The NFL Referees Association and NFL broke off meetings on Saturday, September 1st, after three different meetings over a new labor deal for the NFL referees proved to be unsuccessful.
For now, no further meetings are scheduled, and the NFL will proceed with replacement refs for at least the first few weeks of the season.Both sides went into the meeting optimistic about striking a deal right before the season would start, but that optimism quickly faded as both sides realized they were far from an agreement.
For NFL fans, this news has prompted a range of responses, from not caring to threatening to not watch the NFL. However, most fans are somewhere in the middle.
“To be honest, it’s frustrating, but at the same time I’m still extremely excited for this season regardless of who’s reffing the games,”said B-CC student Farhid Cervera.
While Farhid’s statement echoes that of many others, some think differently. On the other side of the spectrum, some usual NFL fans aren’t even planning to watch. “I refuse to watch a sport that has been reduced to having an 8th grade geography teacher and an LFL ref (Lingerie Football League),” said B-CC student Matt Menzi. “It’s a disgrace.”
The refs have been on strike for months now, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in the sight. During the preseason, the replacement refs made a few glaring mistakes, but complaining about refs is almost second-nature to hardcore football fans.
“More calls may be blown but fans complain a lot no matter what, so from a fan’s perspective, not much will change,” said B-CC student Max Kriegsfeld.
The effect of the refs can’t really be measured. On a play to play basis, referees make decisions most people don’t think about, but are crucial to the game. BCC football players have seen that first-hand.
“I would be very upset if I found out we were getting replacement refs with no experience calling football games. I can only imagine what actual NFL players think, who are used to top-notch refs,” said B-CC Football’s Sam Alston.
“Refs are key to any sport on any level. They control the game and can basically decide who wins. At a level like the NFL, refs need to be basically perfect.”
While fans of the sport are upset, some players in the NFL have voiced their opinion as well.
“The NFL really needs to kiss and make up with the refs. These replacements are horrible. Frankly, it’s kind of embarrassing,” said Vikings punter Chris Kluwe over twitter.
The NFL season is always highly anticipated and this season is/will be regardless of the referee situation.
“I can’t wait,” said B-CC student Patrick Cha.