Replacement ref debate reaches morning TV, NASCAR

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The NFL’s hope was that the replacement refs wouldn’t be so spectacularly bad as to attract much notice, so they could continue to negotiate from a position of strength.

That ship has sailed.

Not only did the league’s drama with its officials lead the news on the Today show on Tuesday and Wednesday, it’s reached the point where stars of other sports are chiming in.

It’s not quite working,” NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Tuesday of the replacement refs, via Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer. “I think some action needs to be taken to shore up an agreement with the refs to where we can bring them back.

“This season has a little asterisk next to it. It’s kind of stained in a way that’s irreparable. It’s frustrating to see this happen because there’s a lot of football fans out there that would rather things be different.”

Earnhardt’s the most popular driver in a sport which traditionally changes rules on the spot as it suits them (which makes NASCAR kind of like replacement refs). The old joke in NASCAR circles is that the rule book is written on an Etch-a-Sketch hidden at their headquarters.

But he also has the same kind populist appeal that the league’s long counted on. He’s a big Redskins fan, once starred in a jeans commercial with Brett Favre, and has a name that resonates in certain corners of the country.

It’s not to say if you’ve lost Dale Earnhardt Jr. you’ve lost the lockout, but the fact that morning show anchors and race car drivers are talking about this instead of the Soccer Mom Madam or gas mileage or tire compounds or whatever is not helping the league’s case.

11 responses to “Replacement ref debate reaches morning TV, NASCAR

  1. I’m a huge NASCAR fan, but Dale’s opinion on this subject doesn’t mean squat to me.

    NASCAR rules with an iron fist, and he accepts that.

    The NFL is trying to improve the officiating and the union is fighting it – so there is a current impasse.

    The NFL will work through it.

    Both teams have the same refs in a game. Mistakes were made before, they are being made now.

  2. i’m sick of the debating,

    its whatever,

    refs are always opinion judgement based calls anyways,

    how come there was no OUTRAGE after the tuck rule,

    that was a NATIONALLY TELEVISED playoff game for a spot in the AFC title game,

    they called an obscure shady call outta nowhere vs Oakland and Al Davis,

    and spawned the brady superbowl runs,

    where was everyone then?

  3. I think the NFL is pretty happy right now actually. For as many people on this site that have claimed they”ll attempt to boycott, 2x as many will tune in just to see what all the hubbub is about.
    Sly fox that Goodell.

  4. Everyone would love to see the lockout end…

    …including the owners.

    (hint: everyone just wants it to end in their favor).

    I don’t think this is about money ‘per se’ … But instead about the defined-benefit system itself. The NFL could offer the refs even more money, and they’d still reject it if it comes at the cost of the defined-benefit system.

    The refs union has been doing well recently in getting their friends in the media and their fellow unions to help them out and stand with them. Soon to follow will be politicians, and whatever judge(s) can be shopped for injunctions.

    But also …eventually… these replacement refs will be trained and supported (or fired), and will become competent. And then the locked-out refs will lose (until they get their friends to help them get their jobs back– a la MLB umps).

  5. It’s a huge embarrasement to the league. How does Roger Goddell not get fired for all the crap that has gone done with the horrible Bounty Gate, and now the replacement ref nightmare?

    I looked up the bios of the refs that officiated Monday night and I think of the whole crew, only two had major college experience. I kid you not, the rest were high school and middle school (yes middle school) refs. The lingerie league has admitted they have fired a few of the replacements working the games for incompetence. Really Roger?

    Just a joke.

    And to set the record straight, simultaneous catch means that both players must establish control at the same time. Control does not require feet (or other body parts) down. Thus if you admit that Jennings had control first, there can be no simultaneous catch even if they both had “control” on the ground.

    I have to say that in no way do I envy the replacement refs who have to officiate the Packers-Saints game this weekend in Lambeau.

    I’m pretty sure they will boo the coin toss when the ref gets on the mike.

    God help them if they have to call a penalty on GB.

  6. Can we all agree the present refs are inadequate and need to go? Good. Can we also agree than the best possible refs are what is needed and the League needs to pay for them? Great! Then support the NFL!! Read what the lockout is about, people. The union wants increased salary and benfits for PART TIME refs. The league wants FULL TIME (i.e., professional) refs–and is willing to pay them far more (for 16 games a years) than than MLB umps make for 160+ games. The union doesn’t support full time refs! How many times have you seen the “regular” refs blow a pass interference call that everyone in the stadium cheap seats caught? Meanwhile, baseball umps almost always make the right call on a player speeding to first or sliding under a tag with a ball tearing in at 80mph. Pros vs Punks! Get REAL refs. Get the FACTS–support the NFL! Why doesn’t the League talk about this? Who does their PR, anyway?

  7. Who wants to pay benefits for someone that works 16 days a year?? The NFL wants them FULL TIME–then benefits would actually make sense. The NFL needs to do a better job of presenting the facts–I don’t think anyone in the country (except the part-time “regular” refs who want full time benefits) would object to the NFL hiring PROFESSIONAL refs whose FULL TIME JOB is to officiate pro games. I absolutely do NOT support part-time refs–i.e., want the NFL has always had. I have more respect for the replacements. At least they don’t want to eat their cake and have it too. Demand the best–which means NOT supporting the “regular” refs who are on strike.

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