Several coaches, players and media analysts had strongly voiced their displeasure regarding the replacement officials throughout the season, although Monday night’s game between the Packers and Seahawks is likely what finally made the league cave in. The referees made a blatant wrong call at the end of the game while also missing the most obvious offensive pass interference call you will ever see. Even worse, the officials reviewed the play and still got it wrong. The public outcry after the game was absolutely shocking – current and former players, fans and the media all teed off on the league and the massive failure its replacement officials plan had become.
This tentative deal must be ratified by at least 51 percent of the union’s 121 members, who plan on meeting and voting tomorrow and Saturday in Dallas, TX. Officials were adamant about working out a pension and retirement plan, despite the fact that they are part-time employees of the league. The new tentative plan calls for a salary increase from a league average of $149,000 a year to $173,000 in 2013, with an additional increase to $205,000 by 2019.
Football fans can finally breathe a sigh of relief; however, it is unfortunate it took four games for the NFL to cave. While the regular officials are back, a team like Green Bay still has a loss on its record that shouldn’t be there. The league better hope the Packers go on a run and comfortably make the playoffs – if they finish one game out there will be another PR nightmare. Until then, we can all enjoy football with its proper officials, and hopefully erase the memories of watching failed Lingerie League refs try to officiate NFL games.
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Just when I had gotten the rules together for my replacement ref drinking game...
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