The NFL executive who oversees officiating told Newsday Monday that he thinks the season will start with replacement officials.
The thought of the same officials who have been botching call after call in the preseason being asked to oversee games that count is frightening. And we’re not the only one who think that. ESPN’s Mike Greenberg (remember that ESPN is a broadcast partner with the NFL) today tweeted: “NFL pretending replacement refs are no big deal is frustrating. Anyone can see difference. It’s a self inflicted disaster waiting to happen.”
SI’s Peter King, an even more entrenched part of the football establishment has been chiding the referees as “embarrassing.” King previously wrote about who these officials are: ”Five NFL officials are supervisors of officials for major college conferences, and they will not allow their officials from conferences like the Big East and Big Ten to do NFL games. And the other major conferences, in solidarity, will not allow their officials to do NFL games either. So the NFL games are being called by small-college, high-school and dismissed officials from large conference.”
Embarrassing, indeed. What is the NFL thinking allowing games to be officiated by clearly unqualified officials? Not only will calls continue to be blown, players may wind up getting injured.
“They may be competent officials in the levels they come from, whether it’s Division II, III or semipro, but this is the NFL,” Mike Pereira, the former director of officiating for the NFL told Newsday. “This is a game that can’t be handled properly by a group like this. I feel bad for them, but that’s the way it is.”