Where’s the last straw when it comes to NFL’s replacement refs?

Spencer Chase

This situation has gone far enough.

Grown men that have been trained to seek and destroy other grown men are starting to get restless. Grown men with the financial means to buy the services of these grown men are getting fed up. Through all of this, the NFL and the NFL Referees Association still can’t come to an agreement.

This isn’t quite like the players’ lockout of 2011, where the court of public opinion was clearly against the league and pro-player. In this lockout, people hate the NFL because, well, it’s the NFL. People hate the NFLRA because of their outlandish demands resulting in “serious economic gaps” between the stripes and the league.

The end of the Packers-Seahawks game Monday night literally had me shaking with rage. (Full disclosure: I’m a green-blooded Packer fan.) In the best interest of those around me, I took necessary social steps such as limiting human interaction, avoiding use of any social networking platform to prevent some kind of online rampage, and I even tried the ol’ screaming-into-the-pillow bit —but to no avail.

Before we get to the debacle that ensued on the final play, we’ll cover the play that really grinds my gears. The Seahawks’ Sidney Rice had no problem throwing both hands into the back of cornerback Sam Shields, only to find Shields guilty of pass interference. The officials made what has to be one of the most obviously incorrect calls of all time by calling pass interference on Shields instead of Rice.

To that point in the game, I should add.

By now you’ve seen the Hail Mary 100 times on television or online. There’s some room for debate there, but you can clearly see Packers safety M.D. Jennings go to the ground with the ball in his hands and Seahawks receiver Golden Tate get away with a blatant offensive pass interference and go to the ground with Jennings in his hands. Somehow, that equated to a Seahawks touchdown after the traditional wrestling match.

To anyone that isn’t a Packers or Seahawks fan, this really didn’t mean much. At this point, it’s basically good water cooler talk.

Honestly, if I weren’t so emotionally invested in the game, I probably wouldn’t be reacting so strongly. However, there’s something deeper here. This can, and will, happen to every NFL team. Remember Vikings fans throwing a fit over extra challenges and timeouts being given to the 49ers? That reaction came in a game Minnesota won.

Games will continue to be lost due to horribly incorrect calls. Players will be injured unnecessarily because of all the after-the-play extracurriculars going on with the players basically treating the replacement refs like we all treated substitute teachers in high school.

If the NFL were actually concerned about producing a quality product, they would give a little ground to make sure that happened instead of protecting their billion-dollar budget.

When the rubber actually meets the road, the league is mostly concerned about dollar signs and less about player safety.

This isn’t news but this lockout needs to finish up before someone loses their franchise player to this bush-league foolishness. NFL fans have been put through enough in the past two years. Just man up and finish something.

In the name of Ed Hochuli’s ridiculously tiny shirt, bring back the original screw-ups.