This morning the real referees ratified the 8-year agreement with the NFL. The measure was approved 112-5. Which is actually a bigger number than I expected seeing as how a majority of the refs will still be forced into 401(k) plans after 5 years. I guess they were really anxious to get back to work. As we speak the real refs are being flown all over the country for tomorrows games. Meanwhile the replacement refs are still receiving pay this weekend.
So for not working referees will make $3,500 and other officials $3,000. Overall it is costing the NFL $344,000 to pay for the replacement referees. Is it just me or does this seem a little unfair. The same guys who have been screwing up games all over the place are now getting paid to not work.
It just occurred to me that I had stalked swimmer Ryan Lochte recently on the internet. I feeling this incredibly hotness void in my life that had to be filled. I know many of you are still grieving Lochte’s rejection from ABC’s “The Bachelor.” There was a lot of talk of Lochte having his own reality show as well. But alas it seems that Lochte is leaving Hollywood behind and going back to swimming. Don’t worry we can still watch his cameos in “90210″ and “30 Rock” this fall. But there won’t be the full Karadashian access that many of us want. If any reality show producers are reading please call Lochte and give him his own show. If “The Hills” can exist as a show there is no reason why a Lochte version, “The Waves” cannot. And even if it just involves watching him swim for 8 hours, I would still watch.
Maybe Hollywood thinks that Lochte is not engaging enough for his own show. It definitely doesn’t help that Seth MacFarlane did a not so complimentary potrayal of Lochte on SNL’s “Weekend Update” last Saturday. Reality television should not discriminate on personality or lack of because if it gets standards how will dumb/beautiful people survive in the world.
San Francisco Giants’ outfielder/superstar hitter Melky Cabrera will not be joining the playoffs after his 50-game doping suspension ends. The Giants have decided not bring him back. With the suspension still in place Cabrera would have had to miss the NL championship series if the Giants advance, anyways. But it is kind of interesting that the Giants wouldn’t want an All-Star game MVP with a NL-leading batting average of .346. Seems like that might come in kind of handy. The general opinion is that the Giants want to distance themselves from doping scandals and win based on talent. There is also the idea that bring him back so late might disrupt the current roster who is used to playing without him.
This might be a mistake for the Giants but we’ll have to wait and see.
As we rejoice the end of the refs lockout in the NFL we are reminded that the NHL is still coping with it’s own lockout drama. There is not going to be a preseason in hockey this year. Last week the NHL had cancelled the opening week of preseason games but since no resolution has been found they have cancelled all the exhibition games. Unlike the NFL which had a dispute over refs the NHL is dealing with a dispute with players over revenue. They are set to resume talks on Friday. The players want a bigger chunk of the more than 3 billion in profit that the NHL brings in annually.
The NFL was lucky that the refs lockout only resulted in angry fans and not a loss in revenue. It looks like the NHL will not be that lucky and stands to loose a lot of viewership/money if they don’t resolve the lockout in time for the regular season. Not to mention the countless stadiums that will be loosing money without games happening. Already some stadium owners have laid off employees anticipating a long dispute.
Finally the lockout that lasted an eternity three weeks has finally come to an end. The NFL and the referees’ union have come to an agreement. The real refs will be hitting the field Thursday night the for Baltimore Ravens/Cleveland Browns game. That means the replacement refs can return to the lingerie football league(yes they came from there) and your local foot locker.
The deal will have to be ratified by the 51% of the refs who are expected to do so on Friday and Saturday. The refs are signing a unprecedented 8-year deal with the NFL. The best part is that the refs get to keep their pension plan . . . . well at least for now. The pension plan is in place for five-years or until an official reaches their 20 year mark. So for everyone else they will be forced to switch over to 401(k) plan. But this means that 80% of the refs will not reach their pension goal before the switch over begins. So it is good for the older refs but not the younger ones.
But the refs will see a salary increase from $149,000 last season to $173,000 in 2013 and eventually up to $205,000 by 2019. They are also getting the option in 2013 to hire officials to work year round. And the NFL is getting the option to have back-up refs for the ones that suck.
So not really an awesome deal for the refs with the pension issue but at least we have a return to normalcy.
Despite all of the NFL support behind the replacement refs after Monday night’s call there is now word that talks are progressing with the real refs. It is being reported that NFL Referees Association is making head way on a new deal during a meeting on Tuesday. Optimists are saying that they the real refs could hit the field this Sunday. It looks like the bad call was the leverage the real refs needed to push negotiations in their direction.
So far the refs have agreed to allow the addition of 21 new officials who would be there in case a refs performance declines. In order to get that the NFL had agree to pay refs a “ratification bonus” that would pay them for the games they have missed so far this season.
But they are still disagreeing about the pension plan. The refs want to keep pension plans while the NFL wants the cheaper 401K plans. It is hard to believe that the NFL can’t find the money to pay the refs their pensions when they brought in $1.04 billion in revenue in 2011. The NFL has seen a steady increase in revenue annually. Not even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has gone as far as to say they cannot afford the pension plans. For each game the refs depending on level of experience make between $4,000 and $8,000 and there are only 121 referees total.
An NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello estimated that it would cost at most $20,000 a year for the pension fund for a ref who is working all the time. That means at most it would cost the league $2.5 million yearly for all the refs. So you do the math an organization that has $1.04 billion in profits doesn’t want to pay a mere $2.5 million to have qualified officials? I think it is worth the money.
Ever since the call heard around the world happened during the Seattle Seahawks/Green Bay Packer game there has been a lot of angry gamblers fans. I feel as if I can speak as an expert on the call having watched the replay about a million times. I’m not exaggerating have you turned on Sports Center, they might as well just have it on a constant loop off “Since You’ve Been Gone” in the background. It would give the same message as series of outraged commentators. Let’s clear one thing up it was definitely an interception. There was no “simultaneous catching” and it shouldn’t count as a catch just because Seahawk Golden Tate caught Packer M.D. Jennings while he was holding the ball. I don’t care what the NFL says we all know that the touchdown shouldn’t have counted.
If anyone was shocked that the NFL stood behind the call keep in mind that they are still in the middle of negotiations with the real refs and they need these replacement refs to work out in the meantime. There was no way the NFL was going to acknowledge the failure of the replacement refs and jeopardize the legitimacy of future games. So what are we as football fans to do now?
Is the solution to stop watching football and contributing to the corrupt nature of the NFL? Anyone with this reaction is obviously a fair weather fan that probably wasn’t contributing to viewership anyways. I would also like to ask these people how they react to other sports like gymnastics where the judges word rules the day. We all have to accept that refs and judges are apart of the sports experience. A refs call, good or bad, influences the game. Just because we can’t control it doesn’t mean it’s not necessary.
So instead of proclaiming that you’ll never watch football again instead figure out a way to accept the imperfections of the game. Part of the beauty of football is the unpredictably. And beside isn’t it a sub sport to bitch about the refs?
The game turned off and everyone in the world felt a little dirty about what just happened. It was as if everyone watching had just witnessed someone killing a hooker and throwing her the river. We know it was wrong but aren’t sure if it matters because we can’t do anything now. The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers, 14-12. Although it is unclear whether the Seahawks deserve credit for the last-minute(literally) touchdown. Seahawks quarterback, Russel Wilson, threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate. The problem is that Tate was not the only one who caught the ball. Right there with Tate was Packers’ M.D. Jennings. It was ruled a touchdown by one replacement ref even though it’s seems pretty clear it was an interception by Jennings. Another replacement ref at the same time called a touchback. After review it was ruled that the touchdown stood.
The NFL Rules say the following: “If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control.” From the footage it’s seem pretty clear that Jennings caught the ball first than Tate had an arm on the ball. So therefore it would not be a simultaneous catch. It is definitely a shinning example of how replacement refs are not up for the job. And maybe enough to swing the lockout discussions.
Or we will just continue to watch the freak show that the replacement refs are turning football into. Never a dull moment in the NFL.
This was the week for overtime. Three games went into overtime this week and a few were close. As your loyal reporter I of course watched as much as possible which involved me channel flipping and streaming games illegal on my computer. I have mastered football multitasking. Quickly the New York Jets managed to squeak out a win over the Miami Dolphins in overtime. The Jacksonville Jaguars come out of nowhere to take down the Indianapolis Colts. So here is what you missed.
The Upset That Warmed Everyone’s Hearts . . . Everyone Except Patriots Fanatics
New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens, 31-30
If you want to hate on the Ravens for taking down the beloved Patriots than you obviously are heartless. The Ravens’ Torrey Smith overcame his brother’s death less than 24 hour earlier to hit the field and play. Smith’s story inspired the entire team to give it their all. Not only did Smith play but he did great with six catches for 127 yards. It was a rematch of AFC Title that saw the Patriots going to the Super Bowl after eking out a three-point win. This was the 12th straight home win for the Ravens. And it gave Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco a chance to out shine Tom Brady. Flacco had 28 for 39 for 382 yards and three touchdowns. While Brady completed 28 of 41 passes for 335 yards.
Did Anyone See My Ear?
Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos, 31-25
This was a rough game . . . well at least for Texans’ quarterback Matt Schaub who lost part of his ear when he was hit by Broncos linebacker Joe Mays. Peyton Manning had an okay game but it was until the Broncos were already losing by 20. Manning completed 26 for 52 for 330 yards with no interceptions and two touchdowns. So there is still some growing room here for the Broncos with Manning. This also reinforces my belief that only one Manning can win a weak and it was Eli this week with Giants over Panters.
The New York Jets were already struggling before being hand the a death sentence. Cornerback Darrelle Revis is going to be out for the season. Revis was injured during the Jets barely win game over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. He got hurt while trying to tack running back Daniel Thomas in the 3rd quarter. An MRI revealed on Monday that he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
So just how important is Revis to the Jets? The answer is he is pretty much essential.In 2011 Revis only allowed one touchdown pass. He shuts down the opponents wide receivers and prevents them from scoring. And I think we can all see why that would be important. Revis had to miss game 2 of the season against the Pittsburgh Steeler who surrendered 275 passing yards and two touchdowns without him. So this comes as a major blow to the Jets that is definitely going to put them at a disadvantage.