ESPN.com is reporting that the National Football League will indeed be using ‘Replacement Refs’ for Week 1 of its regular season. NFL referees have been locked out since June and the NFLRA has said it is not close to reaching an agreement with the league.
‘Replacement Refs’ have been officiating the preseason games after undergoing a three month training to get a grasp on NFL rules versus NCAA rules. However, coming from Division II and III collegiate programs, there have been concerns how these referees will be able to handle the pace of the NFL regular season.
They could be helped by the fact that the NFL has expanded its Instant Replay usage to review both scores and turnovers automatically.
Ok, between the automatic reviews of EVERY score and turnover, and the fact that during preseason games I saw refs conferring for EONS with almost every flag thrown, the NFL is about to turn into baseball. We will have Rick Reilly writing an article on Football’s Pace of Play Problem. Who even knew the NFLRA had a collective bargaining agreement? Hell, who even knew there was an NFLRA? You can’t seriously expect Division II and III collegiate refs with three months training of NFL rules to suffice for the regular season can you? Give the refs what they want, NFL. How much could it really be?