The Tuck Rule.

    3.) Fantasy holding & pass interferences must benefit the Pats.

    4.) Taping all your opponents practices / walk-throughs after the 2006 is illegal, no titles since.

    5.) Dirty hits & cheap shots get 2 flags on both teams to cancel eachother out.

    6.) Kraft gives you cheese but not the kind you eat.

  4. i think refs trying to affect the outcome of points scored is a very real possibility with so many strangers flowing into the officiating corps. they know they won’t be there long. and they don’t need the dude with big gold chains either who later might become a liability. just send a bff to vegas to place the bet with a very normal looking casino worker. i think the fact that the league isn’t showing the least concern for that possibility shows very poorly on the goodell and the owners.

  5. The refs want to keep their pension plan.

    The owners want to substitute a 401K.

    So we have an impasse and we will get replacement refs who will work for cheap.

    I can understand union busting in industries where America can’t compete and you either make concessions or everyone is out of work, but this is professional football and they are literally printing money. This is union busting for the sake of union busting.

  6. Bah Blah Blah…. just biased union propaganda. Basically he’s just yelling out SCABS!!! They’re not as good as us!!! They’re SCABS!!!

    I have no problem with the refs getting their due wages…. I hope they do. But strikes piss me off and union strong arm tactics/lying propaganda piss me off even more.

    One of the best things Ronald Reagan did as POTUS was replace the striking air traffic controllers when they were trying to hold the entire world hostage to their demands. As it turned out, their threats of grave danger and the certainty of multiple disasters never did happen because the replacement air traffic controllers did just fine. Ultimately it illustrated perfectly an undeniable truth: That you don’t actually need a union card to be competent. Imagine that.

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