I have resisted calling the replacement refs ‘scabs’. But they have proven multiple times that they are in no way ‘replacements. The NFL ownership, by replacing trained professionals integral to the game with laughably inept scavenged almost-rans have turned the game of football into Calvinball. Sunday is now Anything Can Happen Day! The referee uniforms need to have red foam noses and big floppy shoes added.
The new refs might also just be Fosse cast-offs. Jazz hands everyone!
I had never considered before how much the referee squad contributes to a well-paced, fairly run game that allows the players to actually compete using their ability. But look at this clusterfuck they have now; unnecessary injuries caused by players who know they are essentially off the leash, and now, quite obviously, game-changing fuckups that will change the season and post season.
I recognize, of course, that the Seahawks have some real talent (their quarterbacking team is from Wisconsin, after all) and that racking up nine sacks was stellar. But Rodgers sacked up and calmly moved the ball in the second half, just getting it done. And it was all undone by the rank incompetence of the scabs in the final minutes:
1: when the Packers went for 2 points, they gave them a kicking ball, which apparently is smoother (there’s a separate kicking ball. Who gnu?) OK, this one maybe wasn’t game changing, but even with the others, had the potential to make it an OT game.
2: Egregious roughing the passer call, which negated a Packer interception.
3. Called defensive pass interference rather than the much more obvious offensive pass interference; the defender was turned all the way around to the ball. Without that yardage, the Seahawks weren’t close enough for the Hail Mary play.
4. Offensive PI in the end zone. Admittedly, rarely called in a Hail Mary situation, but this was so blatant; Tate pushed the Packer completely to the ground.
5. Possession of the ball. Jennings had both hands on it, well before Tate, and had it cradled. Tate had one hand on it around Jenning’s chest. It wasn’t simultaneous, and it wasn’t even shared possession until after they hit the ground. One of the refs called touchback (interception) and the other touchdown. The one who called touchback had a better view of the ball. Look at this:
Local fishwrap had a good headline: Packers interception gives Seahawks victory.
This is not a strike, it’s a lockout. The NFL owner’s are bitchy that the refs had a pension plan, and want to change it to a 401K; or as has been noted, from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan, or as I call it, having an extra slice of bread with your shit sandwich. I would like to think that the players’ union is discussing the idea of going on strike; this situation is affecting their ability to play the game, as well as fucking up their potential bonuses; not to mention increasing the unnecessary violence in what is already a violent game.
They locked out the profession refs for a benefit that amounts to $4000 per game, in a business that sees 9 BILLION dollars in revenue. It’s not even a rounding error.
It’s simply that they are rich assholes who want other people to suffer more. Eliminating pensions and weakening unions are wet dreams of theirs. John Cole of Balloon Juice (who famously abandoned the Republican Party after the stupid wars) is a huge Steelers fan, but the disillusionment of last night’s game has inspired him to again turn away from his long time allegiance. And again, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe comes through.
The Packers loss is tough,of course, but it’s just a game. But to have the result fucked up so horribly by incompetent scabs because a handful of rich assholes want to fuck with unions is unconscionable. In recent years, I had become increasingly uncomfortable with the amount of injury and damage that players are taking, especially brain injury (at least in part because I have nephew playing the line in college ball). Maybe by Sunday I will be feeling a bit differently, but for now, I am with John Cole, and I am out. I wish the Packers well in this travesty of a season, but I can’t watch this anymore.
In short, Roger Goodell, you overpaid rich fuck asshole and the rest of your stupid NFL Owners who would rather see the NFL die at the hands of scab refs than pay the unions for what amounts to valuable work: