NFLPA feels refs’ pain, but can’t fix their problem


The NFLPA might not like replacement refs and their decisions any more than the Packers do this morning.

But they’re also limited in what they can do about it.

NFLPA assistant executive director for external affairs George Atallah told Mike Garafolo of USA Today that there was a ceiling for how much the players union could do.

“The thing we’re going to continue to focus on right now is the fact we didn’t create this mess. So to ask us to fix it is somewhat misplaced,” Atallah said. “We didn’t make the decision to lock the officials out, we didn’t make the decision to use substandard replacements, we didn’t make the decision to put the integrity of the game at risk.

“So to turn around and ask the players to do something about it is not really the right solution here.”

While some have suggested the players could stand arm-in-arm with their union brethren, not playing isn’t a realistic option.

The NFLPA issued a statement over the weekend claiming owners “have failed in your obligation to provide as safe a working environment as possible.”

The NFLPA has had discussions with the NFL Referees Association during the lockout, but the arrangement hasn’t gone beyond talking.

“Strongly worded statements are fine,” Atallah said. “And at this point, the league’s got to make a decision and the owners have to make a decision — are they willing to continue to trade or risk the integrity of the game for what amounts to really not that much money?”

While he was talking to Garafolo, Atallah apparently saw the final play of last night’s game for the first time, calling it “ridiculous.”

That’s something practically everyone can agree on this morning.

26 responses to “NFLPA feels refs’ pain, but can’t fix their problem

  1. Don’t watch the game on Thursday…all the NFL and owners care about is money…and ratings equal money

  2. I’m sick of hearing the Packers whine about this. The media and cheesheads need to stop crying as well, because lets be real, if this happened to the Jaguars or Buccaneers we would not be having this “travesty” heaped upon us by the media.

    Let’s be clear on this: The right call was made. End of story.

    The rules state that if both offense and defense are in possesion of the ball the tie goes to the offense.
    Now I agree that the Packer defender outleaped Tate and secured the ball in his hands first. BUT THE PLAY DOESN’T END THERE.
    Before the defenders feet hit the ground, it’s clear that Tate has his hands on the ball too, and they continue to the ground that way.

    Just because the defender had his hands on the ball first doesnt mean anything, he still has to MAINTAIN POSSESION, just like a receiver would have to, Until then, the ball is still in play to be knocked away, OR TAKEN AWAY

    If a receiver catches a ball in the air, he still has to MAINTAIN POSSESION until his feet land inbounds, until then the ball can be knocked away out of his hands, or taken away!!!!!!.

  3. If next week turns out like this week again I’m all for a players strike under the pretence of unsafe working conditions.

  4. There is no way in the world the Players would give up their paychecks for this. As mad as they are after a game they still have thousands waiting for them at the end of the week.

  5. The NFLPA should suggest to the NFLRA to take the incredibly generous emplyment offer the NFL has made them for a part time job and get back to work. Integrity of the game? Obviously the NFLRA doesn’t care about it either or they would drop their ridiculous demand for a pension. If they cared about the “game” so much, they would ont he field already. It is always about money – for both sides!

  6. Why isn’t not playing a realistic option? The players are putting their bodies on the line in an attempt to win games that are ultimately not in their hands because of incorrect calls. Why continue to risk it?

  7. It takes 2 parties to come to a compromise. You can’t put all the blame on the league. You have to hold the Refs union accountable as well.

    Would you prefer no football at all until the NFL and the refs union came to an agreement?

  8. In what amounts to at least a head scratching situation, and at most out-right hypocrisy, the NFL is happy to have Michael Vick paid in excess of $100 million for sub-standard QB play, but the $100 million is just about the amount that the NFL WON’T pay for high quality officiating.

    Seriously, getting the real officials back to work would cost less than the Cowboy stadium jumbo-tron. I think it’s actually less than 1% of the league revenue from the TV contracts.

  9. If Green Bay had an offensive line, this wouldn’t have happened.

    Just don’t say that to T.J. Lang

  10. As excited as I was for my team — the Vikings — to have a 24-13 4th quarter lead, I nearly shut it off as the 49ers were granted their 5th timeout of the second half. As a Viking fan, I’m used to last minute collapses (and surprised the niners were unable to take advantage), but when the officiating is that poor, it’s very difficult to watch. 3 hours after the game ended I was still paranoid the Vikings might not be credited with a win (which says a lot about how much faith I have in the leagues competence at the moment).

    The Packers are absolutely and easily the #1 rival of the Vikings, but they got absolutely jobbed.

    Also, with the regular refs not getting time in for the last 7 weeks of games, I don’t expect them to be 100% whenever they do return. The longer this drags out, the worse it will be for fans. At this point, people who don’t pay attention to football are talking about how horrible the ref situation is in the NFL around the water cooler.

  11. Katty – You are delusional – and most would agree. this would be talked about regardless of what teams are involved. This exact circumstance is exactly what everyone has been waiting to happen. It did and on a national stage. While your interpretation of the rules are correct, you are insane to believe that this catch was simultaneous.

  12. The NFLPA won’t help out their predecessors, no matter how physically broken down, mentally impaired, or destitute they are. Why would they help the refs?

  13. I understand that it’s not a lot of money for the NFL, but the fact that full-time NFL employees get a 401k instead of a pension makes it unrealistic to continue to give a pension to the Refs. I know I would be angry if I found out that part-time employees at my company were getting a better benefit package than me. If the player’s and the coach’s want them back so bad, let them pay for their pensions (or kick in the difference into their 401k’s).

  14. Kathy, how is it a simaltanious catch when one player has two hands on the ball the entire time, and the other player NEVER has two hands on the ball? Thats a tough question to answer.

  15. @ katty… You must of not been watching the game. Or not seen the reply 5000 times. Tate never had possession, he had 1 arm on the ball which is not possession. Not until the defensive player was on the ground which is considered down did Tate put his hand on the ball. Katty just do what you do best which is cook or clean if you even know how to do that. No matter what teams were involved it was the wrong call and it was an easy one to make for most.

  16. Players cant strike bc they agreed to it in the cba, unless they strike bc the league failed to fulfill its obligation of an unsafe environment. But are terrible calls considered unsafe? I doubt it. League cares Abt money, yes, but what do you think the nflra is striking for as well? I love football more than anything and absolutely loathe goodell, but the thought of referees demanding over $200,000, a pension plan, amongst other benefits for a PART TIME job pi$$es me off a little more. NFLRA: Take the generous offer and get your a$$ to work. NFL: fire the replay supervisors who are clearly refusing to help the replacements. Organized labor can be just as greedy as management, just give them a chance.

  17. The refs’s strike would be over tomorrow if the NFLPA decided to support them. All the players would have to do would be to decide to delay the kick-off of every game by 15 minutes or something comparable this week. Or delay starting the second half. It would screw up the TV networks who would go screaming at the NFL to get a deal done with the refs.

  18. culpjim says: Sep 25, 2012 12:01 PM

    “Why couldn’t the Cowboys of gotten screwed over? Everyone hates them.”

    Where have you been? They got docked millions of dollars of cap space for breaking no rules, a ref tripped a wide open WR in the end zone, and apparently it’s open season on Cowboys players because refs allowed not one but two unnecessary headshots against Cowboys players in successive weeks with no flags. The Cowboys have been getting screwed over, and they’re still 2-1 and lead their division while the mighty Packers have sniffled and sobbed their way to a last-place 1-2.

  19. They can help by campaigning to their players to ask them to foot the bill for the better refs if it’s such an important issue. These refs would already be working if the players weren’t so greedy that they insisted on such a large chunk of the pie in order to play themselves. The consequence of that is their isn’t enough profit leftover that is fair to the league, and so necessary cutbacks are being made. They were probably warned this would happen and told then that the financial responsibility is going to fall on them or they will have to play with cheaper refs.

  20. the players shoud just shut up as they could agree to “not play” until the officals are brought back. At this point they should just shut their pie holes since they don’t appear to be willing to walk out in support of the refs. As to the issue that refing is part-time work so then is playing football.

  21. it was a close game. if the packers played better they would have won… so next time, just play better.

  22. dolfandan1 says:
    Sep 25, 2012 12:23 PM
    I understand that it’s not a lot of money for the NFL, but the fact that full-time NFL employees get a 401k instead of a pension makes it unrealistic to continue to give a pension to the Refs. I know I would be angry if I found out that part-time employees at my company were getting a better benefit package than me. If the player’s and the coach’s want them back so bad, let them pay for their pensions (or kick in the difference into their 401k’s).
    Umm Dolf,

    Can those full time employees of the NFL Corporation ref a football game at the speed of the professional level while accurately interpreting and applying rules instantaneously?

    That is why they deserve a pension. Tighten the restrictions by rewarding those long time refs who have loyally served the NFL. Part time or full time. It doesn’t matter. It is a specialized position in the world where very few can excel at.

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