A Different Perspective on the NFL’s Referee Lockout: Why the Owners Are Right

While the replacement refs have been terrible, they aren’t much worse than the regular ones.

As bad as Monday night was, if we didn’t know they were replacement refs, we would all just resign ourselves to the fact that blown calls have become an increasingly regular occurrence in the NFL.


NFL fans are clamoring of the return of regular refs like Ed Hochuli, but the reality is that he and the other regular refs have had their fair share of memorably bad calls too.

Remember the tuck rule, Hochuli’s error, the Seattle-Pittsburgh Super Bowl, or hundreds of other horrendous calls over the past few years?

The last call Monday night wasn’t the worst call I’ve ever seen – it probably wouldn’t even make a Worst 100  list. That it decided the outcome of a Monday night game, and happened on the last play of the game, created a media furor over the replacement officials.

Does anyone believe the same thing couldn’t have happened with regular referees?

Over the past few years, the NFL owners, who are privy to much better information on this subject than anyone else, have come to believe that officiating in the NFL was a major blight on their sport. These aging and under-trained part-time employees are truly the Achilles heel of the NFL. The owners saw only one way to fix the problem.

And so, we have the lockout.

For obvious reasons, the owners have kept quiet on their contempt for the level of officiating in the NFL. Not defending themselves has made the owners look greedy and megalomaniacal. And their season has become a joke.

But it may all be worth it.

They are sacrificing the integrity of this season for the integrity of future ones. It is driving us crazy. But the owners believe it is worth it.

And we should too.


  1. Ismael Rivera says:

    It’s true that the regular referees are guilty of bad calls. The fact of the matter is that the replacement referees can be forgiven for the lack of knowlege of the rules. There are so many. The real crime is just not paying attention and not seeing blatant fouls such as the push off in the end zone in Monday nights game. There’s no excuse for that failure. Thing is I’ve seen the regular ref’s do the exact same thing.

  2. The money that we pay to see the games is real money and not subtuted for in any way. I think the fines should be paid in some kind of funny money just t=like the games. By the way the owners are going to back whatever the NFL leaders tell them to say. “The tail wags the dog”.

  3. Shumck is your name? How fitting.

  4. Michael Hutch says:

    Besides the call, what was really appalling was, with all the camera footage at their disposal, the league backed up this travesty. I believe there is part time solution, get the NHL review committee in there. While never 100%, they have shown more often than not to get it right and with fewer cameras and at a faster pace. Hopefully the NHL owners and rfs will get the picture and settle this debacle soon.


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