The ongoing labor issues between the NFL and its referees will continue into the regular season and it is going to be ugly. The replacement crews have been overwhelmed in the preseason, wait until the speed of the regular season starts. And if one of the crews blows a game? Anarchy.
Not only is the quality of the games possibly (likely) going to suffer, I have to agree with NFLPA Head, DeMaurice Smith who told Sports Illustrated that the league is putting its own players at risk.
The NFL has chosen to prevent the very officials that they have trained, championed and cultivated for decades to be on the field to protect players and -- by their own admission -- further our goal of enhanced safety. That is absurd on its face.
Obviously Smith is speaking on behalf of the players he's charged to represent, but he's 100% right here.The NFL has made it clear over the last few years that player safety is supposedly one of their biggest concerns. So much so that they've asked the refs to help identify players who might have been concussed on the field.
The NFL is just asking for huge problems, but it once again comes down to money. It should be noted that the last time the refs and the league stalled in contract talks in 2001, the regulars were back on the job by week 2.