Greedy NFL Making a Mockery of the Sport


The subject of NFL officiating is now bigger than the NFL itself.

For the past two weeks, seemingly every game has been littered with refereeing follies.

I don’t blame the scabs. It’s on the NFL.

The NFL, and some of the media, will have you believe that the current refs are not that bad – they are on par with past officiating. That claim is now a joke by any kind of intelligent observation.

To wit:   

– in the span of six plays yesterday, SF coach Jim Harbaugh was allowed to challenge two calls AFTER he had already called timeout (and therefore didn’t have the ability to challenge).

– various games yesterday had instances where the incorrect yardage was marched off after penalties.

– the Sunday night game was a disgrace: multiple horrible calls both ways, with the 4th quarter looking like the group had money on the Ravens.

If you have watched any game the first three weeks, you likely have seen what has become an irritating scene: officials huddling for over five minutes to get even the basic calls correct.

I am sure I speak for most fans when I say the games have become comical. I was at a bar yesterday watching games, and multiple people commented about horrible officiating from some games I hadn’t seen.

So the fans acknowledge the refs stink; the players nearly unanimously think they stink; and the coaches are losing their shit, berating and harassing the scabs on levels never seen before.

The integrity of the game is passed being questioned; it is now being laughed at. Players have openly spoken of how they now know they can get away with certain things on the field.

That doesn’t seem too safe to me. Shouldn’t surprise me, considering Roger Goodell only decided to increase player safety once concussions became an issue.

But on the subject of replacement officiating being a significant downgrade, the NFL says “nah, we good”.

But why does the NFL maintain such a tough bargaining stance with the former officials?

When you breakdown the economics across the board, the NFL (& the owners) seem to be unwilling to share their piece of the pie.

Check out some of the mind-boggling salaries of NFL executives from the recent past:

Courtesy of the best blog on the NFL,

In the fiscal year that ended in March 31, 2009, Goodell earned $9.76 million between bonuses and salary.  Here are the next highest salaries in the NFL universe.

Steve Bornstein, head of NFL Media and NFL Network: $7.44 million in total compensation.

Jeff Pash, chief labor negotiator and general counsel: $4.85 million.

Eric Grubman, executive VP who oversees marketing and sponsorships: $4.44 million.

Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, outside consultant: $3.3 million.

Joe Browne, executive VP of communications: $1.7 million

Ray Anderson, executive VP  of football operations:  $1.12 million.

Anthony Noto, COO: $853,000.

Line that up with what the former officials have made, courtesy of

The NFL referees only work on Sundays. It is obviously mandatory that some of them work

somewhere else on other days of the week. The salary range for an NFL referee will vary between

$25,000 to $70,000. NFL referees also work as  entrepreneurs, inventors, dentists and farmers.

So, executives & owners are reaping the benefits of a $9 billion a year industry, and won’t budge on the demands of the former officials that amounts to a minor part of revenue.

What will it take for the NFL to correct this problem? The fans are up in arms. The players & coaches are openly complaining, disrespecting, and mocking the scab refs.

It appears that until the NFL starts to lose money due to viewership & attendance, they don’t feel they have to do a damn thing.

They are laughing at us all.

Short of a catastrophic injury to one of the league’s golden boys (Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, or Tom Brady) due to refereeing incompetence, we are headed for a season that is less than professional.

The bottom line is this: the NFL and it’s owners have to be forced to make a move.

Until then, suckers like you and me will have to deal with the current half-assed product due to the greed of a select few.


Photo courtesy of


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6 Responses to “Greedy NFL Making a Mockery of the Sport”

  1. bullski Says:

    The end of the Seattle-Green Bay game is the icing on a very bad cake. No NFL for me, at all, until the refs come back.

  2. Trev Says:

    I don’t blame you one bit Jeff

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