280 PARK AVE – Here at NFL Head Quarters, activity is quite docile. Other than the bounty meetings with Jonathan Vilma, the powers that be have settled into a calm Week 3. There is little penchant to react to anything, especially the situation with the referees. Oh, and see my headline: NFL Referees: League Is Right. On the surface, most fans have been calling for Roger Goodell’s head and cursing the poor quality of officiating. They maintain that the official’s lockout has created havoc, but at NFL HQ, it is as if nothing happened. And for the first time in a long time, I am going to pull up a lawn chair and toast the NFL leadership for their resolve in this matter.
When you or I go to work, we work an average of 20 days a month for the entire year. That comes to 240 work days in a calendar year. The median salary in our country is 35k. An NFL referee officiates 20 games a year and takes home between 50-100k for the season.
Now consider this: In addition to getting paid more than the national average salary to work one day a week, these refs have normal jobs as well. Some are lawyers, professors and captains of industry, etc. Most of these guys are already making good money, and then stacking a 70k bonus from the NFL… on top doing something that most people would volunteer to do for free.
All the NFL wants to do is make these guys full-time employees and change their pension plan to a 401k plan. WAIT… You telling me that if you work for one day a week and these fools [the owners] will give you a pension plan?! Being an NFL referee is as lucrative as being a NYPD officer – double pensions for part time labor?! That is ridiculous. All the NFL wants is a group of individuals committed enough to make refereeing a full time job. The lawyers at the AFL-CIO and the NFL referee’s union would like you to think this is some sort of travesty. That THE MAN wont pay it’s employee’s a proper sum for the job warranted.
The way I see this is that these greasy, snake-like union leaders – greedy members of the union that happen to be lawyers – think that just because the NFL makes a lot of money, they can stick a thorn in the league’s side until gold comes out. To that, I and the NFL say BULLHONKY!
Players and coaches get paid big because they are the product. You can’t teach a 45-inch vertical. You can’t teach someone a 4.4 40 yard dash. You can’t teach a discount double-check! Without the players, there is no NFL. That is their bargaining chip. Referees do not have a bargaining chip. Referees can be replaced. The calls may not be pretty in week one but come weeks 8 and 9, no one will remember that the NFL Referees’ union even existed because officiating is something that can be learned.
This is not a situation wherein your local coal mine is starving its workers for slave labor and old man Cotter is making off with the loot. This is blown-up, media-hyped, shenanigans – plotted by a select crew of ambulance-chasing, bamboozling, hoodwinking, small-town lawyers who call football games once a week and make sure that the Bobby Sue v Billy Jean divorce finalizes before the Seahawks v 49ers kickoff.
If you don’t agree with me, so be it. Stick it to The Man.
Tune in tomorrow and stick it to Different Matt… Hopefully, someone will get flagged for necessary roughness.