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In 2011, the National Football League locked out its players to get them to accept contract concessions. In 2012, it's the referees' turn. Preseason play started this week with replacement officials brought in from college football and, apparently, the Lingerie Football League. If the NFL's efforts to force players to take pay and benefit cuts and weak safety policies didn't convince you that this is all about greedy billionaire owners, a second lockout of a second group of (much lower-paid) workers, again with possible safety repercussions for players, should go a ways toward convincing you.

The reviews of the officiating coming in are ... not good. There's the ref who confused Atlanta and Arizona and also, after forgetting to set the first down marker, had to announce that "the first down chains were not set prior to the snap so we shut the play down prior to the snap." Elsewhere:

In Green Bay, a phantom unsportsmanlike conduct was called when Nick Perry started giving out tickets to the gun show. A terrible touchback call in Buffalo left fans at home and at the stadium booing. The call was reversed, but only after Buffalo had used a challenge.

Those same refs needed Chan Gailey to tell them how to do their jobs a second time following a delay of game penalty under two minutes.

The NFL has told teams not to discuss the replacement officials beyond league-approved talking points; New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, though, carefully but unmistakably went off-script following his team's Thursday night game:
“I think Mike Pereira has made his comments on the officials,” Belichick said. “I don’t know who knows more about NFL officiating than Mike Pereira, so we’ll leave it to him. I’m just trying to coach our team and get our team better. I’m not worried about what everybody else is doing; it’s not my job.”

Pereira has said that the use of replacement officials undermines the integrity of the game. By expressly agreeing with Pereira, Belichick believes that the use of replacement officials undermines the integrity of the game.

Negotiations between the referees and the NFL centered around pay. But whatever the details, with the NFL having locked out two groups in succession, is it really possible to dispute that this is the league's favored negotiating tactic?

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  NFL also had its first female ref last night (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, jakedog42, SadieSue

    Shannon Eastin, a college ref, became the first woman to referee an NFL game last night in the San Diego/Green Bay game. Link

    It's a shame for her that it happened this way, because none of the replacement refs will be able to make it as refs in the league once this dispute is settled.

    •  I wish people would stop saying that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justus

      There's only 1 "Referee" in a game of football, she was a Line Judge.

      Those who support banning cocaine are no better than those who support banning cheeseburgers

      by EthrDemon on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 11:20:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  shame? (0+ / 0-)

      Shannon Eastin should feel the shame of being a scab. I'm sure there are more female officials out there who could earn a shot without having to be a scab.

      •  She is most definately a SCAB! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, RockyMtnLib, thomask

        Do people here on DK get it? You don't don't cross a picket line or go and take someone's job when they are on strike. Scabs give power to the boss and take it away from the employee. It is not a hard concept to understand... is it?

        Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

        by BMarshall on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 05:47:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And you are most definitely an IDIOT (0+ / 0-)

          I defend a persons right to be in a union as I defend a persons right not to be in the union. You want to channel your anger at the business owner not workers.

          Cheers

          "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room." - President Merkin Muffley

          by Farkletoo on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:19:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  obviously you don't understand what a scab is (0+ / 0-)

            A  scab takes their brother's job and thus helps the business owner. They are the one screwing their fellow worker who is fighting for fair compensation for the work that they do.

            Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

            by BMarshall on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 08:14:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  But without solidarity, there is no strength (0+ / 0-)

            You can say it's OK not to be in the union, but without the union those officials wouldn't have certain conditions.
            I would go so far as to say that as long as the officials are on strike, no PLAYER should cross the line either.
            We can channel anger at the owners all we want, but without ALL standing together, then the owners will simply get what they want.
            Or don't you get what union solidarity is all about?

            Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

            by MA Liberal on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 11:01:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  you've never had to feed a family have you? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Farkletoo, basket
      •  They Are All Scabs, Not Just Her (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigOkie, Oaktown Girl, thomask, MA Liberal

        and BTW IMHO the better question for me would be in 2012 are you telling me there is no other women, even if there wasn't a strike, that can ref an NFL game?

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 05:54:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I keep wondering why the players are crossing (0+ / 0-)

          the line as well. It is common practice that union members do not cross another union's lines. After all, the NFL might be able to get by with scab refs, but try getting along (especially in the NFL) with scab players!

          Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

          by MA Liberal on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 11:03:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Do we really have to have female referees in NFL? (0+ / 0-)

      C'mon, girls, enough is enough.  and could we have some male cheerleaders in tight short pants? huh?

      •  I think there's plenty of tight pants and ass (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oaktown Girl

        slapping on the field as it is!

        NOW SHOWING
        Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
        Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

        by The Dead Man on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 06:40:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hope that isn't a serious comment (0+ / 0-)

        I've seen this type of comment a few times on other sites too, and I must admit I'm genuinely puzzled by it. Not by some men wanting only male officials -- that's oooold news -- but by the rationale behind it.

        Obamacare: That hopey-changey thing is working out great for me, thanks for asking.

        by LaraJones on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:09:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I grew up in an era when blacks had only (0+ / 0-)

          been in pro sports for years, not decades. And women? Forget about whether you like a sport, or can even play that sport, or could even beat a guy at the game. If you can play, or want to even ref, some folks still think there's something wrong with you (usually meaning gay) for wanting to play with the boys. Society still hasn't caught up with the pure fact that women can play, can ref, and can do almost everything the guys can do.

          Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

          by MA Liberal on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 11:06:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And she got there... (0+ / 0-)

      ...as a scab who skipped ahead of another, much more qualified woman who was officiating at the FBS level -- Division 1A, Big Boy College Football, for those unfamiliar -- and was going through the approval process to become an NFL official.

      These are FCS officials -- half a step above high school refs.  The combination of trigger-happiness and the pro game moving way too fast for them has been a complete disaster so far.

      The NFL is pissy because they didn't get everything they wanted when they locked the players out -- players who are paid a pretty small fraction of what their counterparts in the mLB and NBA are paid, despite football being a far more dangerous game.  (Remember that the next time assholes talk this "HURR Millionaires vs Billionaires!" garbage.)

      So the League figures it can kick the refs' union in the teeth, because nobody likes refs.  It's disgraceful.

      Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

      by Drew J Jones on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 06:51:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget the NHL lockout looming ahead (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, Justus, SadieSue, Mostel26

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 10:41:44 AM PDT

  •  No sympathy for the workers (sic) from me. (0+ / 0-)

    This is a part-time job for people who are overwhelmingly wealthy and don't need the money.  Yo might as well unionize and go to bat for socialite hostesses at art museum fund-raisers.

    Mitt Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 10:42:36 AM PDT

  •  In other words... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, misslegalbeagle

    The quality level of refereeing will increase?

    "Patients are not consumers" - Paul Krugman

    by assyrian64 on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 10:56:08 AM PDT

  •  Republished to the Wide World of Sports! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26
      If you like sports talk, please follow The Wide World of Sports, the Daily Kos group for sports enthusiasts! If you'd like to write about sports, please shoot JamesGG or Edge PA a message and you'll be added.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 11:11:22 AM PDT

  •  The common thread seems to be... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justus, Mostel26, bsmechanic

    that rich owners/CEO's want to make even more.

    "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Candide08 on Fri Aug 10, 2012 at 01:11:51 PM PDT

  •  They suck (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare

    the quality of games will suck if the NFL doesn't get the regular crews back in action.

    The Spice must Flow!

    by Texdude50 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 05:42:52 PM PDT

  •  Why are the players playing? (5+ / 0-)

    Is there no support by the Players Association about this situation?
    Let's face it...you can replace referees with scabs. No one likes it; they're inexperienced, etc. But you CAN'T make a season with scab players, not in the NFL you can't.
    The players need to be worried about ALL those who toil for the NFL owners. And that goes to the janitors on up. Otherwise, why bother being a union man?

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 05:44:46 PM PDT

    •  Good Question. In The Redskins (0+ / 0-)

      preseason game the other day there was a call so bad I can't put it to words to explain what happened. If I was in the stands I could have called it from the nosebleed seats.

      I've read a few articles recently that the players and the players union ought to ponder. The refs control the game and to some extent (some would say large extent) help to ensure the safety of the players in a very violent sport.

      If you are a player wouldn't you want the best out on the field?

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 05:47:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  CBA limits some of the ability to strike (0+ / 0-)

      There are some articles about this that seemed to indicate the players are somewhat limited in being able to strike over this themselves, but more vocal support would be a good start.

  •  Just wondering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA

    Does anyone have any specifics on the issues?  There's no doubt that here, on Daily Kos, we're going to support any and all unions...but, it'd be interesting to see the details on this one.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 05:45:36 PM PDT

  •  Earth to Owners: underpaid refs throw games! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding

    It's as simple as that.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 05:47:12 PM PDT

  •  For God's sake, added together the refs make less (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigOkie

    Per year than a top offensive lineman, or a kicker! And for this amount of money the owners are willing to turn the game into a laughing stock?

    Romney/Ryan 2012 - Every now and then I'm known to make a mistake...

    by Fordmandalay on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 05:50:11 PM PDT

  •  Let me see (0+ / 0-)

    a collection of high-profit businesses that that form an "entertainment" cartel immune from anti-trust regulation and which generally enjoys huge public subsidies for its playing fields, which negotiates with its well-paid players whose "union" decertifies itself whenever convenient, stands accused of not dealing well with some of its lesser employees. What a shock. And we should care about this manufactured tempest in a teapot because why?

  •  Not just NFL ownership's favorite tactic (0+ / 0-)

    Breaking the back of any employee resistance to total employer rule in the workplace is the favored course of all capital.  And it's working just fine.  For capital.   But as any contemporary pol can tell you,  capital is the only social force that means anything to anyone that matters anymore anyway.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 06:04:44 PM PDT

  •  This is just typical business now in the U.S. (0+ / 0-)

    Try to find the baseline of the lowest possible service (whether by outsourcing or replacing with lower paid workers in right to work states) people will put up with to further enrich a select few. If the service gets too bad, they'll consider upping their offer since they already made more than they would have in that meantime by paying less. Kind of a sad business model but welcome to Mitt Romney 2012 America.

  •  Calm down, Calm down the NFL will settle (6+ / 0-)

    This is a game of chicken, and the refs are calling Roger Goodell's and the owners bluff. And they will win. Here are a few of the reasons why....
    1) Money. The networks' money that is. The networks did not pay billions -literally- for the NFL to use vastly inferior refs and damage their product. The preseason doesn't matter, but wait until week 4 of the preseason for the NFL to capitulate.
    2) The players safety. Make that an emphasis on Quarterback's safety. Teams do not invest 100's of millions of dollars only to have lingerie football league refs learning the protection rules for QB's. Again, week 4 of preseason this charade will end.
    3) The difference is far from insurmountable. We're talking about 10% tops of demands versus offer. I say 60/40 slide to the middle in favor of the refs.
    4) Fans. The chorus of indignation is already starting to be shouted. Look for this to get far worse week on week.
    5) Quality of replacements. It is assumed by the casual fan or observer that the NFL in all it's pomp and glory can just pluck the best of the college crop. WRONG. College refs are not stupid, and if they were to quit, then get axed when their is an agreement, their careers would be SOL.

    Week 4 of the preseason this thing will get hammered out. Yawn.

    "The problem with quotes on the internet is you can never be certain they're authentic." - Abraham Lincoln

    by realwischeese on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 06:18:07 PM PDT

    •  I'm not so sure (0+ / 0-)

      Unless the refs are so utterly horrible that players refuse to play or people refuse to watch the bottom line won't be impacted.  The difference may be far from insurmountable, but it's obviously enough to cause a lockout, and unless the players refuse to play or the fans don't watch in droves I really don't think the NFL will care if it's scabs.  Hell, call it job creation, just really temporary jobs.

      War doesn't determine who is right, only who is left. Better be left so you can determine later if you were right.

      by Cendojr on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:02:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree completely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      realwischeese

      There's far too much at stake here.

      Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:29:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think that call on Nick Perry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Swordsmith

    was because he climbed over the quarterback after he sacked him, striking his head with his crotch. Pro officials never would have called it, and I don't think it should have been called, but I think I understand what the ref was thinking.

    The officiating was so bad in that game that by the end of the night Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden, the ESPN crew, were talking about pretty much nothing else.

    One of the line judges was a woman, a first in the NFL. Too bad that milestone was reached by a scab.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 06:44:07 PM PDT

  •  Why shouldn't the officials be well paid? (0+ / 0-)

    After all, the game can't go on withhold them, the NFL is quite profitable, they physically can't work until typical retirement ages, and it's not like they're making the same money as the players. Even though they make more than me and they're not exactly janitors seeking paid breaks and a bit of dignity, I have no issue backing the officials in this. In fact, when it comes to labor law reform, I thought the EFCA was too little. Replacing workers during lockouts should be illegal, just like a striker who takes another job is considered to have quit.

    The replacements will accomplish one thing. They'll demonstrate just how good the real officials are.

  •  ARE YOU READY FOR SOME (embarrassing) FOOTBALL? (0+ / 0-)

    All my rowdy pro football ref friends are sitting here at the bar on Monday Night!!

    Romney/Ryan 2012 - Every now and then I'm known to make a mistake...

    by Fordmandalay on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 06:55:16 PM PDT

  •  Nick Perry looked good. (0+ / 0-)

    As a Packer fan I was a little worried - he looked stiff at USC sometimes and the switch to 34 OLB isn't easy.  Well, Perry blew up a few running plays and bull rushed the starter into the QB, getting a sack.  If he has an NFL calibre bull rush, and it appears that he does, he'll be a good book end to CMIII for years to come.

    "The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends." -Julian Assange

    by Pierro Sraffa on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:27:52 PM PDT

  •  "Integrity of the game?" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orlbucfan

    If you believe that, I have a bridge in New York to sell you, very cheap!

    Peace

    CJ

    Some people make you want to change species

    by ulookarmless on Sat Aug 11, 2012 at 07:58:33 PM PDT

  •  The scab refs made it clear why the real refs rule (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26

    Getting the announcements wrong, calling the Atlanta Falcons "Emalta Falcons" etc.

  •  I listened to the Bucs-Miami game. (0+ / 0-)

    The scabs actually weren't too bad. They let the teams play. I'm pro-union, but I'll say it right now: the pro refs are a joke! Them throwing games is no big state secret. The owners are all RW-to-the-max a-holes. It will be interesting to see which side calls uncle first.

    Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

    by orlbucfan on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 07:46:18 AM PDT

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