I try to avoid posting about football. Mostly because it's a sport and it's kind of trivial to write a serious post about a game. Since my team, however, is now thrust head long into a major controversy, I figured I would post a few thoughts. Short version: I'm not even mad, I'm just done.
We've all (we who care) seen the reply from the Monday night game. Seattle throws a hail Mary pass with time expiring on the clock, there is a jump ball, and two officials make contrary calls with one over ruling the other. After the instant reply review in the booth, the touchdown call stood. Many feel that the last play of the game was actually an interception and are shocked that the officials did not see it that way.
I wanted to focus on the core of why there so much outrage and what, if anything, is being done to correct it by the league and the referees.
The NFLRA or the National Football League Referee Association is in a collective bargaining dispute with the league and chairman, Roger Goodell. The core of the disagreement centers among other things around retirement benefits. The league is attempting to offer officials a 401k package to replace the existing, and more costly pension package. Both sides are dead locked and until one side or the other makes a wide concession, the replacement referees will continue to call games.
This dispute could be a matter of principle, it could be a matter of greed, but at the end of the day, players and fans are the ones left to suffer from this disagreement. I have personally decided to boycott the remainder of the season until the proper officials are put back into place. With a louder outcry from the fans, the league and the referee's union will be harder pressed to work out an agreement.
Like the Packers and even the Seahawks on Monday night, I just walk away from this shaking my head.