Editorials

Don’t blame refs

Thursday, October 4, 2012

If you are a fan of professional football, your new hero has to be Lance Easley.

He’s a “referee” who made the touchdown call in the Green Bay-Seattle Monday night game last week and finally got the refs’ union and the NFL to reach an agreement, bringing the real refs back for last Thursday’s Baltimore-Cleveland game.

Had Easley, a vice president of Bank of America, by the way, not made that very, very bad call, who knows how long this lockout would have continued.

But he did and it ended.

Thank you, Lance

That said, it wasn’t the replacement refs fault that they were so bad, that the speed of the NFL game is far faster than the games they are used to reffing.

As Tom Brady, the New England quarterback, said, they were doing their best. It wasn’t very good, but it was their best.

People who know far more about pro football than do we believed it was really the fault of team owners who, they seemed to believe, either wanted to break the referees’ union or, if not that drastic a step, at least change the pension scheme. The NFL refs are part-time, yet they get a pretty darn good pension, about $38,000 a year for working, at the most, 26 weeks a year if they are chosen to work playoff games.

So we understand the economic concerns of the owners, but we agree with the sports pundits and talk-show-calling crabs who think the integrity of the game was suffering.

But don’t blame the replacement refs for any of this. The game is just better than they.

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