Get ready folks. It’s the NFL Lockout, Part 2: Zebra Edition.
The NFL and the Official’s Union have broken off contract talks. The NFL, fine folks that they are, are looking into hiring replacement officials.
Also known as scabs.
Here it is from the NFL:
Negotiations with the NFL Referees Association on a new collective bargaining agreement remain unresolved and the previous CBA has expired. Therefore, in order to ensure that there is no disruption to NFL games this season we will proceed immediately with the hiring and training of replacement officials.
Our goal is to maintain the highest quality of officiating for our teams, players, and fans, including proper enforcement of the playing rules and efficient management of our games.
Another negotiating session took place Sunday under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. We appreciate the efforts of the FMCS and will continue to be available to the NFLRA and the FMCS to negotiate a fair resolution. We have great respect for our officials and in keeping with that view have made a proposal that includes substantial increases in compensation for all game officials.
I think it is safe to say fans are sick of this crap. Unfortunately for the refs, football is so popular that the fans aren’t likely to go to bat for them in these negotiations. As we learned last offseason, NFL fans want their football and they want it without interruptions.
The situation does raise some concern as to whether or not NFL players, also unionized, would want to cross picket lines.
Both sides still have plenty of time to work out a deal but things aren’t looking good.
Just think of how many penalties the Oakland Raiders will avoid with replacement officials.