Thursday, September 27, 2012

Welcome Back, Officials!

Now that the NFL and the referees have reached an eight-year agreement to come back into the game as early as today (Thursday, September 27), there will be no excuses for the losing teams anymore.

Yes, it is true that the replacement officials were not as good as the ‘old-time referees’, but if it was not for them, there would had not been football this season (or it would had begun late, at least).
To me, it is a little harsh to blame it all on them and to criticize them so much when they actually did everyone a favor (fans, players, teams and the league included). It is true that sometimes they would not make good calls, but they would not do it for either team… it was not that they were favoring a team, or picking a side.
Let’s be a little more grateful to the replacement referees, because for as much as they may have been inconsistent with their calls and not on the same page with one another, it was really the league’s fault for being so careless, cheap and unaware of reality. The performance of the replacement referees may have changed the perception of the game, however, the NFL should have known better about these replacement referees and not let the image of the NFL deteriorate the way it did.
For the experienced officials, I just want to say “congratulations” for standing up to the league and, principally, for demonstrating how important they are to the sport (they did give their point across!). For the past three weeks, football has not been the same without them, as they not only know each and every one of the rules of the NFL and are familiar with them, but are part of the game of football itself.
And, to the replacement officials, I believe it is fair to say “thank you” because they took this big responsibility, did the best they could, tried really hard and stepped up when the league, the fans and the sport needed them the most.
Now that all is going back to ‘normal’, I assume that Green Bay and New Orleans are never losing again… NOT! All I hope is that the officials do not make any mistakes any time soon, because who-knows what people may start rumoring or talking about.
To conclude, I just want to ask: Was all the wait and trouble really necessary? It is funny to see that usually human beings need to hit rock bottom to realize that they were being too hard-headed when making the wrong decisions. The NFL should have simply met the demands of the experienced referees and not taken them for granted... It was truly a risk not worth taking, as it affected its reputation and integrity, and now a great number of fans and players feel disrespected by it.

- Y gracias por no fumar!
Ed Hochuli (image) is one of the best known and experienced
officials in the NFL. Picture from

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