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NFL To Debut A Full Slate Of Replacement Refs

The NFL Hall Of Fame game between the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals kicked off the preseason schedule over the weekend, and the best thing you can say about the replacement refs is they gave it the old college try. And that saying is apropos, because the highest level of officiating many of the replacements have received is the college ranks.

Here we are with yet another NFL off-season and what do we have but more talk of labor strife, only this time it’s not the players or owners, but the officials. The New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals kicked off the preseason this past weekend with the NFL Hall Of Fame Game where the NFL tried out replacement officials.

At the end of the game the best thing anyone could say about the new replacement referees is that they gave it the old college try. Many of the officials present in that game had at most College football experiences with little time in any sort of professional football.

Those High School refs up in the picture above, aren’t guaranteed to be a part of the new scab officiating for NFL games this week, but they could be. The replacement refs will mostly be made up of officials with past collegiate experience, at least that’s what the NFL would like us to believe.

From Mike Periera former NFL Head of Officials via CBS Chicago;

“They’ve tried to say that Craig Ochoa, who worked the (Hall of Fame) game, was a BCS official, that he worked in the Big Ten,” Pereira told The McNeil and Spiegel Show. “He didn’t work in the Big Ten. He’s not been a major college official. I don’t think the NFL is going to say that he actually got released midway through the last lingerie football league season as a referee. I don’t think the league is going to put that out.”

Yeah… I’m going to have agree. Choosing not to publicize his release from the lingerie league seems like a logical decision.

So what exactly is the basis for this dispute? Well what else but money. The refs want more and the NFL would rather pay less. With the much publicized safety agenda at the forefront of the NFL, is this really the time to have officials that don’t know what they are doing?

How exactly did the refs do in the Hall Of Fame Game? The words “clueless” and “overwhelmed” were brought up by some. If NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can’t get a handle on this latest development, the game will undoubtedly suffer.

Then again, not everyone is unhappy about the thought of playing with these sub-par refs. Chicago Bears center Roberta Garza had this to say about the new referees:

“They’ve been around the game,” Garza said. “They know what they’re doing. But we might be able to get away with more. That would be good for us.”

Leave it up to an offensive lineman to look for the silver lining, right?

What do you think? Should the NFL continue with these replacement refs? Or will the game suffer. Tell us your thoughts.

About the author

Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

Lester has been a writer and now an editor of Windy City Gridiron since 2009 covering all things Chicago Bears. He's been writing about sports, and occasionally crossing into the entertainment genre, on We Got This Covered since March of 2011.