Two weeks ago my September 16th blog indicated that the replacement referees in the National Football League were doing a credible job officiating the games. I jumped the gun a bit, as critics started to lambast the replacement refs at the end of week two. Week three was a disaster, as any Green Bay Packer Fan will confirm.
After the debacle in Seattle David Delano, an accomplished sports columnist, wrote in his “Packer Partisan”:
“The final score Monday night was the Seattle Seahawks 14 and the Green Bay Packers 12. That is what the record book will show for the ages. The problem is that the replacement referees totally blew two calls in the fourth quarter which caused the Packers to lose this game. It was a horrible nightmare for Cheeseheads and an embarrassment for the NFL, with repercussions on the whole world of professional football.
The 2012 season has thus far been played with replacement referees due to a labor dispute with the regular zebras. Until Monday night the calls of the replacement referees had not cost any team a game. Now they have, and this debacle will be viewed for many years as a bad black eye for the NFL. The malfeasance is not of the sports disaster magnitude of the Chicago Black Sox baseball scandal throwing the World Series of 1919, nor the phantom punch thrown by Muhammad Ali that KO’ed Sonny Liston in 1964, but nonetheless, very significant for Cheeseheads.”
As you might remember from my September 16th blog, I said you should strike only if “no one else can reasonably do your job.” It looks like the NFL referees made a wise choice to strike. Within hours after the “Inaccurate Reception” in Seattle the parties were at the bargaining table and by Thursday night the “real referees” were back at work with a nice raise. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall during those sessions. The negotiator for the Referees probably told NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that they had until Wednesday to make a deal or all offers were off the table with even higher union wages and benefits for the next round. Because his “business” was being compromised Goodell did the only thing he could do…settle.
Union busting 101 has a brand new lesson….if you’re good and no one can do your job…strike. You’re (eventually) in the driver’s seat!