Did the officiating in the recent Hall of Fame game seem worse than usual to you? Then you might not be aware that the NFL Referee association is currently locked out and what you saw was a bunch of scab replacement officials.

A lot of people seem to be unaware that the League has initiated a lockout two years in a row over CBA issues. This year, it’s the refs getting screwed. Despite the joke above being delivered at their expense, I’m firmly on the side of the Refs. They have maybe a fraction of the support the players did, and the NFL is completely in power right now. The NFL is actually hiring scrub replacement refs until this CBA business is sorted out. They feel the replacement refs are adequate.

If you watched the Hall of Fame game, you know they are not.

The replacements have not even ref’d Division 1 college ball, these folks are incredibly under-qualified to ref at the NFL level. Players on both teams in the HoF game were openly mocking them, and they made basic mistakes like chain movement errors and placement screw ups. A lot has been recently made that one of the interim refs will be female, and as wonderfully progressive as that is, she’s still a scab ref who’s likely under-qualified. I worry that if she does a bad job it’s going to cause an unfair storm of “women can’t ref” or others going “She’s only getting criticized because she’s a woman”. Both miss the point. If she does a bad job, it has nothing to do with her gender, it’ll have everything to do with her being a scab under qualified ref.

I hope Shannon Eastin  does a good job. That way she’ll go largely unnoticed. Ref’s only get noticed when they screw up. We may enjoy blaming the refs, but we really need them. Get a deal done soon, NFL.

Also I really just want to stare at Ed “Guns” Hochuli’s muscles again. The man is like a greek god.