The NFL Replacement Referees have proven that the that being a referee in the NFL is very difficult. The Locked Out Referees thought they had unique skills honed over years of practice. They were part of a very elite group that had developed a level of trust with the players and coaches in the NFL. Coaches make mistakes, players make mistakes, and referees make mistakes, but on the field every week everyone involved was elite...the best in the game. The coaches and players could play the game with confidence that the referees would have the ability and focus to call a good game.
Now the 31 team owners think differently (the Green Bay Packers are owned by the people). They seek the maximum rent on their ownership and literally have nothing to recommend them other than their position as owners. Players have to get drafted, make the team and then produce in order to get paid and keep their jobs. Coaches have to win and manage a team effectively. Owners just have the money to own the team.
Back in the 80s the owners used scab players during a labor dispute, they ended up caving. They found out that elite players were necessary and second tier players resulted in a diminished game.
Now the owners in their infinite wisdom have determined that referees can be replaced and brought in Division II and III college referees and the game has been diminished.
The owners are the only part of the NFL that can definitely be replaced. Give me public ownership like the Packers for all 32 teams and let's replace the owners - the people that actually add no value to the game.