Save the game instead
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell won't be able to save face over the replacement refs, nor should he. What the NFL owners and referees are haggling over can't be worth the integrity of the game. Whatever it might be — money, benefits, pride — get over it. Goodell needs to get a new deal done. Today is too late, but if that's the soonest it can be completed, make it happen.
But he still won't save face. The "Monday Night Football" debacle assured that. I am sick of hearing how the replacement refs blew the Ravens-Patriots game, and should have reviewed the kick. IT WASN'T REVIEWABLE. And if you can tell from the replays whether the kick was good or not, you're delusional.
Save face? Goodell needs to save the game.
It is getting so that the 2012 season is going to be known as the year of the replacement refs. They have been close to a disaster, and it was all very predictable.
Even if they had been as efficient as the regular refs, this still would have been a problem because of the scrutiny on them and the perception that they are incompetent. If the replacement refs continue to leave marks on games the way they did Monday, some will put an asterisk next to the 2012 standings.
The NFL is so big and successful that the league can shrug off blown calls and the ensuing firestorms they create every week. And eventually, the real refs will return and the league will carry on as if nothing happened.
Sorry, it's too late
Los Angeles Times
It's too late to save face. The NFL has failed in its game of chicken with the locked-out officials, and instead it's the game itself that has sailed off the cliff.
Roger Goodell needs to lock himself in a room with Mike Arnold, lead negotiator for the officials, and don't come out until a deal is done. If the refs were to get everything they've asked for, it would cost the league about $100,000 per team, per season.
Because the officials union leaders would have to come together to ratify any agreement, it's unlikely that could happen in time for regulars to work Thursday night's game. But the NFL needs to do whatever is necessary to get the real refs back on the field by the weekend.
A win for the NFL
Debate all you want about the Packers-Seahawks debacle, but it is perfectly acceptable for the NFL to hide behind the rules because those govern this game. Golden Tate had simultaneous possession of the football when he hit the ground, which means the replacement refs got the call right.
It doesn't help that two officials simultaneously put up opposing calls before conferencing. But appearances clearly don't matter to the NFL, its owners or Commissioner Roger Goodell. What matters is having their way and keeping the NFL talked about every day.
Debate all you want about replacement refs. But you'll keep watching while complaining. That's a win for the NFL, and anything less is unacceptable.